Home Safe Solutions FAQs

Why did the changes to the legislation come about?

The rental market has changed significantly over the last 20 years. Growing numbers of Australians are delaying purchasing a home and renting for longer. The law changes expand the rights and responsibilities of renters and rental providers and will make renting in Victoria fairer and safer. The changes span the lifecycle of a rental agreement - from before a rental agreement is signed until after the agreement ends.

What is a ‘rental provider’ and ‘renter’?

The new rental laws refer to landlords as ‘rental providers’, tenants as ‘renters’ and tenancy agreements as ‘rental agreements’.

When did the changes to the Victorian rental law come into effect?

New Victorian rental laws came into effect on 29 March 2021.

What are the new safety checks, which are now required in all Victorian rental properties?

a) Smoke alarm checks must be carried out each year. Smoke alarms must be correctly installed, in working condition and
tested according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Batteries must be replaced when required as well. The renter must be provided with information about how to use and test smoke alarms at the premises, as well as outlining their duty not to tamper with smoke alarms and to report any breakdowns.
b) An electrical safety check must be carried out every two years. All electrical installations, appliances and fittings provided by the rental provider must be checked by a licensed or registered electrician.

c) A gas safety check must be carried out every two years if the rental property contains any fixed appliance, fixture or fitting which use or supply gas.
The rental provider should keep records of all safety checks and must provide the renter with the date of the most recent safety check in writing.

Can rental providers carry out these new activities themselves?

The new legislation states that all checks must be completed by someone who is “suitably qualified”. For the gas testing, an Accredited Type A gas fitter is required, and a licenced electrician is required for the electrical testing. With regards to the smoke alarm component, it is wise to have an experienced smoke alarm technician carry out the requirements however if 240 volt hard wired alarms are installed in the property, an electrician will be required.

What are the ramifications for non-compliance with the new legislation?

Failure to meet the new requirements may result in the issuance of penalty units. The financial cost associated with penalty units are set annually by the Department of Treasury and Finance and are updated on 1 July each year. Along with financial penalties, there may be issues surrounding the integrity of property insurance should a claim be made where the new legislative requirements have not been met.

What is covered under Smoke Alarm Solutions’ Home Safe Solutions Subscription?

All inclusions as part of the Home Safe Solutions Subscription can be found here.

Under the Home Safe Solutions Subscription, who carries out the electrical and smoke alarm safety inspections?

A Smoke Alarm Solutions employed technician or electrician will carry out smoke alarm activities whilst all electrical safety inspections will be carried out by a Smoke Alarm Solutions employed electrician.

Under the Home Safe Solutions Subscription, who carries out the gas safety inspections?

The gas inspections are carried out by our partner, Checkmate Compliance Management. They are Type A gas fitters and experts in the gas safety requirements. A licensed gas fitter is a plumber who has extra qualifications to complete gas work safely and is registered with the Victorian Building Authority. You may be contacted directly by Checkmate to organise attendance at a property.

What if a property does not have any gas appliances installed?

We offer a service for properties without gas appliances. Please indicate the number of gas appliances (0, 1 or 2+ appliances) at the property you wish to enrol when sending through the work order request. If we find there is a discrepancy between the number of gas items listed on the work order and those found whilst at the property, the subscription invoice will be amended accordingly.

Will all three safety checks be carried out at the same time?

In most instances, the smoke alarm and electrical safety checks will be carried out at the same time whilst the gas safety check will be carried out at an alternative time.

  • An annual compliance inspection to ensure smoke alarms are compliant.
  • Free re-attendance when beeping or faulty alarms require attention.
  • Free installation or replacement of any faulty, expired, missing or damaged 9 volt, 240 volt or 10yr lithium- battery operated smoke alarms if required by
  • 24/7 Emergency Service for sounding smoke alarms requiring attention*.
  • A compliance report following each inspection.
  • A check of all landlord supplied electrical appliances, fittings and installations including earth loop and polarity tests of all accessible power
  • Free replacement of faulty or damaged safety switches, circuit breakers and standard light switches and power points at initial visit.
  • We will provide a 12 month warranty on any repaired or replaced electrical item.
  • A compliance report following each inspection.
  • A check of the gas line and all landlord supplied gas appliances for faults and carbon monoxide
  • Free replacement of faulty or damaged thermocouples and the protection of synthetic pipework at initial
  • We will provide a 12 month warranty on any repaired or replaced gas
  • 6 year defective workmanship insurance on gas rectification works.
  • A compliance report following each inspection.
Why is there an amount charged every year, even though the gas and electrical inspections are only required every two years?

Smoke Alarm Solutions have slightly adjusted their subscription fees to spread out the cost over subsequent years. Their subscription is not only more affordable, their annual subscription ensures a property has continuation of service from year to year.

Are the costs to ensure compliance tax-deductible?

As with many costs associated with rental properties, the costs to ensure compliance to new legislation may be a tax deduction for rental providers. It is wise to speak to your tax accountant about these costs.

What happens if items need to be rectified at a rental property to comply with legislation

As part of the Home Safe Solutions Subscription, certain items will be replaced free of charge. Details can be found here.

If additional items are needed over and above those which will be installed for free, there will be a charge which will be quoted and sent to the property manager or rental provider for approval before we carry out further rectification at the property.

Do you offer your 24 hour emergency service for smoke alarms under Home Safe Solutions subscription?

Yes, we offer our 24 hour Emergency Service for active properties located within 50km of the Melbourne GPO where a property has a sounding smoke alarm which started outside of working hours

(8.30am-5:00pm Monday to Friday). Service does not cover beeping smoke alarms as a result of flat battery. Full terms and conditions can be found here.

I have found another tradesperson who provides a cheaper service than Smoke Alarm Solutions.

Smoke Alarm Solutions have been protecting Australians since 2007. They are the experts in compliance and the ever-changing legislation. They will remind you of future inspection requirements to ensure ongoing compliance. They will also replace a list of items at the initial inspection at your property should they be found to be faulty or in need of repair, and they will return to your property for free as required to replace any alarms required for compliance and they provide insurance on rectification work carried out at the property.

How long will it take to conduct a check at the property?

A gas service and electrical/smoke alarm inspection will take approximately 2 hours for each service. This will be dependent on the size and layout of the property.

What will happen if you find a gas leak at my property?

Should our partner find a leak at the property they will need to cap off the gas immediately to ensure the safety of your tenants and themselves. They are also required to contact Energy Safe Victoria to lodge this report. Any rectification must be sent to Energy Safe Victoria to complete the final pass at the property.

What if I have any additional queries?

Please reach out to your dedicated Account Manager or email us via info@smokealarmsolutions.com.au if you have any other queries.