Rental providers: gas and electrical safety

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Rental providers have certain responsibilities for gas and electrical safety. Gas and electrical appliances need to be regularly checked and maintained. Rental providers should make sure that gas appliances are working safely. Renters are encouraged to keep an eye on appliances to identify any problems.

Rental providers who enter into a new agreement after 29 March 2021, or have a fixed term agreement of more than five years which rolls over into a periodic tenancy after 29 March 2021, must ensure that:

  • gas and electricity safety checks are conducted every two years, and
  • if an electrical or gas safety check has not been conducted within the last 2 years at the time the renter occupies the premises, the rental provider must arrange an electrical safety check as soon as possible. 
If the rental provider entered into the rental agreement before 29 March 2021, the rental provider is still responsible for maintaining the safety of the premises. Energy Safe Victoria recommends that gas and electrical safety checks be undertaken every two years.

Note: If the rented premises is a newly built house or apartment it may not be necessary to conduct a separate gas and electrical safety check. See Gas and electrical safety checks for newly built homes.

On this page:

Other pages have information about information for urgent repairs, setting up utilities and replacing appliances.

Gas leaks are urgent repairs

Gas and electrical issues may be urgent repairs. If that is the case, the rental provider or rooming house operator must respond immediately.

Urgent repairs are required for:

  • a gas leak
  • a dangerous electrical fault
  • a failure or breakdown of supplied service or appliance provided for hot water, water, cooking, heating or laundry
  • a failure or breakdown of the gas, electricity or water supply.

If a rental provider or rooming house operator cannot be contacted or does not respond immediately, the renter or resident can authorise and pay for an urgent repair of up to $2,500. The rental provider or rooming house operator must pay them back within seven days.

It is important to deal with these matters because they 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.

New requirements for gas safety checks

Gas appliances, such as heaters and stoves, must be properly maintained. If gas appliances aren’t maintained, they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

Rental providers who enter into a new agreement after 29 March 2021, or have a fixed term agreement of more than five years which rolls over into a periodic tenancy after 29 March 2021 must:

  • have gas safety checks conducted every two years by licensed or registered gasfitter ,
  • ensure a gas safety check has been conducted within the last 2 years at the time the renter occupies the premises (and if it hasn’t, the rental provider must arrange a gas safety check as soon as possible), 
  • keep records of the safety check and provide details if the renter asks, and
  • disclose the date of the last gas safety check, and any outstanding recommendations from the safety check before entering into a rental agreement.

If a gas safety check has not been conducted within the last two years when the renter moves in, the rental provider must arrange a gas safety check as soon as practicable.

The check must be conducted by a licensed or registered gasfitter who is endorsed in the specialised class of Type A Gas Appliances Servicing - Gas Servicing Type A on the Plumbers Identity Card. You can check a gasfitter’s registration or licensing status on their Plumbers Identity Card (the class of Gas Servicing Type A should be listed). You can also check their licensing or registration details on the VBA website.

Note: Registered plumbers engaging in specialised classes of plumbing work must carry out this work under the supervision of a person licensed in the specialised class.

For more information on gas safety checks, you can read Energy Safe Victoria's Gasfitter toolkit.

More information on changes to gas safety for rental providers

Finding a licensed gas fitter

  • A registered or licensed gasfitter is a plumber who holds registration or a licence to carry out gasfitting work with the Victorian Building Authority (VBA). 
  • Only gasfitters who are currently registered or licensed in the specialised class of Type A appliance servicing work are authorised to carry out this gas servicing work.
  • You can check whether a gasfitter holds registration or a licence in Type A appliance servicing work on the VBA website.
  • You can also ask to see the card that says the plumber holds a current registration or a licence in Type A appliance servicing work.
     

What the gas check covers (from a technical perspective)

A gas safety check means:

a. the following gas installation checks:

  1.  that LPG cylinders and associated gas components are installed correctly; 
  2. that appliance gas isolation valves are installed where required by AS/NZS 5601.1 "Gas installations", as published or amended from time to time;  
  3. that gas appliances and their components are accessible for servicing and adjustment; 
  4. that the gas installation is electrically safe; 
  5. that clearances from appliances to combustible surfaces are in accordance with installation instructions and AS/NZS5601.1 "Gas installations", as published or amended from time to time; 
  6. that there is adequate ventilation for appliances to operate safely; 
  7. that gas appliances (including cookers) are adequately restrained from tipping over;  
  8. checking the condition of gas appliance flue systems, including chimneys 
  9. checking gas appliances for evidence of certification; and

b. testing gas installations for leakage; and
c. for a standard gas installation, servicing all Type A gas appliances that are part of that installation.

Note: See regulation 12(4) of the Gas Safety (Gas Installation) Regulations 2018, which prescribes a standard under section 72 of the Gas Safety Act 1997 for servicing work carried out on a Type A gas appliance that is part of a standard gas installation. Section 72 of the Gas Safety Act 1997 requires that a person carrying out gasfitting work ensure that the work complies with the standards and requirements prescribed under that Act in relation to that work.

