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Smoke alarms – What landlords need to know

Smoke alarms may seem like a basic piece of equipment but, for landlords, the consequences of not providing a working smoke alarm can be catastrophic. 

It’s important to understand what your responsibilities are as a landlord when it comes to smoke alarm rules and regulations.

Changes to the residential tenancy laws on 23 March 2020 are extremely significant from a landlord’s perspective as there is more accountability in relation to how smoke alarms are managed in rental properties.

For some landlords who have taken on the responsibility of maintenance themselves in the past, this new legislation now requires them to do more.

What does it mean for the landlord?

  • Where a smoke alarm is not in working order, landlords must ensure the alarm is repaired (this includes replacing a battery) within 2 business days.
  • Landlords must check smoke alarms every year to ensure they are working.
  • Landlords must ensure smoke alarms are replaced within 10 years of manufacture, or earlier if specified by the manufacturer.
  • Landlords must ensure batteries are installed or replaced every year (or for lithium batteries, in the period specified by the manufacturer).
  • Landlords 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.

Read more on the Fair Trading NSW website.