Electrical safety in rental properties

Property owners and managers have a duty under electrical safety laws to ensure their rental property is electrically safe for tenants and people that visit or work on the property.

Check out our guidance for tenants and property owners which covers safety switches, smoke alarms, maintaining electrical appliances and tingles and shocks from taps.

Safety switch requirements

Owners of domestic rental accommodation in Queensland must have a safety switch installed in their rental properties.


If your rental property does not have a safety switch, you must get one installed by a licensed electrician.

If a safety switch is not installed in your rental property you may get fines of up to $1,500.

Find out more about what an electrical licence looks like, and check whether your electrician is licensed.


The regulations ensure people in domestic rental properties have the same protection from electric shock that homeowners have. The law requires the installation of safety switches within three months of the sale of a domestic residence constructed prior to 1992.

If you do not believe a safety switch is installed at your rental property you can:

  • talk to your landlord or rental agent
  • call us on 1300 362 128.

How to identify if you have a safety switch installed.

More information

Watch our webinar recording to learn how to keep your rental property electrically safe.


Topics covered by ESO experts include:

  • Installing and testing safety switches.
  • Reporting issues to the ESO and electrical distribution entities.
  • Requirements for the sale and purchase of residential properties.
  • Your duties under section 38, 40 and 85 of the Electrical Safety Act 2002.
  • Your work health and safety obligations.

Speaker information

Michael Thompson
Michael Thompson, Electrical Safety Office

Michael is a Principal Advisor at the Electrical Safety Office, involved with regulatory strategy, organisation governance and proactive audit and engagement initiatives. Michael is a licensed electrician with over 25 years’ experience in various fields of the electrical industry including domestic, large commercial and industrial installations.

Michael’s previous roles have included Australian standards compliance, installation requirements and the management of federal government projects and contracts.

Paul Waltham
Paul Waltham, Electrical Safety Office

Paul is a Principal Legal Officer for the Electrical Safety Office and has been practising law for over 35 years. He joined the Office of Industrial Relations 18 years ago where he prosecuted breaches of industrial relations laws, before becoming an investigations manager for Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. Over the past five years Paul has specialised primarily in prosecuting breaches of the Electrical Safety Act 2002.

Donna Heelan
Donna Heelan, Electrical Safety Office

Donna is the Executive Director of the Electrical Safety Office and oversees the strategic delivery of electrical safety compliance, enforcement, advisory and support services across Queensland. Her role involves developing and enforcing standards for electrical safety and promoting improved safety performance in the wider community.

Donna is a member of the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council (ERAC), Chair of the Standing Committee of Officials, Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS), and holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management.

Electrical safety in rental properties - tenants guide
Electrical safety in rental properties – tenants guide
Electrical safety in rental properties - property owners guide
Electrical safety in rental properties – Property owners guide