Victorian switchboard upgrades required by 29 March 2023
Victorian rental properties have been subject to new minimum safety and liveability standards since 29 March 2021. As part of these standards, new minimum electrical safety standards have been introduced and will commence on 29 March 2023. Under these standards rental properties will have to have modern style switchboards.
What are the switchboard requirements?
The new regulations state that switchboards must have circuit breakers and electrical safety switches, also known as residual current devices (RCD, RCCB, or RCBO), installed. The circuit breaker must be compliant with AS/NZS 3000 for wiring and the electrical safety switch must be compliant with AS/NZS 3190 or AS/NZS 61008.1 or AS/NZS 61009.1. These additions will help prevent damage to electrical wiring caused by current overloads and prevent electrocution by disconnecting power when the electricity current is flowing somewhere it shouldn’t be.
Properties may have different types of switchboards installed depending on the age of the property. Because of this difference in switchboards there are multiple ways to upgrade a switchboard to meet compliance.
If the switchboard is a circuit breaker type, then it will likely just need additional electrical safety switches installed to the power outlet and lighting circuits.
If the property has a fuse board instead of a switchboard it may not be possible to just add the components required. If this is the case, the fuse board will have to be replaced and a switchboard installed with circuit breakers and electrical safety switches installed to all circuits, including power outlets and lighting as well as fixed cooking equipment, hot water units, and air-conditioning units.
What happens if the switchboard upgrade isn’t completed in time?
Victorian rental properties must have the switchboard upgrade complete by March 29, 2023. The minimum standards are applicable to rental agreements that:
- Started after 29 March 2021, or
- Started before 29 March 2021 and roll over into periodic agreements on or after 29 March 2021.
If the upgrade is not completed the property will be deemed non-compliant with minimum standards.
Tenants have the right to ensure minimum standards are being met. As stated by Consumer Affairs Victoria, if a property is non-compliant a tenant can end their rental agreement before moving in immediately and without any fees. If they have already moved in, they can request an urgent repair which must be done immediately. If there has not been a prompt response to the request, a tenant can organise an urgent repair themselves up to the cost of $2500 and request reimbursement from the landlord.
How to arrange a switchboard upgrade?
It is the responsibility of the rental provider to ensure their rental property is up to scratch with compliance. To ensure a property complies with the electrical safety standard a licensed or registered electrician must be engaged to check or upgrade the switchboard. Property managers are urged to make their landlords aware of the upcoming legislation and arrange for the switchboard to be checked.
Smoke Alarm Solutions offers a professional service for Victorian switchboard upgrades. Our staff are licensed or registered electricians and are experts in compliance. Stay ahead of the deadline and book a switchboard upgrade with Smoke Alarm Solutions today. Click here to complete an enquiry form and we will be in contact to discuss your property’s requirements.