Ensuring Gas Safety in VIC Rental Properties: A Vital Requirement
In March 2021, Victoria introduced a series of new rental laws aimed at clarifying the rights and responsibilities of renters and rental providers. Among these changes was one crucial update regarding gas safety – making it mandatory for rental providers to ensure a gas safety check of all gas installations and fittings on the premises every two years. This check must be conducted by a licensed or registered ‘Type A’ gasfitter.
Before entering into a rental agreement, rental providers must disclose to tenants the date of the most recent gas safety check and any pending recommendations for work. The condition report must also include the dates of the most recent gas and electrical safety checks and smoke alarm inspections, with a copy provided to the tenant.
Understanding Gas Safety Checks
Gas safety checks go beyond a mere appliance service or carbon monoxide test. They encompass a comprehensive safety and compliance assessment of all gas installations and fittings within the rented premises. These checks are designed in line with Victorian Building Authority (VBA) requirements, Australian Standards, and manufacturer’s installation instructions. This thorough examination is now mandated by the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) to guarantee that all gas appliances are correctly installed and operating safely.
The Importance of Gas Safety Checks
The primary objective of a gas safety check is to provide a secure living environment and to prevent potential harm to the property’s occupants. Gas, being highly combustible, required safe and controlled usage. Faulty appliances releasing excessive gas can lead to ignition, potentially causing fires. Moreover, carbon monoxide (CO), a colourless, odorless and toxic flammable gas, is formed during incomplete combustion of carbon. The buildup of CO in homes most often results from incorrectly installed, poorly maintained, or poorly ventilated appliances.
Collaboration with Checkmate
Smoke Alarm Solutions is delighted to partner with Checkmate to conduct gas safety inspections across Victoria. These inspections align with the VBA and Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) regulations introduced in March 2021, with the goal of providing a safer living environment for tenants in rental properties. With over 30 years of experience, Checkmate understands the compliance industry and is committed to delivering end-to-end service for gas safety checks.
Expertise Matters: Not All Companies Are the Same
It’s essential to recognise that not all companies offering gas safety checks are equal. Some may lack the necessary experience or professionalism to provide comprehensive assessments, meaning your property could be non-compliant with current legislation even though you have had an inspection carried out. This underscores the importance of ensuring compliance with a reputable company like Checkmate. With specialist gas technicians boasting over 50 years of experience, you can trust their expertise to keep your rental properties safe.
What a Gas Safety Check Involves
Checkmate performs a comprehensive inspection of all gas appliances connected to the rental property’s primary gas supply. This inspection, which takes approximately 20-30 minutes per appliance*, includes a range of checks, including the following.
- Check the operation of the unit
- Carbon monoxide testing on all heating and internal, open flue appliances
- Check flue condition Check the installation of the unit
- Check the gas supply and operating pressures
- Check the unit components are working/installed correctly
- Check the integrity of the heat exchanger Check for gas appliance flame abnormalities
- Check unit is supported correctly Check units are not installed in prohibited areas
*Ducted heating units may take up to an hour for a thorough assessment, depending on the unit’s condition.
Consequences of Non-compliance
Rental providers who fail to meet the new requirements may face penalty units issued by Consumer Affairs Victoria for breaching the RTA requirements. The current cost per penalty unit is $184.92. Relevant sections, such as Section 30D and Section 35, carry potential penalties of 60 and 25 penalty units, respectively. For landlords in breach of both sections, the total possible fine could amount to $15,718.20.
However, it’s crucial to note that not all gas safety checks are created equal. Merely carrying out the activity doesn’t guarantee compliance or safety. Choosing a comprehensive and reputable company, like Checkmate, is paramount. Some companies may not adhere to the highest standards, potentially leaving you exposed to risks even if you’ve had the safety inspection carried out. Ensure your investment in safety aligns with your property’s protection by selecting the right professionals. Please reach out should you have any questions about this legislation or the service we offer to ensure your properties remain compliant.