New Year New Rules

Domestic dwellings, or more particularly, the smoke alarms in domestic dwellings being rented or sold are now required to meet new standards.

Changes to the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 and the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 came into effect this month.

The changes call for domestic dwellings being rented or sold to contain smoke alarms which must be:

  • installed in each bedroom and on each storey and in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling;
  • photoelectric, comply with the latest Australian Standards and be powered by 240-volt power or a 10-year lithium battery;
  • interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so that they all activate together.

If a local government enters into a contract to sell a dwelling it must either ensure the smoke alarms are compliant with recent changes to legislation or be prepared to accept a penalty of 0.15% of the purchase price, payable to the buyer.

For dwellings being leased or rented or for the renewal of such agreements it is important that smoke alarms in dwellings meet the new standards. If they do not, not only will local governments be failing to comply with important state legislation but there could be exposed to certain risks including breaches of tenancy agreements or insurance risks.

If you have any concerns or queries in regards to these changes, contact our experienced property lawyers today on (07) 4052 0700.

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