If you’re a landlord, there are obligations you should be aware of in regards to your rental property. These can relate to fire alarms, gas safety, and electrical safety. While electrical work is a highly specialised field and professional gas and electrical services is the best way to ensure that all equipment and wiring are adequately installed, these five tips provide a good basis for getting started.

1. Smoke Alarms

Landlords are required to ensure that all properties are fitted with smoke alarms. The number of alarms much be appropriate for the property size, as prescribed under the Building Code of Australia (‘the Code’). The alarms must also be working in accordance with Australian Standard 3786-1993 and correctly positioned as under the Code.

  • Each alarm must be tested and cleaned within 30 days before the start of a tenancy (including renewals).
  • Batteries that are spent or known to be almost spent should be replaced within 30 days before the start of a new tenancy or the start of a tenancy renewal period.
  • Alarms should be relaced before reaching the end of their service life, usually indicated by the warranty.

2. Safety Switches

Some, though not all states and territories impose a duty on the landlord to install safety switches for power outlets, lighting circuits, and power circuits. These rules apply in various forms in Queensland and Western Australia, while other states and territories have their own specific recommendations or requirements. Penalties may apply if safety switches are not installed. If in doubt, consult a licensed electrician about your obligations.

3. Electrical Safety

While residential tenancy requirements can vary from state to state or territory, generally, landlords must take measures to ensure a level of electrical safety on rental property.

  • All electrical work should be performed by only licensed persons.
  • Before leasing the property and accepting new tenancies, the landlord should ensure all the appliances are in good, safe working order. Dirty appliances should be cleaned in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Faulty appliances should be replaced.
  • Appliances and wiring should be checked to ensure that there is not damage to wiring or casing.

For tenants, the following may apply:

  • Tenants should use appliances according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If repairs or maintenance is required, the tenant should allow the landlord’s electrician access to carry out the repairs.
  • Tenants should report any faults to the landlord or directly to the agent and avoid installing or removing any faulty appliances.

4. Fire Safety

Landlords also have responsibilities with respect to fire safety. While these may vary depending on state/territory legislations, generally, they are as follows.

  • Furnishing should be fire resistant and smoke alarms installed in accordance with regulations as outlined above.
  • For body corporates or apartments with multiple occupancies, landlords may need to provide extra fire safety measures. For example, these may include fire blankets, extinguishers, fire emergency exits, fire doors, and smoke detectors in communal areas.

5. Gas Safety

While these may differ from state to state or territory, landlords are also required to maintain an adequate level of gas safety. This can include keeping gas fittings, flues, and chimneys well maintained. In Victoria, gas appliances must be serviced at least every two years.

Maintenance and installations should be carried out by licensed gas-fitters. Any repairs should be performed promptly and appliances made safe to use before re-letting the property.

SEM Electrical Contractors can also

  • Repair a Fan
  • Fix a light
  • Fix a broken switch or powerpoint
  • Test a safety switch
  • Test smoke detectors
  • Repair a breakdown
  • Carry out a inspection and recommend a planned maintenance strategy
  • Property inspection
  • Common property repairs and maintenance

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