Frequently asked questions

What is a periodic inspection?

A periodic inspection is an inspection and associated testing to check whether an electrical installation is in a satisfactory condition for continued service. On completion of the necessary inspection and testing, an Electrical Installation Condition Report will be issued detailing any observed damage, deterioration, defects, dangerous conditions and any non-compliances with the present-day safety standard which might give rise to danger.

Who should carry out periodic inspection?

Periodic inspection and testing should be carried out only by electrically competent persons, such as registered electricians.

I am a landlord, how often should I carry out electrical inspection?

Do you lease out a commercial or residential building? Well, did you know that you have to adhere to safety requirements, just like business owners? These are the electrical safety requirements for landlords (according to Energy Safe Victoria):

  • Prior to re-letting the property, ensure that all appliances are working properly and functioning safely make sure electrical appliances are inspected and cleaned to avoid fire and electrical hazards  (for example, clearing debris in ventilation and heating/cooling systems)
  • Ensure that electrical wiring, outlets, switches,  and residual current devices are in a safe and working order
  • Only allow a trained professional to conduct electrical or maintenance work to keep records of any work or maintenance to prove compliance

According to the Tenancy Check website, the following rules for electrical safety for landlords apply, the landlord must:

  • Ensure that all installations are working  (for example, gas/electricity/cooling/heating)
  • The landlord must ensure that all installations  are maintained and safe to use (this only applies to landlord owned appliances)

For more information about local legislation, visit your local government website or contact the Residential Tenancies Authority.

When do I need to rewire?

There are no set guidelines as to when a property should be rewired. Just because your wiring’s old, it doesn’t mean it’s unsafe. Many factors can affect the wear and tear of your electrical installation, including the materials used and how your property has been used. We would advise that a periodic inspection is carried out on owner-occupied properties at least every ten years and every five years in rented accommodation. The test will certify whether the electrics in a property are safe and tell you if anything needs upgrading. You should carry out regular checks around the house on the condition of your cables, switches, sockets and other accessories. If you notice anything unusual – for example, burn marks on plugs and sockets, sounds of ‘arcing’ (buzzing or crackling), fuses blowing or circuit-breakers tripping – get a registered electrician to check your electrics as soon as possible.

I have contacted my landlord on several occasions but they won’t do anything?

For more information about local legislation, visit your local government website or contact the Residential Tenancies Authority.

Does all the redundant and old wiring have to be removed?

When an electrical installation is rewired, it is good practice to remove redundant wiring. If this is not possible, any redundant wiring must be permanently disconnected from any electrical supply so that it doesn’t present a risk.