It’s an exciting time to invest in property that you’re planning to rent out to others. When it’s done correctly, it can mean a major change in lifestyle and a more secure property investment in the long term. A city like Melbourne that attracts countless new residents looking to start businesses and careers is an ideal place for such an investment, but it’s not just a case of buying a property and signing a lease with a tenant. There’s a bit more to consider first.
One critical step to take is getting rental safety inspections for landlords in Melbourne. These inspections simply cannot be ignored, and involve three key areas: electrical safety, gas safety, and smoke alarms. Below we’ll explain the importance of each key area.
Electrical Safety (Once Every 2 Years)
The first area inspected is the electrical systems to ensure that they are in compliance with government regulations and safety standards. The test involves checking and testing the switchboard, power outlets, light switches, and roof wiring, all resulting in a detailed safety and compliance report from a Grade-A electrician.
Two of the most common things that these inspections throw up are the presence of faulty electrical wires, or overcrowded wiring. Electrical issues are responsible for up to 30 percent of house fires in the state of Victoria, so it’s clear to see why these highly qualified inspectors are keen to ensure that everything is up to code.
Other common electrical issues include exposed wiring where protective coatings have worn away, leaving people exposed to wire with raw electrical current running through it. This is dangerous to any resident, young or old. Some Australian homes also still have old-fashioned K&T (knob and tube) wiring, something that predates proper electrical insulation. If this is found, it has to be removed and replaced with proper insulation,
Gas Safety (Once Every 2 Years)
If you thought electrical wiring problems were dangerous, then just wait to see what can happen when you miss a gas inspection. VBA-registered Grade-A gasfitters are sent in to check all gas line pressures, perform carbon monoxide tests, servicing and testing of all gas appliances (including negative pressure testing), all to produce a detailed compliance report.
So, what would it mean to miss one of these inspections? Most importantly, as with the electrical safety inspection, missing the gas inspection would render your home not safe for habitation. Carbon monoxide leaks can start small, but can quickly take over a living space and become deadly. The most dangerous thing about this gas is that it’s both odourless and colourless, and symptoms of poisoning start as mundane things that people won’t automatically connect to carbon monoxide: headaches, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, etc.
Furthermore, faulty gas plumbing in your property means that your home could essentially become a major explosion hazard, a deadly risk not just for your tenants, but all the surrounding neighbours in their own properties as well, especially in a crowded downtown apartment block. These are things that you can’t afford to tinker with yourself or perform DIY maintenance on.
Smoke Alarms (Every Year)
Finally, we come to the annual smoke alarm check. For these inspections, a Grade-A electrician will check that you currently have smoke alarms in all the right locations in the property. They will conduct a smoke test and a decibel test to make sure the alarm is as loud as it should be. They’ll also usually clean the alarms and change their batteries.
Smoke alarms are the first line of defence that you have against fires at your property. They help to ensure that all residents can safely exit from a fire before it spreads and becomes even more dangerous. They’re a simple, affordable and standard piece of equipment, making the annual inspection a very worthwhile investment.