New Bill Passed For Tenants With Children To Secure Furniture To Walls

By October 15, 2018

Western Australia has recently passed a bill that enables tenants to fix furniture to the walls of their rental property, following the death of a toddler in Perth, who was tragically crushed by a chest drawer.

21-month-old Reef Kite, lost his life when a chest of drawers toppled on top of him at his family's rental property. His mother Skye Quartermaine had put him down for his regular nap in his bedroom, but when she went to check on him she found the 1.25m tall chest of draws had fallen over and pinned him underneath.

She had purchased the drawers a few months earlier but her landlord had not granted permission for it to be secured to a wall.

A coronial inquiry found there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing but recommended changes to the law so tenants with children have a right to secure furniture to a wall in the interest of child safety.

Since her son's death, Ms Quartermaine has lobbied the State Government to make changes to the Residential Tenancies Act.

"This ensures that no other child has to die in the same manner my child did. Pool fencing is a requirement, RCD protectors are a requirement, this law should be a requirement in the Tenancy Act".

Under the legislation, tenants would be required to repair any damage before they moved out of the property.

A landlord would only be able to refuse the tenant's request to affix furniture if there was asbestos in the house or if it was heritage listed.

Reference:
Hamlyn, Charlotte "Toddler Crushed By Drawers Inspires New Bill To Allow Renters To Secure Furniture To Walls", ABC News, 7 October 2018