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Smoke alarms in rental properties

Property owner - maintenance, testing and cleaning smoke alarms

 

Removable battery alarms

 

At the beginning of a tenancy, property owners must make sure that:

 

  • alarms are working properly;
  • batteries are installed;
  • batteries have not reached their expiry date and will not expire within 30 days of the lease beginning;
  • alarms have not reached their expiry date;
  • alarms are free from dust and debris.

 

Mains powered smoke alarms

 

At the beginning of a tenancy, property owners must make sure that:

 

  • alarms are connected to mains power;
  • back-up batteries are installed;
  • back-up batteries have not reached their expiry date and will not expire within 30 days of the lease beginning;
  • back-up batteries are working properly;
  • alarms are working properly;
  • alarms have not reached their expiry date;
  • alarms are free from dust and debris.

 

During the period of a lease agreement, property owners must make sure that back-up batteries are replaced if:

 

  • batteries have not been replaced for 12 months;
  • if it is a 10 year lithium battery, and has been in use for more than 10 years;
  • the batteries have reached their expiry date;
  • the batteries no longer work properly or at all.

 

10 year non-removable battery alarms

 

At the beginning of a lease agreement, property owners must make sure that all alarms:

 

  • are free from dust and debris;
  • are working properly; and
  • have not reached their expiry date.

 

During the period of a tenancy, property owners must make sure that batteries are replaced if they:

 

  • have been in use for more than 10 years;
  • have reached their expiry date; or
  • no longer work properly or at all.

 

Repair of all types of smoke alarms

 

Property owners must make sure that smoke alarms are repaired or replaced as soon as practicable after becoming aware that the alarm has reached its expiry date or no longer works properly.  Under the Residential Tenancy Act 1997, a property owner needs to give at least 24 hours notice before entering the premises to undertake any smoke alarm maintenance or repairs.

 

The tenant is responsible for the replacement of removable batteries. However, from May 2016 all alarms must be hard wired or fitted with a 10 year lithium battery.