Your obligations under the 2017 smoke alarm legislation and changes coming 1 January, 2022. 

Landlords are responsible for the installation of smoke alarms that comply with new Smoke Alarm legislation, introduced on 1 January, 2017. 

Existing smoke alarms manufactured more than 10 years ago, as well as any smoke alarms that do not operate when tested, must be replaced with photoelectric smoke alarms that comply with Australian Standard 3786–2014. 

Landlords and renters 

Within 30 days before the start of a tenancy in a domestic dwelling, the lessor/landlord must test and clean each smoke alarm in the dwelling. 

During a tenancy in a domestic dwelling, the tenant must test and clean each smoke alarm in the dwelling, at least once every 12 months. 

To test a smoke alarm, press the ‘test’ button. Cleaning should be done according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which is usually vacuuming. 

You do not need to be qualified or licensed to clean or test a domestic smoke alarm. 

Some real estate agents may outsource smoke alarm maintenance to another company with associated fees paid by the landlord.  The real estate may request a “certificate of compliance” from these companies as proof of service. This is not a legal requirement but may be part of the real estate agent’s internal process. 

 

If you are you renovating? 

From 1 January 2017, all new dwellings and those undergoing substantial renovation must install interconnected, photoelectric smoke alarms that are hardwired to the mains power supply (and include a secondary power source). Smoke alarms must be installed in each bedroom, connecting hallway, and on every floor of the dwelling 

 

If you are selling or leasing? 

From 1 January 2017, all dwellings being sold, leased or having an existing lease renewed must replace existing smoke alarms with photoelectric ones, replace faulty smoke alarms immediately, and replace existing smoke alarms if they are more than 10 years old with complying photoelectric alarms. 

From 1 January 2022  

Dwellings must have interconnected, photoelectric smoke alarms that are hardwired to the mains power supply (including a secondary power source). Smoke alarms must be installed in each bedroom, connecting hallway, and on every floor of the dwelling. 

As a landlord you are responsible for the installation of smoke alarms that comply with the legislation introduced 1 January 2017. 

Source and for further information: https://www.qfes.qld.gov.au/communitysafety/smokealarms/Pages/Landlords.aspx 

For NSW 

Requirements for landlords and agents 

  • Where a smoke alarm is not in working order, landlords and agents must ensure the alarm is repaired (this includes replacing a battery) within 2 business days. 
  • Landlords and agents must check smoke alarms every year to ensure they are working. 
  • Landlords and agents must ensure: 
  • smoke alarms are replaced within 10 years of manufacture, or earlier if specified by the manufacturer 
  • batteries are installed or replaced every year (or for lithium batteries, in the period specified by the manufacturer). 
  • Landlords and agents must give at least 2 business days’ notice to inspect or assess the need for smoke alarm repair or replacement, and at least 1 hour notice to carry out repair or replacement of a smoke alarm. 

Requirements for tenants 

  • Tenants must notify their landlord or agent if they discover that a smoke alarm is not working (this includes when the battery needs to be changed). 
  • Tenants must notify their landlord when they change a battery in a smoke alarm or engage a licensed electrician to repair or replace an alarm. The different circumstances where a tenant can change a battery or engage a licensed electrician are provided in the table below. This does not apply to social housing tenants. 

 

Source and for further information: https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/housing-and-property/key-changes-to-smoke-alarm-requirements-for-rented-homes