Rooming house operators: gas and electrical safety obligations

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A rooming house is a building where four or more people can live in rented rooms, some of which might be shared, and access communal facilities. Each resident has an individual rental agreement. It is different to a sharehouse, where everyone signs the same agreement to rent the whole property.

Rooming house operators have certain responsibilities for gas and electrical safety.

Gas safety check

Rooming house operators must have all gas installations and fittings checked at least once every two years by a licensed gas fitter.

Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) recommends that gas fitters use the Rooming House Gas Safety Checklist when conducting these checks.

For more information and to download a copy of the gas safety checklist, visit Energy Safe Victoria.

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 the web 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 check covers

A gas safety check generally involves testing:

  • the gas line for leakages
  • that the installation of the gas system is safe
  • carbon monoxide (CO) levels by running appliances
  • pressure, combustion and clearances in accordance with industry standards.

Evidence of a gas safety check

The gas fitter should give you a record of the gas safety check. The document should include:

  • the full name and business details, including the licence number, of the gas fitter who did the check
  • the date of the safety check
  • the address of the rooming house
  • confirmation that all installations and fittings (including the gas line) have been checked and found safe.

Record keeping

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.

You must keep the records, including details of the licensed gasfitter, for two years after 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.

We encourage rooming house operators to send in copies of their updated safety checks (including expiry date) via myCAV.

Rooming houses that have a safety check due will be inspected first during our routine inspections.

You must make gas safety check and electrical safety check records available to the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria on request.

Electrical safety check

You must have all electrical installations and fittings checked by a licensed electrician at least once every five years.

All power outlets and electrical circuits must connect to both a switchboard-type circuit breaker that complies with AS/NZS 3000 and a switchboard-type residual current device that complies with AS/NZS 3190, AS/NZS 61008.1 or AS/NZS 61009.1.

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 give you a record of the electrical safety check. The document should include:

  • the full name and business details, including the licence number, of the electrician who did the check
  • the date of the safety check
  • the address of the rooming house
  • confirmation that all installations and fittings have been checked and found safe
  • confirmation that all power outlets and lighting circuits are connected to a switchboard-type circuit breaker that complies with AS/NZS3000 and a switchboard-type residual current device that complies with AS/NZS3190 or AS/NZ61008 or AS/NZS 61009.1.

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.

You must keep the records for five years after the check, including details of the licensed electrician and make those records available to the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria on request.

What is a rooming house

A rooming house is a building where four or more people can live in rented rooms, some of which might be shared.

The rooming house is managed by a rooming house operator and individual residents usually have separate agreements with the operator.

The operator can decide who can live in the property without consulting the residents.

In most rooming houses, residents share bathrooms, kitchens, laundries and other common areas. The rooming house operator and their family do not usually live in the property.

It is different to a share house, where everyone signs the same agreement.

Sections of the Act

If you want to know what the law says about gas and electrical safety obligations in rooming houses, you can read these sections of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997:

  • Section 142BA – record of gas and electrical safety checks

See also Residential Tenancies (Rooming House Standards) Regulations 2012.