Regulations that came into effect in NSW in March 2020 made smoke alarm safety obligations on landlords and property managers mandatory.
On 23 March 2020, updated Residential Tenancy Regulations (NSW) came into force mandating increased obligations for landlords and property managers regarding smoke alarm maintenance including annual testing and battery replacement.
While the new legislation comes with an increased burden for property managers, it doesn’t have to. Detector Inspector clients can leverage our digital mailout system and contracts to sign up landlords with a minimum of fuss. Why not get in touch with your account manager to ask for an audit today? We can work with you to design an approach to get your landlords compliant, and your tenants safer.
Here’s a summary of the changes that came into effect in March 2020.
- Mandatory annual smoke alarm service
- Landlords are responsible for the urgent repair or replacement of smoke alarms
- Landlords are responsible for the replacement of batteries (at least annually)
- Landlords are obligated to replace alarms according to manufacturer instructions (requiring knowledge of the instructions for the specific brand and type of alarm)
Although tenants are permitted to arrange their own maintenance in some circumstances, the notification requirements for this are complex.
A new administrative burden
Under the new regulations, there are options for tenants to manage their own smoke alarm requirements under some circumstances. Unfortunately, instead of reducing the landlord’s burden, this could generate more administration with the potential for confusion.
Consider something as simple as a battery replacement. Under the new regulations:
- A tenant must notify the landlord of their intention to replace the battery, then replace it within 2 days;
- Once replaced, the tenant has 24 hours to notify the landlord that the replacement is completed; and
- If the landlord doesn’t receive the notification, the responsibility shifts back onto the landlord (and their property manager) to attend the property and replace the battery within 2 business days!
By working with Detector Inspector, we can ensure that you and your landlords remain compliant and your tenants are safer in their homes.