What Are A Melbourne Landlord’s Obligations Regarding Smoke Alarm Testing?

Smoke detectors are life-saving devices that detect smoke before any sleeping occupants. They have the potential to save lives and property by providing critical seconds to act. All Victorian homes are required to have smoke alarms.

Rental providers must ensure that smoke alarm testing devices are properly placed and functional (landlords). Renters must guarantee that they continue to operate, and if they do not, they must tell their rental business.

Rental Providers Are Required To Install Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are required in all Victorian houses, condos, flats, and townhouses. Rental companies are required to install smoke alarms in rented houses.

Buildings built after August 1, 1997, must have hard-wired smoke alarm testing devices with a battery backup. Buildings built before that date are allowed to have a battery-operated smoke alarm.

Rooming House Smoke Alarm Testing Devices

Smoke alarms must be hardwired in rooming houses. Learn more about how rooming house owners and operators must comply with gas and electrical safety regulations. A rooming house is a structure that rents out one or more rooms to groups of four or more people.

Broken Smoke Alarms Require Immediate Repair

If a rental provider or rooming house operator receives notification that a smoke alarm is not working, they must arrange for it to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. This should be done by someone who is qualified to do it. This may not always imply that the person is qualified.

Changing the battery in a smoke alarm, for example, does not require any particular training. A hard-wired smoke alarm must be installed by a licensed electrician.

The renter or resident can authorize and pay for an urgent repair of up to $2,500 if a rental provider or rooming house operator cannot be reached or does not fix the smoke alarm quickly. They must be reimbursed within seven days by the rental supplier.

Smoke Alarms And Renters

Residents of rooming houses and renters:

  • A smoke alarm must not be deactivated, removed, or interfered with in any manner. This is a violation of duty, and a rental provider or rooming house operator may issue a notice to vacate if a renter, resident, or visitor does so
  • If a smoke alarm is malfunctioning or not working, you must tell the rental provider or rooming house operator
  • When moving out, you should leave the batteries in the smoke alarm

The Smoke Alarm Requirements After March 29, 2021

These smoke alarm safety regulations related to:

  • Rental agreements signed after March 29, 2021
  • After March 29, 2021, fixed-term agreements of more than five years will become periodic tenancies

New rental agreements will now include renter and rental provider responsibilities for smoke alarm safety.

Smoke alarms must be provided by the rental provider:

  • are correctly installed and functional.
  • are tested at least once every 12 months according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Batteries should be replaced as needed.
  • As an emergency repair, they are repaired or replaced.

Renters must notify the rental provider in writing as soon as they discover a malfunctioning smoke alarm.

A rental provider must provide written information to a renter on or before the start of a rental agreement on how each smoke alarm works and how to test them.

They must also:

  • Avoid tampering with any smoke alarm.
  • Report a non-functioning smoke alarm.

Tanks Of Water In Bushfire-prone Locations

Water tank requirements apply to:

  • Rental agreements signed after March 29, 2021
  • After March 29, 2021, fixed-term agreements of more than five years will become periodic tenancies

For bushfire safety, rental units in bushfire-prone locations must include a water tank. If a water tank is needed for firefighting, the rental company must ensure that the tank meets the following requirements:

  • That any associated infrastructure is kept in excellent working order.
  • Is clean and full when the tenancy begins.

Smoke Alarm Testing With Landmark Inspections

Get in touch with Landmark Inspections today and schedule your smoke alarm testing today.