When it comes to electrical work, DIY can be dangerous and expensive. To ensure rental properties are maintained to a professional standard, changes to the RTA (VIC) from March 2021 mandate that electrical safety checks and services must be carried out at least every 2 years by a licensed electrician.
It’s tempting for landlords to think that DIY is cheaper and less hassle than hiring a tradie. Property managers and landlords need to be aware of their responsibilities and the risks of unlicensed electrical work. Here are five reasons electrical work should only be carried out by a qualified electrician, plus the low-down on new electrical safety legislation.
1. It’s safer.
DIY can be dangerous: Energy Safe Victoria warns don’t DIY! Electrical accidents injure or kill more than 800 Victorians every year. An average of 75 of these incidents involve children at home. Detector Inspector has serviced thousands of rental properties, and we’ve found that at least 1 in 10 properties has a critical safety issue at the first service that represents a significant risk to tenants. Electric shock can cause permanent burn injuries to the skin and damage internal tissues, vital organs and the nervous system. Electrical faults can also cause house fires. DIY domestic electrical work exposes landlords and tenants to a risk which can be fatal. It’s not worth it!
2. It’s cheaper.
DIY doesn’t really save money in the long run. Landlords might resist paying somebody to do something they can do for free, but DIY doesn’t come with a professional guarantee that the work will last months or years. Quick fixes and patch-up jobs don’t replace a full, regular service: it’s easy for DIYers to overlook wear and tear, leading to the replacement of expensive parts or even the entire system which could have been avoided. Paying a fixed low, annual fee for a complete electrical safety service means landlords can plan for a set budget and are more likely to avoid major surprise expenses.
3. It saves time.
DIY is tricky and time-consuming. Without professional electrical training, DIYers are relying on google and YouTube videos to diagnose and fix electrical problems. It’s a minefield! Trying to repair a problem if you’re not sure what you’re doing is time-consuming and can create a bigger issue than what you started with. Plus, without regular checks and services, new issues will keep cropping up. Keeping the property’s electricals regularly maintained by a licensed professional will save landlords time and issues year-round.
4. It’s done right.
DIY usually involves a bit of guesswork. Professional electricians have the proper equipment and knowledge to pinpoint the precise nature of an electrical problem. Without the right gear and experience, DIYers are working in the dark and risk making mistakes. Making the wrong diagnosis or trying to improvise a fix puts the DIYer at risk of injury and even death. And faulty work that hasn’t been checked by a licensed professional could cause an accident later on, harming the people living in the home. Always hire a properly licensed electrician and get the job done right, first time.
5. It meets legal standards.
DIY done by a non-qualified person can have legal consequences. Minor chores like changing a light bulb can usually be done without too much fuss. But did you know there are fines of up to $100,000 for doing wiring without a license? And if electrical work performed by an unlicensed person leads to injury or death, the person who did the DIY faces up to two years jail time. Don’t risk it! Property managers and landlords have a duty of care to ensure the electrical work carried out at a rental property is done to a professional standard to keep occupants safe. To avoid the risk of legal exposure, only allow a licensed professional to touch the electrics.
Tougher rules on electrical safety: New responsibilities for landlords and property managers
From 29 March 2021, changes to the RTA (Vic) will represent tighter rules on electrical safety. Under the new legislation, an electrical safety service at least every two years will be a mandatory requirement for rental properties in Victoria. The services must be carried out be a licensed or registered electrician and apply to all electrical installations, fittings and appliances.
Renters will also have the right to request the date of the last safety service for both gas and electrical. If the last check has not been conducted within two years of a new renter taking up occupancy of a property, there is an obligation to have the service conducted as soon as practicable. Organising services and keeping appropriate records to meet the new legislation represents a huge administrative burden for property owners and managers.
The hassle-free solution for safer homes
Detector Inspector has created a tailored solution that’s safe, affordable and saves time and hassle. Victorian properties enrolled in our electrical safety service undergo a full safety check every two years, completed in accordance with all applicable standards, codes and legislation. (See what’s included here.)
Our system automatically rolls over the service to ensure that all properties are kept up to date and compliant year-round, with minimal administration for property managers. A predictable, low annual fee allows landlords to budget with no surprises.
Our safer home package for Victorian customers bundles electrical services with mandatory gas and smoke alarm services for a single fee, saving even more money and the hassle of dealing with multiple service providers.
Landlords—don’t be tempted to DIY. Property managers—don’t let them! For complete compliance coverage and peace of mind, contact Detector Inspector by completing the form below and see how our electrical safety service beats DIY, every time.