NSW Changes to Smoke alarm legislation

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Handyandy, 27th Mar, 2020.

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  1. Handyandy

    Handyandy Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Sutherland
    I had been expecting this for a while but just received notification from some PM's. Among all the other changes which are draconian one of the big changes is that it is no longer the responsibility of the tenant to change the battery and this puts the responsibility slap bang on the landlord.

    "If the repair involves replacing a removable battery
    in a battery-operated smoke alarm or a removable
    back-up battery in a hardwired smoke alarm, your
    tenant can choose to change it.
    They must notify
    you if and when they do this.

    You must also check the smoke alarms annually
    to ensure they are working.
    If a smoke alarm has
    a removable battery, you must put a new battery
    in annually
    or within the time set out in the smoke
    alarm manufacturer’s instructions. The whole
    smoke alarm must be replaced within 10 years from
    the date of manufacture or earlier if specified by
    the smoke alarm manufacturer."

    So my interpretation is that even though the tenant chooses to change the battery ( to save intrusion on the tenants live) the landlord must still check the smoke alarm annually.

    And of course we are again pushed towards the third party service provider.

    How much of this legislation was promoted by these third party providers? among other self interested parties.

    Further the set fee for braking lease is now broken into 4 parts :-

    "• 4 weeks rent if less than 25% of the lease had
    expired
    • 3 weeks rent if 25% or more but less than 50% of
    the lease had expired
    • 2 weeks rent if 50% or more but less than 75% of
    the lease had expired
    • 1 week’s rent if 75% or more of the lease had
    expired.
    The break fee does not apply if the tenant ends the
    agreement early for a reason allowed under the Act."

    https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/...010/608383/Landlord-information-statement.pdf
     
  2. Just_A_Name

    Just_A_Name Member

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    My agent just charge me $90 per year to get this smoke alarms cover. It is ridiculous amount for an $20 device
     
  3. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Are you taking the risk of the place not burning down this year and buying a few scratchies for self-insurance?
     
    Michael Mitchell likes this.
  4. adprom

    adprom Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Melbourne
    A couple of suggestions here (and I do and recommend this) is replace replaceable battery operated alarms with 240V li-ion backup batteries that last 10 years. Initial outlay is more expensive but cheaper long term for sure.

    In addition to this, what stops the landlord directly, or the PM doing the yearly yest of the smoke alarm at no added cost? Ideally during an inspection?

    When I was a tenant many years ago, the PM actually organised someone else to do the smoke alarm battery replacement and test anyway (although I don't see why a competent tenant can't do it - I think vic requires landlord to do it though).

    Re bond -
     
  5. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    There are many threads on this topic which a search will find - with plenty of opinions and answers already.
     
    Michael Mitchell and Handyandy like this.
  6. Just_A_Name

    Just_A_Name Member

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    Location:
    Sydney
    It feels like a excuse that the agent try to outsource the risk and make some money along the way.

    Also, If I have to worry about smoke alarm and have to change the battery myself, what I should pay for PM fee weekly? I solicit the PM service for the exact same reason.
     
    Last edited: 5th Apr, 2020 at 4:04 PM
  7. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    The PM is generally of the belief that this is beneath them, when it is really over their heads. :rolleyes:

    They don't bring a ladder, so can't press the button or check expiry dates (too hard to cross check with their records in the office). :confused: A broom handle can reach but you wouldn't want to impose on a tenant.

    Lastly, they don't believe that their insurances (WC, PL or professional indemnity) cover the risks of getting it wrong.
     
  8. Tony3008

    Tony3008 Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Docklands, Victoria
    I get stung for this as a LL. As a tenant, I was on the receiving end last year: inspector checked the date - more than ten years - then had to fix for an electrician to come in and replace the detector (mains hard wired) - probably cost them all the $99 (minus agent's clip). Of course they'll do OK for the next nine years ....