 

A licensed or registered gasfitter must complete this work for a rental provider.

Evidence of gas safety check

The gas fitter should provide a record of the gas safety check. The document must include:

  • the full name and business details, including the licence or registration number, of the gasfitter who did the check
  • the date the safety check was conducted
  • the results of the check, including any servicing and repairs required and actions taken to address the repair.
  • a copy of the record of gas servicing work submitted to the VBA and given to the rental provider under the Gas Safety (Gas Installation) Regulations 2018, for each Type A gas appliance that is serviced as part of the standard gas installation.

Record keeping

Your record of a gas safety check can be either of the following:

  • a compliance certificate
  • a document from the licensed gasfitter who carried out the safety check.

If you have further gas work carried out after the check, you must also keep the compliance certificate or tax invoice relating to that work.

You must keep the records, including details of the licensed or registered gasfitter, until a record of the next safety check is created.

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

Requirements for rooming house operators

There are particular requirements for rooming house operators to meet their gas and electrical safety obligations.

Residents must use gas appliances safely and report faults

Residents of rooming houses must:

  • use gas appliances according to the instructions
  • immediately report any problems or faults to the rooming house operator.

If residents are concerned about the safety of a gas heater, they should contact their rooming house operator and ask for it to be tested.

To minimise gas safety risks, rooming house residents must:

  • use appliances appropriately and according to the instructions
  • report any faults or problems
  • immediately stop using any appliance that is obviously faulty
  • allow reasonable access to the property for gas safety checks
  • not install, remove or tamper with any gas appliance.

New requirements for electrical safety checks

Rental providers must ensure that an electrical safety check of all electrical installations and fittings in the premises (in accordance with section 4 of AS/NZS 3019 "Electrical installations—Periodic verification") has been conducted by a licensed or registered electrician every two years. If an electrical safety check has not been conducted within the last 2 years at the time the renter occupies the premises, the rental provider must arrange an electrical safety check as soon as possible. If requested, they must provide the renter with the date of the most recent safety check, in writing.

For more information on electrical safety checks, you can read Energy Safe Victoria's Electrician's toolkit.

Finding a licensed electrician

  • You can find a licensed electrician by searching the web or by visiting Energy Safe Victoria.
  • Electricians who charge for electrical work must be licensed with Energy Safe Victoria as Registered Electrical Contractors (RECs).
  • You should ask to see the card that provides their licence details.

Evidence of electrical safety checks

The electrician should provide a record of the electrical safety check, which must include:

  • the full name and business details, including the licence or registration number, of the electrician who did the check
  • the date of the safety check
  • the results of the check, including any repairs that were required and actions taken to address the repair
  • confirmation that all installations and fittings have been checked and found safe.

Record keeping

A record of an electrical safety check may be any of the following:

  • a compliance certificate
  • a document from the electrician
  • a ‘Certificate of Home Safety Inspection’, available from registered licensed electrical inspectors and registered electrical contractors.

A record of the most recent electrical safety check must be kept until a record of the next safety check is created.

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

Gas and electrical safety checks for newly built homes

If the rented premises is a newly built house or apartment it may not be necessary to conduct a separate gas and electrical safety check. 'Newly built homes' typically refers to homes that have never been occupied.

Gas safety checks

A lodged compliance certificate certifies that the work complies with prescribed plumbing standards. A compliance certificate endorsing a gas installation certifies the installation is in accordance with AS/NZS 5601.1.

This means that the compliance certificate issued for gas installations (which applies to all gas installations identified on the compliance certificate in the premises) will meet the requirements of a gas safety check for the purposes of the new rental laws.

Electrical safety checks

A certificate of compliance within the meaning of section 3 of the Electricity Safety Act 1998 for electrical work will meet the requirement of an electrical safety check for the purposes of the new rental laws. 

If an occupancy permit has been provided for the premises, supported by the appropriate compliance certificates, this will also satisfy the requirement of the initial gas and electrical safety check.

If a rental provider does not have the necessary certificates relating to their property, these can be obtained by contacting the Victorian Building Authority on 1300 815 127 or at  https://www.vba.vic.gov.au/legal/foi.

Related information

Renting law reforms

Significant changes to Victoria’s renting laws commenced in 2021.

Some of the major changes to laws about gas and electrical safety include:

  • rental providers must now do gas and electrical safety checks every 2 years
  • there are new requirements for what must be checked
  • there are new requirements for record keeping.

Some language also changed:

  • Landlords are now called rental providers
  • Tenants are now called renters
  • Leases are now called rental agreements.

You can read about these and other changes in a summary of the reforms or in detailed fact sheets and guides.

Sections of the Act

If you want to know what the law says about gas appliances in rental properties, you can read these sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997:

  • Section 27C – Prescribed terms – professional cleaning, maintenance and related obligations
  • Section 63A – Renter’s safety-related duties
  • Section 68A – Residential rental provider’s duty to comply with safety-related repairs and maintenance requirements
  • Section 68B – Residential rental provider must keep and produce records of gas and electrical safety checks
  • Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021 definitions and Schedule 3.