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Smoke detector check again after 6 months

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by striple, 9th Aug, 2015.

  1. striple

    striple Active Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm curious I signed these tenants on 4 months ago and at the time I paid something like $120 or $150 to get the smoke alarm tested and battery replaced... well the PM has sent me a letter asking for lease renewal and also recommendation for the the checks to be done again... is that right?
     
  2. Subodh Shirodkar

    Subodh Shirodkar Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    Having Smoke Alarms in place and working with regular check is your responsibility as a landlord. 4 months a bit early. Either through a good agency or via your PM you can set it up.

    My approach, for all our IP's I have made it clear that PM is responsible to have 100% compliance. They carry out regular checks i.e once in 6-8 months.

    I review and check as part our my Year end checks.
     
  3. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    In Brisbane I pay an annual fee and that covers every time it needs to be checked, including if a tenant leaves and a new one starts, and it has only been a few months. Are you paying a third party smoke alarm company? If so, they will spell it out in their paperwork or via a call.
     
    Tim & Chrissy likes this.
  4. striple

    striple Active Member

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    I thought it was once every 12 months... happy to have it done every 6 months if that's the requirement
     
  5. Ace in the Hole

    Ace in the Hole Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Why not sign up to an annual service if you can.
    I think it's about $75 or similar, and that covers annual checks and checks when new tenants move in, however many times that is.
     
  6. striple

    striple Active Member

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    i got it done through my PM when the tenant first went in... I'll have to check as I think it's a bit over the top
     
  7. striple

    striple Active Member

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    really i didn't know that... i'll have to double check... heck i paid at least $120 so it should cover it
     
  8. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Generally, the agent/lessor is required to replace the battery & ensure that the smoky is working at the start of each tenancy, in this case it is being renewed so it could be argued either way that there may be an obligation to ensure that the unit is working. Many of these testing companies offer an annual fee & unlimited callouts - check with the PM if this is the case or get them to sign up to a company which will do the free checks.
     
  9. lightbulbmoment

    lightbulbmoment Well-Known Member

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    HARDWIRE them no problems
     
  10. Bargain Hunter

    Bargain Hunter Well-Known Member

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    In NSW the LL is responsible for checking and testing at start of tenancy, with the tenant then responsible. Renewing of a lease is not a new tenancy and therefore the responsibility would remain with the tenant.

    This said, I still pay a yearly fee to have the checks done even though it is not my responsibility as I have previously experience with tenants being to lazy to replace the battery and smashing the detector with a broom.
     
  11. jaybean

    jaybean Well-Known Member

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    Nope, hardwired still have to be checked, there's a backup battery that could fail. Hardwired is a waste of money if you're buying for that purpose, but it does have other benefits (makes it harder for smokers to disable it).
     
  12. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    In NSW if the tenant is physically unable to change the battery then the tenant is required to notify the landlord as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the need for it to be replaced and the landlord is required to arrange its replacement.

    In you case, arrange for new batteries to be issued to the tenant with the written request that they are replacements for the existing one and are to be changed by the tenant.
     
  13. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    The rules apply to hard wired alarms too. They have batteries as backup.
     
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  14. Michael Thomas

    Michael Thomas Member

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    Hi.
    The renewal of a lease (new fixed term with start and end date in general tenancy agreement) legally constitutes a new 'tenancy' even though the tenants are the same (same 'occupancy') - two different legal terms. Therefore the landlord has legal obligations again prior to the lease renewal.
    In Qld this must be done within 30 days prior to the lease start/renewal date. In NSW the requirement is a little ambiguous with the requirement being "before the lease start/renewal date", but in most cases falls back to the status quo of 30 days which is considered to be a 'reasonable amount of time'.
    However none of the above applies when a fixed term tenancy rolls over into a periodic tenancy.

    Tenants are responsible during the tenancy.
    So with tenancy renewals there is an overlapping time frame where both landlord and tenants have legal responsibilities.

    The law also prohibits the transfer of these responsibilities between landlords and tenants.

    In cases where tenants cannot reach the alarm to replace a battery, the law makes no concession whatsoever. If the tenant for any reason cannot meet their legal obligations then the onus is on them to employ the services of someone who can and at their expense.
    No different to if an elderly tenant cannot climb on a chair to change a light bulb - it is not then the landlords responsibility to pay a handyman to attend to do it.
    What does an elderly or impaired person do if they cannot change the battery in a smoke alarm in their own home that they own? Call the local real estate to come do it for free? I think not.
    It has become quite the contentious issue, however the law is black and white.
     
    Last edited: 11th Feb, 2016
  15. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    Something to pass on for those in NSW. The NSW Fire and Rescue provides a Smoke Alarm and Battery Replacement Service for people over 65 or people with disability who have no-one to assist them.
     
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