Queensland landlords must ensure they have electrical safety switches installed in their residential rental properties by February next year, under new state regulations.
From 29 February 2008, owners of residential rental accommodation throughout Queensland will be legally required to have safety switches installed in all rental properties, where a residential tenancy agreement is in place.
Employment and Industrial Relations Minister John Mickel said the new regulations required safety switch protection for all power points in all rented accommodation.
“The new regulations ensure that rental owners are held accountable for the safety of those living in their investment properties. Equally, tenants need to be aware of the regulations that safeguard their own personal safety,” Mickel said.
“Safety switches operate very, very quickly – in the blink of an eye, in fact – disconnecting the electricity before enough current has passed through a person to cause injury or death.”
Safety switches have been mandatory in all newly built homes in Queensland since 1992, although existing landlords of already built properties have not been required to install them. Landlords who purchased a rental property without a safety switch were required to have one installed within three months of taking ownership.
"These [new] regulations have been developed to protect tenants and landlords,” Mickel said, explaining that landlords who do not comply by 29 February 2008 could be liable for fines and prosecution.
He added that tenants should “take particular care when viewing a property to ensure safety switches are in place”.
“If this is not obvious, they should check that the switches will be installed before an agreement is finalised,” he said.
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