When Should Landlords Get Electricity Safety Checks?
Being a responsible landlord means that you have a responsibility to your tenant to provide a safe home for them to occupy. This applies in several ways, but the primary concern is electricity. A landlord electricity safety check should be conducted regularly to ensure that a property complies with all legislation and is fit and habitable for the tenant to occupy.
What is the Law Around Electricity Safety in Queensland?
Under the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 (“The Act”), when a new tenancy begins, a property/s condition cannot be in breach of health and safety laws. This applies to general repairs and maintenance of a property and also to the Electrical Safety Act 2002. It is the owner’s responsibility to manage this by completing landlord electricity safety checks. It is also the owner’s responsibility to to maintain the property throughout the tenancy.
Electricity safety is of high priority, and at a minimum, rental properties must have a safety switch fitted to power point circuits. This is the minimum requirement, though, and a conscientious landlord would go further to keep their tenants safe.
Also, where emergency repairs are required, The Act states that this includes a dangerous or electrical fault or a fault or damage that makes the premises unsafe or insecure. It is the landlord’s responsibility to address anything of this nature.
It is the tenant’s responsibility not to cause damage to the property and to always report any repair or maintenance issues to the landlord or property manager.
There are high penalties in Queensland for anybody who breaches the Electrical Safety Act 2002. For a person whose acts or omissions adversely affect the electrical safety of others, penalties of up to $300,000 or 5 years in jail can occur. This includes anybody who engages in conduct that recklessly exposes a person to danger or risks electrically.
Homes have been installed with circuit breakers for many years, and these protect equipment in the home from electrical surges.
Safety switches are not the same and have not always been a requirement in dwellings. Where a circuit breaker protects equipment, a safety switch protects people and animals from electrical shock.
As mentioned above, the most recent legislation changes have a minimum requirement a safety switch protects every power point in a home. The penalty to a landlord is $1500 on the spot fine if an inspection reveals no safety switch present at a property.
The Electrical Safety Office (ESO) does recommend that safety switches protect ALL circuits in a home. Additionally, legislation now requires a safety switch protects all new wiring added to a property.
Smoke Alarm Safety
In addition to general electrical safety in rented properties, new smoke alarm safety legislation is currently being phased in.
The new smoke alarm legislation requires that all rental properties must be fitted with interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms. They must be under ten years old and either hard-wired into the property or installed with a tamper-proof 10-year battery installed.
We provide a step by step guide to smoke alarm legislation in Qld for landlords in our blog here.
Other Electrical Safety Checks For Landlords
Because electricity can be dangerous, a landlord must take their safety obligations seriously. Legislation varies from state to state, and the information we have provided today applies to properties in Queensland.
Here are some additional tips and considerations to keep a property safe and compliant:
- only licenced electricians can complete electrical work, inspections and upgrades
- all appliances should be tested and tagged and kept cleaned and maintained at all times
- there should be no visual damage to fittings, power points, safety switches, wiring or casing on any appliances or electrical installations
- have a complete landlord electrical safety check completed by a licenced electrician once every two years
- be sure to keep good records of all maintenance and safety checks
Power Trip Services is fully qualified and licenced to provide all of the safety checks and maintenance needed to help landlords meet their legal safety requirements to their tenants. We can also advise upgrades to your property if you wish to provide your tenant with added comfort and safety. Contact us today for a quote, and you can rest easy at night knowing that you, your property and your tenant are safe.
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We are leaders in our profession in North Brisbane because we use our resourcefulness and ingenuity to deliver high-quality and affordable solutions every time. Our qualified technicians can even design your ducted air-condition in-house!
Not only do we pride ourselves on quality workmanship, but our outstanding service standards and promise to treat your property with the utmost respect sets us apart from our competitors.