What tenants need to know about smoke alarm maintenance in rental properties
Working smoke alarms or detectors are compulsory in all rental homes. Using tenancy services as a reliable source of information, here’s what you need to know.
Who is responsible for the maintenance of smoke alarms?
Both landlords and tenants share this responsibility as follows:
Landlords must ensure smoke alarms:
- are working at the start of each new tenancy,
- remain in working order during the tenancy
- not damage, remove, or disconnect a smoke alarm,
- replace dead batteries during the tenancy if there are older-style smoke alarms with replaceable batteries,
- let the landlord know if there are any problems with the smoke alarms as soon as possible,
What else should you know about smoke alarms?
- Smoke alarms must be installed within 3 metres of each bedroom door, or in every room where a person sleeps, in each level or story of a multi-story or multi-level home in all rental homes, boarding houses, rental caravans, and self-contained sleep-outs.
- All new smoke alarms must be photoelectric, have a battery life of at least eight years, or be hard-wired, installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and meet international standards.
- Existing smoke alarms do not need to be replaced if they are working, and have not passed the expiry date.
- If landlords don’t meet their obligations, they could face financial penalties of up to $4,000.
- If tenants don’t meet their obligations they could face financial penalties of up to $3,000.
If you have any queries about the smoke alarms in your rental home, talk to your landlord or to the property manager of your rental.