New rules for gas and electricity safety checks

New rules and processes are in place around gas and electricity safety checks for Victorian rental providers.

Reforms to gas and electricity safety

As of 29 March 2021, more than 130 reforms to Victoria’s renting laws came into effect. These laws clarify rental providers’ responsibilities around gas and electrical safety.

Gas and electrical safety checks are required under the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 if:

  • a new fixed-term rental agreement is entered into on or after 29 March 2021; or
  • a fixed-term rental agreement of five years or more (i.e. a long-term lease) rolls over into a periodic agreement on or after 29 March 2021.

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What obligations does a rental provider have?

A rental provider must ensure that a gas safety check of all gas installations and fittings on the premises is conducted every two years by a licensed or registered gasfitter who is endorsed to service Type A gas appliances. 

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 should ask to see the card that says the plumber is qualified to carry out gas fitting work.

The rental provider must also ensure that an electrical safety check of all electrical installations and fittings in the premises is conducted every two years by either a licensed electrician that is employed by a Registered Electrical Contractor or a Registered Electrical Contractor. 

A Registered Electrical Contractor employs electricians that are licensed through Energy Safe Victoria.

You should ensure that the Registered Electrical Contractor you hire has public liability insurance, which will cover damage if they cause any damage to the property or other people.

If a gas or electrical safety check has not been conducted within the last two years at the time the renter occupies the premises, the rental provider must arrange for them as soon as practicable.

If requested, rental providers must also provide the renter with the date of the most recent safety checks, in writing.

Record keeping and evidence of safety checks

Rental providers must keep the records, including details of the licensed gasfitter or electrician, the date of the check, and the results of the check, until a record of the next safety check is created.

A copy of the most gas or electricity safety check must be provided to the renter within seven days after the rental provider receives a written request from the renter.

If repairs are needed after the safety check, rental providers will need to hire a Registered Electrical Contractor.

A certificate of Electrical Safety must be completed for any repairs performed on the electrical installation.

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