The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act and 2021 Regulations came into effect on 29 March 2021. These Regulations identify and mandate new safety related activities for residential rental properties throughout Victoria.

Rental providers must ensure:

  • each smoke alarm is correctly installed, in working condition and tested according to the
    manufacturer’s instructions annually;
  • 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 and gas safety check as soon as practicable.

A full outline of the Safety Related Activities can be found in Schedule 3 of the Regulations.

To assist, we have provided relevant extracts on what is required and how these requirements can be implemented below:

Smoke Alarm Safety Activities

SMOKE ALARM SAFETY ACTIVITIES RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES REGULATIONS 2021 – SCHEDULE 3 – SAFETY-RELATED ACTIVITIES.

1. The residential rental provider must ensure that:

a. each smoke alarm is correctly installed and in working condition;
b. each smoke alarm is tested according to the manufacturer’s instructions at least once every 12 months;
c. the batteries in each smoke alarm are replaced as required.

2. The residential rental provider must immediately arrange for a smoke alarm to be repaired or replaced as an urgent repair if they are notified by the renter that it is not in working order.

Note – Repair or replacement of a hard-wired smoke alarm must be undertaken by a suitably qualified person.

3. The residential rental provider, on or before the commencement of the residential rental agreement, must provide the renter with the following information in writing:

a. information about how each smoke alarm in the rented premises operates;
b. information about how to test each smoke alarm in the rented premises;
c. information about the renter’s obligations to not tamper with any smoke alarms and to report if a smoke alarm in the rented premises is not in working order

4. The renter must give written notice to the residential rental provider as soon as practicable after becoming aware that a smoke alarm in the rented premises is not in working order.

Note – Regulations made under the Building Act 1993 require smoke alarms to be installed in all residential buildings.

Electrical Safety Activities

ELECTRICAL SAFETY ACTIVITIES RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES REGULATIONS 2021 – SCHEDULE 3 – SAFETY-RELATED ACTIVITIES.

1. The residential rental provider must ensure that an electrical safety check of all electrical installations, appliances and fittings provided by a residential rental provider in the rented premises is conducted every 2 years by a licensed or registered electrician and must provide the renter with the date of the most recent safety check, in writing, on request by the renter.

2. If an electrical safety check of the rented premises has not been conducted within the last 2 years at the time the renter occupies the premises, the residential rental provider must arrange an electrical safety check as soon as practicable.

3. On and from 29 March 2023, in relation to electrical safety, all power outlets and lighting circuits in the rented premises are to be connected to:

a. a switchboard-type Circuit Breaker that complies with AS/NZS 3000, “Electrical
Installations”, as published from time to time; and
b. a switchboard-type Residual Current Device:

i. AS/NZS 3190, “Approval and test specification—Residual current devices (current operated earth-leakage devices)”, as published from time to time; or
ii. AS/NZS 61008.1, “Residual current operated circuit-breakers without integral overcurrent protection for household and similar uses (RCBOs): Part 1: General rules”, as published from time to time; or
iii. AS/NZS 61009.1, “Residual current operated circuit-breakers with integral overcurrent protection for household and similar uses (RCCBs) Part 1: General rules”, as published from time to time.

Gas Safety Activities

GAS SAFETY ACTIVITIES RESIDENTIAL TENANCIES REGULATIONS 2021 – SCHEDULE 3 – SAFETY-RELATED ACTIVITIES.

1. The safety-related activities in subclauses (2) and (3) only apply if the rented premises contain any appliances, fixtures or fittings which use or supply gas.

2. The residential rental provider must ensure that a gas safety check of all gas installations and fittings in the rented premises is conducted every 2 years by a licensed or registered gasfitter and must provide the renter with the date of the most recent safety check, in writing, on request by the renter.

3. If a gas safety check has not been conducted within the last 2 years at the time the renter occupies the premises, the residential rental provider must arrange a gas safety check as soon as practicable.

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