Attention Future Landlords: Remember To Check Your Electrical Appliances!

Posted on: 11 December 2015

Landlord property requirements vary, depending on the state and territory. However, a level of electrical safety is always a necessity. Regardless of where you live, before you lease your property and start accepting new tenants, you must ensure that all of your electrical goods are working correctly and safely. Failure to fix or replace faulty appliances could lead to substantial fines.

Minimum Electrical Requirements

Whenever you begin a new lease agreement, you should always remove, repair or replace any appliances that don't work; check all of their fuses to ensure they're the correct type and rating; and compile any operating instructions and safety warning notices. Structural electrical requirements include:

  • Any exposed or faulty electrical wiring on the premises must be removed, fixed or replaced before the start of the tenancy agreement.

  • The property must have a light source that illuminates the main entry point of the premises. This light must be operable from the interior.

  • The property must have at least two professionally installed RCDs in order to protect the power points. A signed Electrical Safety Certificate must be issued for each of them.

Smoke alarms must be less than 10 years old and meet the Australian Standard 3786-1993. Before tenants move in, smoke alarms must be cleaned, charged and tested. This process must be conducted on an annual basis. Even if the tenant lives in your property for more than one year, this is your responsibility. A compliance certificate must be issued for each smoke alarm, outlining their date of expiry and position. Failure to install and maintain a smoke alarm that abides by the Australian Standard could result in a $500 fine.

Carrying Out Electrical Works

When tenants move in, it's their responsibility to report any electrical faults directly to you or your agent – they should not fix or replace any electrical goods themselves. However, that doesn't absolve you of responsibility; your duties will continue for the duration of the lease agreement. If any electrical works need to be carried out, you and an engineer may enter the property, but only in the case of an emergency; otherwise, you must give prior notice. Even if you you have the knowledge and skills to fix or replace the faulty goods, you must always hire a licensed commercial electrician, such as one from a company like Combined Electrical Contractors Pty Ltd. Fundamentally, as a landlord you have a duty of care to ensure your property and tenants remain safe and secure.