The latest deadline for rental providers is a requirement for electrical switchboards to meet Victoria’s new minimum standards with rental properties needing to have modern-style switchboards, with circuit breakers and electrical safety switches installed, known as residual current devices (RCD, RCCB or RCBO).
Older properties may have a panel and fuse board or a federal fuse board, rather than a circuit breaker-type switchboard.
Any necessary upgrades to switchboards are required to be fitted, by a registered or licenced electrician, by March 29, 2023.
Upgrading a switchboard can cost between $1000 and $1500 but a rush to meet the deadline by rental providers who have left it to the last minute may push the price higher if qualified tradespeople charge a premium for urgent work.
What happens if you don’t make the upgrade?
If you don’t have the required switchboard by the 29th March, 2023, your investment property will be deemed unsafe and non-compliant for rental and you will be unable to offer your property for lease.
If you were to lease it, it would not meet the minimum standards and your renter could deem the issues as an urgent repair and have the works immediately attended to at your expense, if you refuse to take action. The renter can also rescind the lease or delay their move in and then claim compensation for things like hotel accommodation while you get the property up to standard. VCAT can also impose penalties that could cost you thousands of dollars.You may also void your insurance if you rent the property out and an accident happens. It’s just not worth the risk.
Under the new legislation renters can request evidence that essential safety services have been completed and an owner has 7 days to provide a receipt to show the works have been done. Under electrical services regulations, after completing any work the electrician must issue a safety compliance certificate confirming that the work was conducted in accordance with relevant safety laws. Property Managers will also require proof that rental properties do have the correct switchboard installed and should manage non-compliant properties.
If you are unsure of the status of your property’s switchboard, compliance or essential safety servicing requirement please reach out to one of our Barry Plant property managers who can provide you with accurate information and can organise an audit for you..
Advice from Energy Safe Victoria
Energy Safe Victoria advises that electrical workers upgrading rental properties must ensure switchboards are not energised before the work is inspected by a licensed electrical inspector. For more information visit Energy Safe Victoria
Information sourced in part from the REIV.