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Smoke Alarms Australia

Discussion in 'General Property Chat' started by magma, 9th Nov, 2015.

  1. magma

    magma Active Member

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    Has anyone else's REA been pushing this company? I have confirmed they are not government mandated but if you choose not to sign up, they want you to sign a declaration.

    in Victoria:

    It is the tenants’ responsibilities to notify the landlord or owner if a smoke alarm is faulty or not in working order and when they move out, they should leave the premises, including smoke alarm batteries, in a similar state to when they moved in.

    Personally, as a landlord, I don't think this service is necessary at all. REA passing the responsiblity to someone else?

    It's 99 a year to replace and monitor the alarms.
     
  2. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    What is required under the lease? In NSW there's a requirement to replace batteries at commencement of a new lease. Is $99 too much to pay annually for a call out fee (some places offer free call outs).
     
  3. dan2101

    dan2101 Well-Known Member

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    I actually used to work for the company so any specific questions about the service I'd be happy to answer.

    I've noticed there's a clause in a lot of management agreements where you actually have to 'opt out' of the service rather than opt in. It's a bit sneaky really. When you have multiple properties it does add up.
     
  4. Purple Patch

    Purple Patch Well-Known Member

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    I have always wondered if they actually test the operation of the detection system ie via fake smoke, or do they simple push the test button and test the operation of the battery and the beeping alarm.
    If it is the second operation, how do you know if the alarm actually works in case of smoke being present?
    Cheers
    PP
     
  5. magma

    magma Active Member

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    Just spoke to my REA (I hate being pitched on)

    I asked him, if Smoke Alarms Australia did not exist, who would have been doing what they are doing? He told me that there's another company who they used to use and they charge more than these guys. Then when I told him that I was not signed up with them, he was like, you should have been... blah blah blah...

    In the end he left it up to me to decide, peace of mind etc... the whole sales pitch went on.

    The big question is, are these guys necessary, it is 100% tax deductible according to him so does that mean you get the the whole amount back and in exchange, you'll never have to fork out anything for batteries and any smoke alarm related expenses.

    Does this mean each Real Estate Company has a smoke alarm monitoring company?
     
  6. dan2101

    dan2101 Well-Known Member

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    It's pretty black and white. The real estate agents are getting kick backs. I used to 'service' 4 houses an hour and on average would have been in each residence 2-3 minutes. Driving between the jobs took the most time. We have a can of 'smoke' to test the alarms. I'm pretty sure you can purchase it online for a couple of dollars.

    Off fair trading it is the responsibility of landlords to ensure there are smoke alarms correctly installed in the premises (minumum of 1 per floor). If you ensure the alarm is in date, test using the 'test' button and put in a battery at the commencement of a new tenancy you have fulfilled your obligations. It is the tenants responsibility to change batteries. Most alarms should have a used by date printed on them (usually 10
    Years). Always install photoelectric smoke alarms.
     
  7. dan2101

    dan2101 Well-Known Member

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    Here you go.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Lil Skater

    Lil Skater Well-Known Member Business Member

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    As a REA and also someone that has used smoke alarms Australia in my business i will say that I didn't get kickbacks.

    The reason I'm in the middle of changing companies is because I felt the way they set "appointments" with tenants was ridiculous. Quite literally they would only send an entry notice and it would be for "between 9am and 5pm". I don't like that and I assume neither would my tenants, so I'm changing.

    The laws are different in each state, but where I am (Vic) it is still the owners responsibility to change batteries between tenancies, and tenants responsibility to change batteries during.

    I suggest having the service because it covers unlimited call outs and alarms (depending on company), but I understand if some owners do not wish to sign up. As a PM and business owner I would prefer it, but I don't push it and I don't have anyone sign a (non-binding one would assume) waiver.

    If you don't want it, don't have it. They can't do anything if you don't sign the waiver either.
     
  9. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    I wasn't offered any kickbacks either :( not even a freddo frog, ripped off big time.

    I don't offer this product to my clients because:
    1. You can get an electrician to replace or fix a smoke alarm as it occurs rather than paying $100 every year whether you need it or not - if my landlords want an annual service insurance policy and compliance, our electricians provide that for them directly so we don't need an external company.
    2. I don't touch anything that has fear based marketing. "your house is going to burn down and cost you..." Most people are wired to respond to fear and loss and this marketing works when tested against positive messages, but it is a put off for me!
     
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  10. dan2101

    dan2101 Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm sounds like things have changed. Haven't worked there for a couple of years. Appointment times used to be quite strict too. Had to be there within 15 minutes of the scheduled time. They've probably expanded a lot so maybe standards have slipped.

    If your IP is in a different state I reckon they're worthwhile at the start of a new tenancy but if you live close by id look after them yourself. It's not rocket science.
     
  11. AlbertWT

    AlbertWT Well-Known Member

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    Well it is $79 in QLD, so I wonder if there is anyone in QLD knows cheaper provider ?
     
  12. magma

    magma Active Member

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    Thanks for the input everyone, I've flagged messages from them as spam.
     
  13. S.T

    S.T Well-Known Member

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    Just get the 10 year battery alarms, set and forget. Make sure in the lease, tenant regularly tests the alarm according to the manufacturers instructions.
     
  14. magma

    magma Active Member

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    @ S.T

    I'll have a look at these, I'm assuming this has to be fitted by an electrician?
     
  15. DiligentPM

    DiligentPM Well-Known Member Business Member

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    Diligent has never been offered, nor would accept kickbacks from any smoke alarm agency...our landlords decide what they want to do...if we coordinate small renos we often get the sparky working on the IP to test and replace batteries without an extra charge; some landlords do it themselves; some choose a smoke alarm company (we offer our landlords information on different companies and they make a choice) - personally, we stopped our service for our IPs in Brisbane and test and change batteries ourselves at the end of each tenancy...
     
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  16. S.T

    S.T Well-Known Member

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    I'm not selling anything
    Nah, anyone can fit. if the manufacturer doesn't specify where the alarms should be located in the property, the MFB website has some basic information.

    Smoke Alarms - Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board