While professional electrical services is the best way to ensure that all electrical equipment and wiring are adequately installed, these four tips for Landlords provide a good basis for getting started:
1 Smoke Alarms
Landlords are required to ensure that all properties are fitted with smoke alarms. The number of alarms must be appropriate for the property size, as prescribed under the Building Code of Australia.
The alarms must also be working in accordance with Australian Standard 3786-1993 and correctly positioned throughout the premises.
Each alarm must be tested and cleaned within 30 days before the start of a tenancy (including renewals).
Batteries that are spent or known to be almost spent should be replaced within 30 days before the start of a new tenancy or the start of a tenancy renewal period.
Alarms should be replaced before reaching the end of their service life. A smoke alarms expiry date can be found on the alarm, in most cases this can be found near the battery.
2 Safety Switches
NSW fair trading strongly recommends the use of RCDs, but under current New South Wale laws RCDs are not required to be installed on all dwellings.
Tenants, however, are able to insist on the installation of RCDs under their tenancy agreements. This is because the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW) provides that it is a term of every tenancy agreement that the landlord ‘must comply with the landlord’s statutory obligations relating to the health or safety of the residential premises’.
For the protection of your tenant and your investment, we recommend safety switches be installed in your investment property at the earliest opportunity.
3 Electrical Safety
Landlords must take measures to ensure a level of electrical safety on rental property.
Before leasing the property and accepting new tenancies, the landlord should ensure all the appliances are in good, safe working order. Dirty appliances should be cleaned in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Faulty appliances should be replaced. All electrical work should be performed by only licensed persons.
Appliances and wiring should be checked to ensure that there is not damage to wiring or casing.
Tenants should use appliances according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
If repairs or maintenance is required, the tenant should allow the landlord’s electrician access to carry out the repairs.
Tenants should report any faults to the landlord or directly to the agent and avoid installing or removing any faulty appliances.
4 Emergency and Fire Safety
Landlords also have responsibilities with respect to emergency and fire safety.
Furnishing should be fire resistant and smoke alarms installed in accordance with regulations as outlined above.
For body corporate or apartments with multiple occupancies, landlords may need to provide extra safety measures. For example, these may include fire blankets, extinguishers, emergency exits, fire doors, and emergency lighting and smoke detectors in communal areas.