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New Smoke Alarm Obligations

By Teagan Sloane

24th February 2022

Homeowner's Obligations

It is a residential homeowner's responsibility to replace all existing smoke alarms that were manufactured over 10 years ago (from 1 January 2017) and replace the same with photoelectric smoke alarms that are compliant with Australian Standard (AS) 3786-2014.

Additional Obligations when Selling or Leasing your Home

From 1 January 2022, all residential homeowner's looking to sell or lease their property are required to ensure that the smoke alarms on the dwelling:

  • are photoelectric (the method the device uses to detect smoke);
  • do not contain an ionization sensor;
  • be less than ten (10) years old;
  • are hardwired to the main power supply with a secondary power source such as a battery (or be powered by a non-removable ten (10) year battery); and
  • are interconnected with every smoke alarm in the dwelling; and
  • be operational when tested

In addition to the above obligations, the smoke alarms must be installed in each hallway and bedroom in the dwelling. If your dwelling does not contain a hallway, the smoke alarm is required to be installed between the bedrooms and other parts of the level.

These obligations are also applicable to a landlord where an existing lease is to be renewed or otherwise at least once every twelve (12) months. In addition, a landlord is required to test, clean and replace any flat or nearly flat batteries in a smoke alarm within thirty (30) days of the renewal or start date of a lease.

Penalties for Failing to Install Compliant Smoke Alarms

A failure to comply with the new laws may result in a fine of $689.00 (5 penalty units) for each breach.  

Consequences of Non-Compliance under the REIQ Contract

For homeowner's looking to sell their Property with non-complaint smoke alarms, additional obligations apply.

Under the REIQ Contract of Sale, the seller is required to disclose in the Contract whether compliant smoke alarms are installed in the Premises. In the event the smoke alarms are not compliant, the Seller is required to install compliant smoke alarms by the Settlement Date.

If the seller fails to comply, the buyer may deduct 0.15% from the Purchase Price.

Further Information

Please contact Aman Bargri or Teagan Sloane should you require further information in relation to smoke alarm obligations or general advice on buying, selling or leasing your Property.

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