The compliance maintenance industry in Victoria has unique challenges due to strict state-specific legislation, a statewide shortage of properly qualified tradespeople and skyrocketing demand for mandatory services. To pick a service provider with the right solutions, here are 6 questions to ask.
1. Do you use employees or subcontractors? What is your capacity?
Demand for compliance maintenance services has skyrocketed in Victoria since the introduction of complex new regulations in March 2021.
Many service providers are now operating under pressure due to a shortage of qualified technicians to carry out the work required. If jobs are performed late, or a properly qualified person isn’t available, compliance will lapse.
Detector Inspector is one of the largest and longest-established compliance maintenance providers in Australia. We’ve risen to the challenge by partnering with a Registered Training Organisation to qualify our employees in-house, recruiting new employees and training them so that we continually expand our capacity and keep up with demand.
2. Can you provide a list of what’s included in your gas and electrical safety checks?
Changes to the Residential Tenancies Act increased the mandatory safety obligations for gas and electrical safety checks in properties in Victoria from March 2021. It’s important that you make sure your service provider is performing all the checks and services set out under the current legislation. Ask them to provide a list!
Detector Inspector has worked closely with the Victorian Building Authority and Energy Safe Victoria to develop a service that meets all the requirements outlined in the Residential Tenancies Regulations 2021. Comprehensive checklists of what’s included in our gas and electrical safety checks are freely available to download.
3. In addition to the service checklist, what are your inclusions and exclusions?
Pricing can be deceptive. Make sure you understand exactly what the provider includes in the service fee, and what comes at an extra cost. For example, are standard parts like replacement light switches added on to the service fee? What about labour for replacing these parts? Is there a warranty on the service and does it cover callouts between services if an item is faulty before the next compliance check is due?
Detector Inspector’s Safer Home subscription plans offer enduring compliance protection for a low, predictable flat fee. We include a 24-month warranty on services (until the next service is due), covering callouts for repairs between services. We also include free replacement of standard parts during services such as light switches, powerpoints, safety switches and thermocouples—on average $200 retail value worth of replacement parts during a regular service, at no extra cost!
Our subscription vs pay as you go explainer makes everything clear so our clients can make an informed choice about the most cost-effective way to use our services.
4. Do you actually service every appliance and rectify problems, or is it just a “check”?
While you’re asking about inclusions, make sure you clarify whether the service provider will rectify any issues at the property on the day. Some providers will do a thorough check and then slap you with the list of items that will need rectifying, at extra cost and hassle.
Detector Inspector checks everything and services standard issues (like replacing broken switches) on the spot. Occasionally a problem requires extra work—for example, relocating a gas pressure regulator may involve cutting into cabinetry, modifying piping and issuing a safety certificate.
For the occasional issue like this, Detector Inspector will quote transparently for the extra work and arrange a time to return. This way we take care of every non-compliance that comes to our attention during a service, rectifying them as soon as possible. We don’t just raise issues and leave them on your hands.
5. Do you complete earth continuity testing as part of every electrical safety check?
Earth continuity testing is a crucial component of an electrical safety test, but it’s recently become apparent that many service providers are skipping this step. Property managers and owners don’t know to ask about this so they unknowingly pay for a sub-standard service.
Protect yourself by asking potential providers: do you carry out earth continuity tests on all accessible power points? Do you supply photographic evidence of every test? And is the evidence automatically stored to prove compliance, in case of a safety incident at the property?
Detector Inspector not only does all of the above—we also provide free information on the required safety checks, so people aren’t left at the mercy of service providers to carry out the right test. Read our quick guide to earth continuity testing and never get caught out again.
6. How will you support us for urgent repairs? What is your service level agreement for urgent job requests?
With the new provisions relating to “Urgent Repairs”, renters can incur up to $2,500 in costs if the rental provider or agent doesn’t respond to their request.
After a thorough enquiry you should know whether urgent repairs between services are included in the provider’s fee. Cost isn’t the only consideration when it comes to urgent jobs. You should also ask about communication, time frames and the process for submitting an urgent job request.
Detector Inspector’s urgent jobs framework empowers our clients to understand the urgency level of their issue and lays out our commitments to assessing and attending the property within a time frame depending on the priority. Our clients can view the framework and submit an urgent request immediately using their personal agency portal or our online request form.
Find a service provider with the right solutions for your Victorian property.
Detector Inspector has decades of experience servicing Victorian homes and expert knowledge of the new state legislation. In consultation with Victorian authorities, we created the Safer Home plan to meet the unique needs of local property owners and managers. Ask us the 6 questions above and more to find the right solutions for your properties.