Are your Victorian rental properties meeting minimum safety standards?

Smoke Alarm Solutions 1184 Sas 2019

Since March 29, 2021 Victorian rental properties have been subject to new compulsory safety checks and minimum rental standards. The Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 introduced a multitude of complex new regulations including regular safety and servicing checks of smoke alarms, gas, and electrical. On 29 March 2023, it will be two years since the new requirements came into effect – if a rental property has not yet had a mandatory electrical and gas check completed after 29 March 2021, it is non-compliant with the legislation. Additionally, if your rental property had the gas and electrical checks completed in 2021 they will soon be due for another one.

What are the safety checks?

The rental provider is responsible for ensuring their rental properties meet the below requirements.

Smoke alarms must be correctly installed, in working condition, and tested according to the manufacturer’s instructions by someone suitably qualified at least once every 12 months.

Electrical safety checks must be conducted for all electrical installations, appliances, and fittings provided by a rental provider in the property by a licensed or registered electrician every two years.

Gas safety checks must be conducted for any appliances, fixtures, or fittings which use or supply gas by a licensed or registered gasfitter every two years.

What are the consequences of non-compliance?

Before a rental agreement is entered (including new leases and lease renewals), the rental provider must disclose to the tenant the date of the most recent gas and electrical safety check and any outstanding recommendations for work to be completed. Additionally, the condition report must include the dates of the most recent gas and electrical safety checks and smoke alarm test, and a copy must be provided to the tenant. Tenants may also request a copy of the most recent gas and electrical safety checks. If on occupation of the property, the safety checks have not been completed within the past two years, the rental provider must arrange for them to happen as soon as practicable.

If a rental provider does not adhere to the above conditions, they may incur penalty units issued by Consumer Affairs Victoria for breaching the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). The current cost is $184.92 per penalty unit. The sections which relate to the above conditions, Section 30D and Section 35, carry potential penalties of 60 and 25 penalty units respectively. This means if a landlord is in breach of both sections the total possible fine is $15,718.20.

Landlords must also be aware of the added risk that insurance claims may be voided for any incidents caused by faulty electrical or gas appliances.

How to ensure you meet compliance?

Our Home Safe Solutions subscription ensures your rental properties comply with the smoke alarm, electrical, and gas safety check requirements all within one affordable, bundled package. Read more about the Home Safe Solutions package here.

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