The Victorian Government introduced new measures for Rental Properties in March 2021 that ensure rental properties are kept safe and up to standard for tenants/renters in the state. The law now requires that gas and electrical safety checks be conducted every 2 years, to ensure there are no potentially life threatening issues that result from a lack of maintenance to the properties gas and electrical areas. It’s really important that these inspections are conducted as gas and electricity problems can result in sever injury or even death for those living on an unsafe property and that’s the reason they were introduced.
As regards the electrical checks, landlords need to arrange a Licensed, Insured Electrician sign off on an inspection of the rental property issuing either a safety check certificate or “Electrical Audit Report”. This paperwork needs to outline:
- the full name and business details, including the licence or registration number, of the electrician who did the check
- the date of the safety check
- the results of the check, including any repairs that were required and actions taken to address the repair
- confirmation that all installations and fittings have been checked and found safe.
Renters are allowed to request copies of these documents so they can be sure they are living in a safe environment.
While these measures can seem frustrating for current owners who have kept their properties up to date, the checks aren’t a big expensive if this is the case. The problem will come about with properties that have not been checked electrically and need switchboard upgrades, rewiring, earths or the like. However, once the initial check is up to standard, landlords can rest assured they are providing a reasonable standard of care, and if they decide to sell their investment down the track, a property that has been maintained will likely sell for higher value.
As previous renters ourselves, a gas safety check alerted us to a carbon monoxide leak in one of the old heaters in the house, and as we had a new baby at the time, we were very happy to find out it was best not to use that heat source in the house.
When we moved into our current property, our own inspections of the electrical showed there was no earth stick to the house and that old unsafe wiring had been used in various places. So it’s potentially something you might want to get done when you are looking at purchasing your own property or an investment property too!
Some of the major changes to laws about gas and electrical safety include:
- rental providers must now do gas and electrical safety checks every 2 years
- there are new requirements for what must be checked
- there are new requirements for record keeping.
If you don’t currently have an electrician doing your rental property electrical safety checks, please feel free to contact us and we will help you get up to date with the latest regulations.