Confusion around smoke alarms risking renters’ lives

Confusion around smoke alarms risking renters’ lives

by 2 comments

Confusion over who is responsible for replacing smoke alarm batteries in rental properties could put lives at risk, warns a prominent landlord insurance provider.

Terri Scheer Insurance says there is an obvious flaw in the smoke alarm maintenance process.

When it is time to change the clocks for daylight savings, households are urged to change their smoke alarm batteries at the same time. However, this is only required of landlords in South Australia, with the responsibility falling on tenants in other states and territories.

Terri Scheer Insurance said tenants could be unknowingly putting themselves at risk.

Terri Scheer Insurance executive manager Carolyn Parrella said it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure a smoke alarm is supplied and installed in their investment property at the commencement of a tenancy.

“While strata companies and body corporates assume responsibility for building maintenance in apartments and duplexes, generally this excludes maintaining smoke alarms,” Ms Parrella said.

Regardless of who is legally responsible for changing smoke alarm batteries, landlords should proactively ensure smoke alarms are in working order, she said.

“Putting your tenants’ safety first will also help you to protect your investment property.

“This could include sending a yearly reminder letter to tenants. Likewise, landlords may choose to change the batteries themselves once a year during rental inspections. This will help to provide peace of mind that their tenant and their investment are safe.”

Ms Parrella said the required number of smoke alarms differs from state-to-state, but it is better to be safe.

“Additional smoke alarms are a wise investment for landlords. Both new and old homes are susceptible to fire.”

promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
Listen to other installment of the Real Estate Business Podcast
reb top 100 agents 2017

With a combined sales volume of over $14 billion in 2017, the Top 100 Agents ranking represents the very best sales agents in Australia. Find out what sets them apart and learn their secrets to success.

featured podcast

featured podcast
How Peter Starr went from the top 100 to the top 10 in real estate

McGrath agent Peter Starr joins host Tim Neary for this episode of Secrets of the Top 100 Agents to unveil how he jumped a mammoth 57 place...

View all podcasts

Does the benefit of being part of a branded group outweigh the cost?

Yes
No
Depends on the group
Do you have an industry update?