Gas appliances - safety advice for tenants and residents

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Gas appliances

Gas appliances, such as heaters and stoves, should be properly maintained by a licensed gas fitter. If not, they may pose a health risk through carbon monoxide poisoning.

Landlords/agents and tenants should work together to ensure that a safety check is done at agreed intervals. Energy Safe Victoria recommends gas appliances be serviced at least every two years. For more information, visit the Gas safety around the home page on the Energy Safe Victoria website.

Rooming house owners must arrange a gas safety check of all gas installations and fittings at least every two years by a licensed gas fitter. For more information, view our Minimum standards in rooming houses page.

Note: A rooming house is a building where one or more rooms are available to rent, and four or more people in total can occupy those rooms.

Gas leak danger

Failing to ensure gas appliances are safe to use or properly maintained can result in death, serious injury or considerable property damage. Carbon monoxide leaks are hard to detect as the poisonous gas is tasteless, colourless and odourless.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include tiredness, shortness of breath, headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

Fixing a gas leak qualifies as an urgent repair and a landlord or owner must respond immediately. If a landlord or owner cannot be contacted or does not respond immediately, the tenant or resident can authorise and pay for an urgent repair of up to $1800. The landlord or owner must reimburse them. For more information, view our Urgent repairs page.

Landlords’ responsibilities

Under the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, a landlord must ensure rented premises are maintained in good repair. Good repair includes all appliances provided by the landlord. These appliances must be safe to use and properly maintained.

Landlords should ensure that:

  • tenants are provided with a copy of the manufacturers' instructions
  • only a licensed gasfitter performs gasfitting work
  • all appliances are safe for use before letting or re-letting a property
  • all appliances, pipework and flue systems are installed and maintained correctly
  • pipes are correctly sealed if appliances are removed
  • all safety checks and details of work done on gas installations are recorded and certificates of compliance obtained when required.

For more information, visit the Landlord and property manager responsibilities page on the Energy Safe Victoria website.

Tenants’ and residents’ responsibilities

Tenants and residents are responsible for:

  • using gas appliances according to instructions
  • immediately reporting any faults to the landlord, owner or agent.

If you are a tenant or resident, make sure you use the appliance according to instructions. If you are concerned about the safety of a gas heater, contact the landlord or owner and ask for it to be tested.

Before you sign a lease or agreement, you may consider requesting a condition/clause be added requiring the landlord to undertake to have any gas appliances checked and certified safe every two years.

To minimise gas safety risks:

  • use appliances appropriately and in accordance with the instructions
  • report any fault or malfunction to your landlord, owner or agent
  • immediately stop using any appliance that is obviously faulty
  • allow reasonable access for gas safety checks
  • do not illegally install, remove or tamper with any gas appliance.