Removable battery alarms
Tenants must ensure that batteries for removable battery alarms are replaced, if the batteries:
Have not been replaced for 12 months or more since the tenancy commenced;
No longer function effectively or at all; or
Have reached their expiry date, more than 30 days after the tenancy commenced
Mains powered smoke alarms and 10 year non-removable battery alarms
Tenants are not responsible for the replacement of batteries providing back up for mains powered smoke alarms, or in 10 year non-removable battery alarms.
Maintenance and testing of smoke alarms
During a tenancy, every six months tenants are required to:
Test all smoke alarms installed at the premises; and
Remove any dust and debris from the smoke alarms.
Failure or malfunction of a smoke alarm
Where a smoke alarms fails or malfunctions, for reasons other than the failure of removable batteries of the mains power supply, a tenant must notify the owner as soon as practicable after becoming aware of the failure or malfunction.
The Act makes it an offence to remove, or interfere with the operation of, a smoke alarm in tenanted property, except where alarms are removed for the purposes of repair or replacement. The Act also imposes penalties for failure to comply with these provisions.
Where it is not practicable to install a smoke alarm on or near the ceiling, the regulations permit a smoke alarm to be installed in a place where it will, if activated, alert people in the property to the presence of smoke.
The Act clarifies that where a rental property is subject to the control of a body corporate under the Strata Titles Act 1998, an owner is not require to obtain permission from the body corporate in order to install a smoke alarm in accordance with the Act.
The Act also authorises the Residential Tenancy Commissioner to make an order requiring a party to a residential tenancy agreement to comply with a provision of the Act.
Please Note The information in this document is correct as at 5 April 2013.
The information provided here is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. No responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions it may contain. For precision, reference should be made to the Residential Tenancy Amendment (Smoke Alarms) Act 2012 and the Residential Tenancy (Smoke Alarm) Regulations 2012.