Advice is general in nature, consult a legal practitioner for your specific circumstances.

Gas heater repairs

Gas appliance safety

All gas appliances should be tested and maintained by a licensed gasfitter at least once every two years. Find out more on the Energy Safe Victoria website.

If you are unsure if your gas heater is safe, we recommend asking your landlord to get it tested for safety.

Safety alert: gas log fires

On 4 February 2019, ACCC issued a new safety alert for gas log fires. These gas log fires can produce too much carbon monoxide, an odourless, colourless gas that is very dangerous and can be fatal.

The gas log fire models are:

  • Regency (Model I31 or F38/FG38 – previously supplied by Masport),
  • Real Flame Pyrotech and
  • Nectre 2000

You are advised to stop using the heater and follow the steps below.

Regency F38 FG38 gas heater

Regency I313 gas heater

Nectre 2000 gas heater

Real Flame Pyrotech gas heater

Safety alert: Vulcan and Pyrox gas heaters

In March 2018, Energy Safe Victoria issued a safety warning for Vulcan Heritage and Pyrox Heritage open-flue gas heaters.

The Vulcan Heritage and Pyrox heaters models of open-flue gas heaters have been reported to leak carbon monoxide.

Exposure to this colourless, odourless and tasteless gas is very dangerous and can be fatal. Anyone who has one of these models of gas heaters is advised to stop using it immediately and follow the steps below.

Pyrox heritage gas heater

Vulcan heritage gas heater

I rent through an agent or private landlord

Contact your real estate agent or landlord to request an inspection and service from a qualified gasfitter.

As these heaters are unsafe unless serviced, this should be considered an urgent repair and your agent or landlord must respond immediately.

If your agent or landlord do not respond, you can either:

  • Apply for an urgent repair order at VCAT. All applications for urgent repairs must be heard by VCAT within two (2) business days, or
  • Make your own arrangements to have a qualified gasfitter inspect and service your gas heater and be reimbursed up to $1,800 (including GST). We recommend getting 2-3 quotes, as you will need these to prove that the costs to be reimbursed are reasonable.

To claim reimbursement if you make your own arrangements, issue a Notice to Landlord describing the repairs that were done and provide a copy of the invoice. You should receive reimbursement within fourteen (14) days of providing the notice. If not, you can apply to VCAT for reimbursement.

There is always a risk that VCAT will not consider the service to be an urgent repair if that’s disputed by the landlord, so applying to VCAT is usually a safer option. Make sure to keep a record of any attempts you make to contact the agent or landlord.

Visit our repairs page for more information on urgent vs non-urgent repairs.

I rent public housing

The Department of Health and Human Services Victoria (DHHS) have a program in place to replace Vulcan Heritage and Pyrox Heritage open-flue gas heaters.

All these heaters should have now been disconnected. If this has not occurred, contact DHHS on a 1800 148 426.

If your energy bills are direct-debited from your account, you should contact your energy supplier to advise them if your bills are too high and they can make different payment arrangements. The Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (1800 500 509) can help you deal with your energy supplier if there are any problems.

All affected residents should have been offered temporary heating (i.e. a portable oil column heater). DHHS will provide a rent reduction of $302 in a lump sum payment to help renters pay for the additional costs associated with the temporary heaters. The payments are planned for September and November.

If you pay your rent by Centrepay then DHHS will just deduct less money from your account for one or two payments to provide the rent reduction. You should check your rent statement.

If your overall energy costs are higher than the $302 or you incur additional costs (for example, using a laundromat to dry your clothes because you can’t dry them in front of the heater), you may be entitled to compensation. Contact your local DHHS office to discuss your claim. We recommend keeping records of the costs incurred, including copies of your receipts or bills from the same time period last year for comparison.

If you are not satisfied with how your claim is being handled by your local DHHS office, you can apply to VCAT for compensation within six years from the date the extra costs were incurred.

For more information see: Assistance for public housing tenants affected by interruption to gas heating service (DHHS website).

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