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Essential Safety Measures and Victorian Landlords

Sarah Allen


In Victoria, landlords are responsible for the ongoing maintenance of Essential Safety Measures (ESM) such as Exit and Emergency Lighting and Fire Protection Equipment.

This was the determination by VCAT in the Advisory Opinion on Essential Safety Measures handed down on 1 May 2015.

The key elements are that:

  • A landlord must bear the cost of compliance with ESM obligations, and cannot pass these costs on to the tenant;
  • For some obligations, the landlord may agree with the tenant for the tenant to meet the requirements, but at the landlord’s expense;
  • More generally, the landlord cannot pass on to the tenant as outgoings the cost of complying with certain repair and maintenance obligations under the Retail Leases Act 2003.

The Victorian Small Business Commissioner has prepared an easy to following FAQ sheet which you can find here

You can find the whole listing of essential safety measures landlords are responsible for here.