Electrical Safety Tips for Landlords

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Business Advice: Electrical Inspections

If you own a business, you will understand that you cannot operate without power. If your electricity supply fails, you will not be able to operate your computer, your cash register or the air conditioning and lighting systems. That is why it is so important to have the electrical system in your business checked and repaired from time to time. I didn't know the first thing about the wiring and fuse boxes in my office until I called in a professional electrician. He made sure that everything was working as it should be. I am really happy and I wanted to pass on some advice to other business owners.


Electrical Safety Tips for Landlords

6 December 2017
 Categories: , Blog

As a landlord, you are required to ensure that your property meets certain electrical safety standards. Even if a real estate agent or building manager oversees the day-to-day operation of the tenancy, it's still recommended that you confirm these standards are met. This ensures that you have met your obligations should any situation resulting from problems with the property's electrical components arise. While a real estate agent or building manager might oversee any legal obligations pertaining to electrical safety in the property, the responsibility for any electrical safety features falls on your shoulders when you directly rent the property to the tenant. So what are some of the things you need to consider?

A Comprehensive Inspection

How long has it been since an electrical safety audit has been performed on the property (if ever)? Certainly, a cursory inspection will have been undertaken each time the property is vacated, although this might only uncover cosmetic damage to any electrical fixtures. If the property is an older one (with wiring of a commensurate age), then it can be beneficial to arrange for an electrician to perform such an inspection, just to ensure that the property's circuitry is in good working order.

Safety Switch Requirements

It varies depending on which state or territory the property is located in, and yet safety switches can be mandatory for rental properties in some parts of Australia. Power circuits, lighting circuits, and even electrical outlets might require these safety switches. Check with the residential tenancies authority (or equivalent body) in your state or territory if you're unsure. This is particularly pertinent if you have owned the property for some time, as legislation might have changed.

Smoke Alarms

Likewise, you should also check your obligations with regards to the number of smoke alarms that the property requires. The Building Code of Australia dictates the number and and specific placement of alarms required for each classification of building. Ensure that your smoke alarms are up to code. Only a qualified electrical services company should install hardwired smoke alarms, although if you opt for alarms that are powered solely by batteries, the replacement of these batteries (as per the manufacturer of the alarm's instructions) must be incorporated into your scheduled maintenance of the property.

While you don't want your tenants to be endangered by any electrical problems that might arise in the property, ensuring that all the property's electrical components are at an appropriate level is also a necessary protection for your investment.