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Recent changes to the Residential Tenancies Act

By Janet Spencer

Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (Victoria)

Recent changes to the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) will require residential rental properties undergo the following safety checks:

  • Smoke Alarm Safety Checks every year
  • Gas Appliance Safety Check or service with a carbon monoxide check every two years
  • Electrical Safety Check every two years

These checks have been made mandatory to ensure the safety of residential rental properties and tenants alike.

To make sure your property/s are in accordance and comply with relevant regulations and the new RTA legislation amendments, we have engaged Victoria’s leading and most advanced residential compliance company in this field, Smarthouse Australia, to conduct these three services as, and when required, to keep your property/s in line with the required compliance measures.

Benefits to you in doing this are:

  • Save money by having the one company attend to all services
  • The least amount of disruption to your tenants by having minimal appointments required for access
  • A company that only utilizes the services of employed staff (not sub – contractors) to carry out the work, allowing for the highest level of quality control and accuracy of completed work in accordance with relevant standards, regulations and legislations.

What will be required in relation to the recent amendments to the RTA?

Smoke Alarm Safety Activities

‘The residential rental provider must ensure that….’

  • Each smoke alarm is correctly installed and in working condition
  • Each smoke alarm is tested according to manufacturer’s specification as least every 12 months
  • The batteries in each smoke are replaced
  • In addition, it is advised the floorplan is assessed for the correct number of smoke alarms, all smoke alarms are within their 10-year prescribed service life and are correctly cleaned, serviced and all information recorded on an ongoing basis

Electrical Safety Activities

‘The residential rental provider must ensure that….’

  • An Electrical Safety Check of all electrical installations, fittings, and appliances provided by a residential rental provider in the rented premises is conducted every two years by a licensed or registered electrician
  • Safety Checks must be carried out in accordance with relevant Australian Standards and appropriate registration and documentation is issued

Gas Safety Activities

‘The residential rental provider must ensure that….’

  • If the rented premises contains any landlord fitted gas installations or connections, the residential rental provider must ensure that a gas safety check of these gas installations and fittings in the rented premises is conducted every two years by a licensed or registered gas fitter
  • Safety Checks must be carried out in accordance with relevant Australian Standards and appropriate registration and documentation is issued

It is currently anticipated that the above mandatory requirements will take effect as of March/April 2021. We are expecting a ‘grace period’ to be applied to each safety activity.

You don’t need to do anything right now. We will be making contact with you closer to the time to seek your instructions in relation to these services.

Additional Property Management Cost

Based on current average costs for smoke alarm, gas and electrical checks, we predict that this will add approximately $200 per year for each property under management. This cost does not include any other property checks that may be required (for example pool and spa checks completed every four years). Written records for all qualified checks must also be kept.

Further information about the new reforms to the RTA and Smarthouse Australia can be found at:

engage.vic.gov.au

smarthouseaustralia.com.au

Alternatively, please contact us at Buyer Solutions Rental Department for more information about this and the 127 changes to the RTA coming into law on the 29th of March, 2021. You will need a well trained, up to date company and property manager to manage your investment property going forward or face large fines as these have also increased.

 

Home maintenance, Investment property, Janet Spencer, Landlords, Overseas Buyers, Real Estate News & Opinion

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1 Comment

  1. Janet Spencer

    This is huge news for residential investment property owners. If you are not signed up for smoke alarm testing, CO2 testing and electrical safety checks, this is soon to be mandatory in Victoria. Buyer Solutions Rental Department can help you with you with this and all the 127 changes coming to the Residential Tenancies Act in 2021. @janetspencer

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