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Victorian Government's WARNING landlords and tenants

MELBOURNE, 13 APRIL. The Victorian Government has issued a safety alert regarding four types of open-flued gas log space heaters. These are the:

Regency i31 supplied by Fireplace Products Australia Pty Ltd

Regency F38 and FG38 supplied by Fireplace Products Australia Pty Ltd. The F38/FG38 was branded Masport prior to 2006

Nectre 2000 (manufactured after 2007) supplied by Glen Dimplex Australia Pty Ltd

Real Flame Pyrotech (manufactured after 2012) also supplied by Glen Dimplex Australia Pty Ltd.

If you have a rental property that is fitted with one of the above heaters, you must contact the supplier immediately to arrange a check by a qualified gasfitter. Laboratory tests show that under certain circumstances, these heaters produce too much carbon monoxide, which poses a potential poisoning risk. You can read the full safety alert, which includes photos of the affected models, on the Energy Safe Victoria website.

If your rental property has one of these heaters, you must:

tell your tenant to stop using the heater until it has been tested by a qualified gasfitter, and

contact the relevant supplier to arrange for a qualified gasfitter to check the heater.

Contact the relevant supplier, who will arrange and meet the cost for a qualified gasfitter to carry out a safety check.

If your rental property has one of the Regency models, contact Fireplace Products Australia at or on 1800 860 660.

If your rental property has a Nectre 2000 or Real Flame Pyrotech, contact Glen Dimplex Australia at or on 1300 014 389.

Meanwhile, you must tell the tenant to stop using the heater immediately. It can only be used again once the gasfitter has checked it and confirmed that it is safe.

If the problem is related to the reason for the safety alert (that is, the heater is unsafe because of a carbon monoxide poisoning risk) then the supplier will be responsible for the costs. If there are other problems not connected to the safety alert with the heater, then the property owner is responsible for the costs, pending any warranties that may still be in effect. You will need to discuss this with the supplier.

As a landlord/property manager, you are responsible for ensuring that the rental property is maintained in good repair. While your tenant is waiting for the heater to be checked or repaired, you should:

provide an alternative heating source to tide the tenant over. or

temporarily reduce the rent to reflect that the property has reduced amenity while it is without safe heating.

You must respond to requests for urgent repairs immediately. Urgent repairs include:

failure or breakdown of any essential service or appliance provided by a landlord or agent for hot water, water, cooking, heating, or laundering

any fault or damage in the premises that makes the premises unsafe or insecure.

For information and advice about gas appliance safety for tenants and residents, visit the Gas appliances page on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.

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