Landlords have obligations to uphold when tenancy changes in their property. Usually, the best opportunity for a landlord to review their property is when there is a change of tenancy or the renewal of a lease. Smoke alarms are often overlooked as part of this change. What might be perceived as a simple test between tenancies, can be complex, requiring testing, replacement of alarms, installation of new alarms and general maintenance.
Quantity and quality
The Building Code of Australia states that smoke alarms need to be positioned in the correct locations within the property. Most Landlords are not aware of the complexities surrounding correct positioning and quantity of alarms required. Alarms need to be in working order with no faults at changes of, or new tenancy.
Smoke alarm servicing
In line with any new tenancy agreement, smoke alarms need to be serviced and/or fitted before the start of tenancy as part of the Residential Tenancy Act. Landlords have multiple things to consider when maintaining smoke alarms with many legislative and Australian Standards to uphold. A few of the items to check are, batteries, alarm expiry dates and location.
New Batteries for a new start
Just as a new tenant or a new contract is initiated, a new smoke alarm battery should also be installed.
Australian Standard 3786 specifies that expiration date of smoke alarm(s) in a property must be checked to ensure they aren’t expired.
Maintenance is important - Dust build-up and insects may interfere with an alarms ability to properly detect smoke.
The Residential Tenancies Regulation (2010) states that the overall liability for properties' smoke alarms resides with the landlord. STRATA is no different, it is important not to assume that your property is compliant through STRATA's Annual Fire Safety Checks.
What can you do?
Regulate your smoke alarm compliance upon every newly established contract through a repeatable process, property checklist and review with landlords on compliance issues.
Smoke Alarms Australia, is here to help, by providing a specialist smoke alarm servicing program that helps stakeholders manage responsibilities on property compliance. Smoke Alarms Australia test, install and maintain smoke alarms to various state legislations and national building codes.
If you need more information and/or assistance with your property portfolio needs, please leave your name and email below and a member of our team will be in contact with you.