Is this dodgy?

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Piage, 6th Mar, 2020.

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  1. Piage

    Piage Member

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    Hi guys,

    Last week I've received an email from the real estate agent who manages my property.

    The email was saying that on the 23rd on March 2020 there will be changes in some law and they wanted to arrange a fire alarm inspection to ensure we were going to be compliant.

    I've replied asking if the annual inspections our strata manager arranges were not enough to be compliant. Their reply was a very convoluted email that didn't actually answered the question but mentionws that they wanted to be sure we were compliant to make sure our landlord insurance would pay out in case of an accident. At the end they said the service was optional and I could opt out.

    So I called them and re-ask the question and they said that the strata inspection is enough to be compliant.

    Now, I know my strata does this inspection because I live in the same building. But if I didn't, I might have fallen for the scary email they sent me.

    According to a friend the real estate agent did the right thing. I think it was dodgy.

    What do you think?
     
  2. marmot

    marmot Well-Known Member

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    Our strata only does the common areas but not the individual apartments , thats the lot owners reponsibility.
    It really depends on the age of the apartment and the standards that need to be adhered to.
    A newer apartment block with monitored smoke detectors and a main fire fighting panel would be done by strata.
    Older blocks may have no central unit but the owners are responsible for the minimum standard of their lot.
    They can also change depending on the usage of the individual unit , some councils enforce a higher standard for short term holiday lets , as the occupants will be unaware of escape routes in the event of heavy smoke and usage of ovens and heating systems.
     
    Michael Mitchell likes this.
  3. Mel Morgan

    Mel Morgan Sydney Property Manager Business Member

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    There is a host of new legislation coming into effect on 23rd March in NSW, one change is more stringent responsibilities on owners for smoke alarm compliance.

    Its complicated in strata units where there are some that have no fire requirements at all, some that require common areas or 80% of units checked, some that are checked via pushing the button but do not fully test or check if batteries have been changed every 10 years.

    A smoke alarm compliance company will give you a certificate that gives you certainty, it is completely up to you but something I recommend to my owners.
     
  4. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    The info can be found here: Key changes to smoke alarm requirements for rented homes

    If strata's annual inspection extends to the smoke alarms within the premises, then you're meeting the annual testing requirements however you (or via the agent) are obliged to undertake replacements or repairs if the tenant notifies you of an issue.
     
    Michael Mitchell likes this.
  5. marmot

    marmot Well-Known Member

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    Just provide the real estate agent with a signed copy of the fire safety statement, that states your apartment is compliant to legislation and it meets all the standards.
    Just contact strata yourself , to confirm that each individual unit was also done , if you also live there , you would know that already, as they need to gain access to your property to perform the checks.
     
    Michael Mitchell likes this.
  6. Warren from Geelong

    Warren from Geelong Active Member

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    Smoke alarms are my most important risk factor as a PM business-owner. Our managing authorities have smoke alarm maintenance built-in so you can't be a client of ours without consenting to paying the $99 third-party annual fee to the professional smoke alarm company - that's how important this is to me.

    I'm not qualified to test and position a smoke alarm and neither are my landlords, so that fee is potentially life-saving.

    New laws are leaning toward making this compulsory. Also, $99 seems to be the going rate and the agent should not be receiving anything other than piece-of-mind for signing you up.
     
    Peter_Tersteeg likes this.
  7. Paul@PFI

    [email protected] Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Plus Member

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    Key changes to smoke alarm requirements for rented homes

    How would you know if a tenant has interfered with a unit ? Or modified the apartment so the alarm is not sufficient. Or a extra unit is installed not governed by the strata ? Many strata inspections do not include insection within each apartment which may fall outside the requirements.

    Many PMs take this seriously since THEY are also liable. They push the obligation they incur to owners and will likely offer a opt out offer and document this. Failure to follow process could involve tribunal costs and judgements as well as tenants using the 2 day rule to have work performed by emergency electricians at a high cost with no recourse.
     
    Michael Mitchell likes this.
  8. robboat

    robboat Well-Known Member

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    I wish that tenants could be charged for taking the 10 year lithium battery from the backup smoke alarm when they need a spare battery...
    I now put a small witness mark/tape to check if the alarms have been tampered with....
    It never ends...NSW nanny state.
    The joys of residential....
     
  9. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    How do you take the battery out of a sealed unit?


     
    Last edited: 10th Mar, 2020