Electrical safety tips for landlords

Written by RADI

Being a landlord comes with a wealth of responsibility, not least of which is the safety of people paying to reside within your property. With electricity one of the most hazardous areas of the home, here are four areas you need to ensure are up to par before you allow tenants to take possession of your property.

Smoke alarms

In NSW Landlords are responsible for the provision, installation and maintenance of adequate smoke alarms that are correctly positioned and cater to the size of their property.  Alarms are required to comply with the Australian Standard, and Fair Trading NSW notes the following:

 

  • Landlords are responsible for installing smoke alarms in rented premises.
  • Landlords have the right of access to rented premises to fit or maintain smoke alarms after giving the tenant at least 2 days notice.
  • Neither the landlord nor the tenant are, except with reasonable excuse, permitted to remove or interfere with the operation of a smoke alarm fitted in the rented premises.
  • Where a smoke alarm is of the type that has a replaceable battery, it is recommended that the landlord put a new battery in at the commencement of a tenancy.
  • After the tenancy begins, the tenant is responsible for replacing the battery if needed.
  • The condition report includes a specific reference to smoke alarms so that tenants and landlords are able to note and comment on the presence of smoke alarms at the beginning and end of the tenancy.

 

Safety switches

Safety switches are legally required to be installed in NSW homes built since 1991, but if your property is older it is highly recommended landlords fit a safety switch in their property for the welfare of their tenants.

 

Safety switches in domestic properties should be tested by the resident every three months, with any faults reported to a licensed electrician for further testing.

 

It’s worth noting properties built prior to 1977 are also unlikely to have an earth rod and Fair Trading advises landlords should seriously consider installing one.

 

General maintenance

By law, property owners have a responsibility to ensure the electrical safety of their property, and this extends to regular maintenance and checks. Areas to consider having assessing include: installed appliances, electrical wiring, fittings, switchboards and earthing connections (particularly in properties over 25 years old.

If you suspect a problem or wish to give your investment the once over, contact a licensed electrician.

 

Faults

A number of electrical matters are considered urgent in a rental situation when it comes to reporting faults and making immediate repairs. These include:

  • Serious electrical faults
  • A breakdown of electrical supply to the property
  • Failure of breakdown of the hot water service
  • Failure or breakdown of the oven or stove
  • Failure or breakdown of the heater or air-conditioner
  • A fault or damage which makes the premises unsafe or insecure

 

In these instances the landlord is required to carry out repairs as soon as possible. Any repairs should be completed by a licensed tradesperson. An electrical contractor is required to provide a uniquely numbered certificate of compliance for their work.

 

About Radi

Radi Electrical specialises in all areas of domestic, commercial, industrial and strata electrical services. To have your electricity supply professionally checked, or for further information the installation of safety switches and urgent repairs, contact our professional team of electricians here.