Residential rental providers (landlords) 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 undertake gas and electricity safety checks.
If the rental provider entered into the residential tenancy 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.
On this page:
Other pages have information about 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 landlord or owner 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 by a licensed or registered gas fitter. 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 a licensed or registered gas fitter, and
- keep records of the safety check and provide details if the renter asks
- 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.
Finding a licensed gas fitter
- 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 can find licensed gas fitters by searching online or using a directory such as the Yellow Pages.
- You should ask to see the card that says the plumber is qualified to carry out gas fitting work.
What the gas check covers (from a technical perspective)
A gas safety check means:
- the following gas installation checks:
- that LPG cylinders and associated gas components are installed correctly
- that appliance gas isolation valves are installed where required by AS/NZS 5601.1 "Gas installations", as published or amended from time to time
- that gas appliances and their components are accessible for servicing and adjustment
- that the gas installation is electrically safe
- 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
- that there is adequate ventilation for appliances to operate safely
- that gas appliances (including cookers) are adequately restrained from tipping over
- checking the condition of gas appliance flue systems, including chimneys
- checking gas appliances for evidence of certification
- testing gas installations for leakage
- servicing gas appliances as follows:
- a clean of all dust and debris from appliances including burner, pilot, fan, filters and air intakes
- a check of the integrity of the heat exchanger
- a check of the gas supply and appliance operating pressures
- a check that the gas appliance burner ignition is reliable and complete
- a check for any gas appliance flame abnormality
- a check of the operation of the gas appliance, including safety devices
- a combustion spillage test in accordance with Appendix F of AS4575 "Gas appliances— Servicing of Type A appliances", as published or amended from time to time, after service or repair of the heater.
A licensed or registered gasfitter can complete this work for a rental provider.
Energy Safe Victoria is preparing guidance on how gasfitters can undertake gas safety checks to meet rental providers’ responsibilities.
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 gas fitter 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.
Your record of a gas safety check can be either of the following:
- a compliance certificate
- a document from the licensed gas fitter 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 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.
Renters and residents must use gas appliances safely and report faults
Renters and residents of rooming houses must:
- use gas appliances according to the instructions
- immediately report any problems or faults to the rental provider or the rooming house operator.
If renters or residents are concerned about the safety of a gas heater, they should contact their rental provider or rooming house operator and ask for it to be tested.
Before signing a rental agreement or rooming house agreement, people can ask for a condition/clause to be added that requires the rental provider or rooming house operator to agree to have all gas appliances checked and certified as safe every two years.
To minimise gas safety risks, renters and 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") is conducted every two years by a licensed or registered electrician. If requested, they must also provide the renter with the date of the most recent safety check, in writing.
If an electrical safety check has not been conducted within the last two years at the time the renter occupies the premises, the residential rental provider must arrange an electrical safety check as soon as practicable.
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.
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.
Renting law reforms
Victoria made significant changes to renting laws in 2021.
Some of the major changes to laws about gas 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