Certain appliances, fixtures and fittings must meet minimum efficiency ratings under the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021. To find out more about these ratings, refer to the rental minimum standards.
There are also rules about safety standards, repairs and maintenance for gas and electrical appliances.
On this page:
Replacement items must meet minimum efficiency ratings
Your rental property may have appliances (also fittings or fixtures) that use or supply water, electricity or gas. If such an appliance needs to be replaced, it must meet the minimum efficiency ratings. This also applies to caravan parks and residential parks.
If a rental provider installs a replacement water, gas or electrical appliance, fitting or fixture that does not meet the required minimum efficiency rating, the renter or resident can issue a Notice of breach of duty to rental provider of rented premises (Word, 113KB).
For as long as the replacement item does not meet the minimum efficiency ratings, the rental provider must pay for the cost of:
- gas, or
Read more about what happens when a renter or rental provider breaks the law.
Read more about sustainable renting from Sustainability Victoria.
Paying for replacement items
The rental provider must pay for the cost of replacing appliances, fittings and fixtures.
A renter or resident may seek urgent repairs by notifying the rental provider or caravan park owner. If the rental provider or caravan owner cannot be contacted or does not respond quickly, the renter or resident can authorise and pay for urgent repairs worth up to $2,500. This includes replacing the appliance, fitting or fixture with one that meets the minimum efficiency rating. The rental provider or caravan park owner must pay them back.
Read more about what to do when urgent repairs are needed at a rental property.
Water efficiency ratings are under the Federal Government’s Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) Scheme.
Replacement water appliances, fittings and fixtures supplied by a rental provider must have a minimum three-star water efficiency rating. For example, shower heads and toilets.
Dishwashers must have a minimum three-star water efficiency rating under the WELS Scheme. They must also have a minimum three-star energy efficiency rating under the Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (Dishwashers) Determination 2015.
Renters and residents can arrange their own urgent repairs. But any replacement water appliances or dishwasher must meet the minimum efficiency ratings.
One or two-star appliance are permitted in limited circumstances. This may be where the age, nature and structure of the plumbing means that a three-star rated appliance cannot be installed or won't work. For example, a three-star rated tap or shower rose does not produce sufficient water pressure because of old plumbing. Instead, a one or two-star rated tap or shower rose may be installed.
Non-ducted air conditioners, heat pumps and gas space heaters
Any replacement of:
- a non-ducted air conditioner
- heat pump (reverse cycle air conditioner),
- or gas space heater
must have a minimum two-star heating rating.
In some apartment blocks it may not be reasonable to install a minimum two-star replacement item if:
- the cost of the installation is prohibitive
- the owners corporation rules prevent installation of the appliance
- compliance with any other Act or local law makes the cost of installation prohibitive.
Forms you might need
To issue a rental provider with a notice for a breach of duty, use this form:
Sections of the Act
If you want to know what the law says about efficient appliances, you can read these sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997:
- Section 54 – Residential rental provider's liability for charges for supply to non-complying appliances
- Section 69 – Residential rental provider must ensure rating compliance for replacement appliances
- Section 72 – Urgent repairs
- Section 129 – Urgent repairs
- Section 164 – Owner's responsibility for charges for supply to non-complying appliances
- Section 181 – Owner must ensure appliances with an efficiency rating system installed
- Section 188 – Urgent repairs to caravans
- Section 188A – Urgent site repairs
- Section 206ZZAA – Urgent site repairs to Part 4A sites