Landlords’ compliance with Queensland’s new smoke alarm legislation has been mixed, according to recent commentary.
The new legislation, which commenced on 1 January 2022, added several new requirements to the state’s smoke alarm legislation. The key new additions specified that smoke alarms must:
- Be installed in each bedroom as well as on each storey and in hallways that connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling;
- Be photoelectric, comply with AS 3786-2014, and powered by either 240 volts or a 10-year lithium battery; and
- Be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so they all activate together.
This is in addition to the state’s pre-existing requirements that smoke alarms are tested and cleaned within 30 days prior to each new lease or lease renewal and replaced every 10 years.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) had been urging landlords not to delay in updating their properties to the new standards as the deadline approached, particularly given that the industry was facing a shortage of skilled tradespeople able to make the upgrades.
Several months into the new laws coming into effect, the REIQ has flagged some issues with compliance, through its partnership with Smoke Alarm Solutions.
The industry body has said that while landlords have attempted to make the necessary changes, many systems are not up to code.
“Smoke Alarm Solutions are now attending properties for the first time following the commencement of the new legislation, where an upgrade was carried out by another provider and they are reporting a large number of non-compliant properties,” the recent post on REIQ’s website advised.
“Landlords who saved on their smoke alarm install by using a cheaper provider may now be in for a nasty shock when they are presented with the cost to rectify compliance issues.”
When the company identifies issues at a property they are attending to, they mark the home as non-compliant and provide a report detailing the works needed to rectify. Property managers are often then left to deliver the news to landlords that the system requires hundreds of dollars of rectification work.
In light of these issues, REIQ and its service partner advised property managers to be vigilant in ensuring landlords are on top of the new laws.
“Continued smoke alarm compliance is essential and that there are now additional factors to keep in mind,” REIQ said.