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 In Lifestyle, Lifestyle Property Management

Property Management:

How to Maintain your Gas and Electricity in your Rental Property

Whilst the set up of gas and electricity is usually something most only think about when first moving into a new rental, it’s important to be across what you need to be aware of throughout your tenancy when it comes to maintaining a safe and reliable space.

Whilst the set up of gas and electricity is usually something most only think about when first moving into a new rental, it’s important to be across what you need to be aware of throughout your tenancy when it comes to maintaining a safe and reliable space.

Recently, proposed changes to the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 (Vic) have significantly increased safety and compliance obligations for owners for the first time. These are scheduled to come into effect on the 29th of March 2021.

To give more depth on what this means for owners and tenants, the regulations make it mandatory for owners (rental providers) to ensure their properties have:

  • Smoke alarm checks at least once every 12 months
  • Gas and electricity safety checks of all appliances, installations and fittings at least one every two years
  • Detailed records of all safety checks retained and reports made available to tenants on request

These new mandatory regulations are to ensure a safe tenancy for all Victorian tenants and mitigate the risk of any potential gas leaks or electricity hazards, which can arise if not properly maintained, especially in older homes. Moving forward in 2021, tenants can feel at ease that their home by law will be adequately checked and tested regularly by a fully licensed trade professional to ensure nothing is out of place.

Marshall White property manager Anthony Wiseman explains; ‘Originally, houses were built to accommodate one or two plug in appliances in the kitchen. Nowadays people are much more reliant on power, with outlets housing multiple appliances from thermo mixers to air fryers, thus resulting in a larger demand on a switchboard. As such, the new legislation creates a mandatory requirement that all gas and electrical appliances are to be checked for safety and performance to avoid dangerous hazards.’

In his experience, a plethora of risks to the safety of occupants exist when gas connections go unchecked. Carbon monoxide poisoning from a gas leak is a prime example, which can be fatal. Similarly, electrical malfunctions can occur if outlets are not regularly examined, such as physical electrocution or the cause of a house fire.

A regular annual or biennial check up of these connections can very easily ensure potential malfunctions are attended to before an accident is likely to occur. This new legislation is an important yet simply administered requirement to ensure the safety of all Victorian tenants.

What’s involved in the process of a maintenance check?

A fully licensed electrician (not a handy man) will require access to inspect the physical property, and double check the function of all fitted appliances like smoke alarms (ensuring sound is working condition, new batteries are fitted), lights and power points. For gas, a fully licensed gas plumber will inspect all gas connections and appliances like stove, heaters and hot water systems.

What is required of a tenant under the new legislation?

A simple notification from your property manager is all that’s involved to organise access for the appropriate yearly or biennial maintenance checks to occur as needed – and of course to report directly to your property manager if you suspect there could be an issue with a gas line or electricity outlet.

The team at Marshall White Property Management are here to offer their experience and advice when it comes to safely maintaining a property. We’re able to connect you with our trusted gas and electricity professionals to ensure your property is looked after and that you are fully compliant with the new regulations.

If you have any queries regarding property management or leasing, please contact the Marshall White Property Management Team who will be happy to assist. For more information contact us on (03) 9822 8711.

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