We have had some questions recently around the new 2022 smoke alarm legislation and the exact deadline.
– by January 1, 2022; or
– the beginning of a new lease from January 1, 2022?
“What happens if my tenant enters into a 12-month lease from 1st Dec 2021 – 1st Dec 2022?”
According to the legislation wording, it could be interpreted that you do not have to upgrade until a new lease begins from the 2nd of December 2022. However, we foresee some risk of exposure for landlords particularly if a tenant breaks lease or ceases to pay rent.
What if your tenants break lease
or stop paying their rent?
Due to slow uptake, Covid-19 product shortages, and a stretched labour market, industry is expecting significant shortages in labour and product as landlords rush to get their properties upgraded. This may force up the price for landlords but, more importantly, may mean a delay in getting the property upgraded.
Will your owners be able to claim on their landlord insurance for a break lease or unpaid rent if they have to wait to have their smoke alarms upgraded?
After speaking with our contacts in landlord insurance this remains unclear: “The time taken to install the smoke alarms would not be a defined event as per the PDS.”
REIQ and QFES recommend
upgrading before 1 January 2022
“The QFES strongly recommends upgrading early. The safety benefits are unquestionable, and lives will be saved. Yes, it’s true that there is a financial cost to upgrading but not upgrading has the potential to be totally devastating.”
Mark Halverson, QFES
“…if a lessor fails to comply with the smoke alarm requirements by the upcoming 1 January 2022 deadline, it will open up the lessor to potential action from the tenant for breach of the tenancy agreement.”
REIQ, 6 April 2021 “Smoke Alarm Compliance – What Could go Wrong”
Safety Watch have been planning for the 2022 legislation since it was announced, and we are working with our landlords and property managers to ensure their properties are prioritised and their risk mitigated.
Let’s remember why the 2022
legislation was introduced
On 23 August 2011, a house fire devastated a home in Slacks Creek, south of Brisbane. It tragically took the lives of 11 people, mostly children. It became the nation’s deadliest house fire.
“It is likely that some or all of the deaths would have been
prevented if sleeping occupants had been quickly awoken.”
Following the Coroners report, the 2022 legislation was introduced. The key to these changes is giving occupants early warning allowing for safe evacuation. This legislation will save lives.
Hopefully we have helped to clarify some of the issues around the due date for complying with the new smoke alarm legislation.
To recap, Safety Watch, along with QFES and REIQ recommend upgrading before the 1st January 2022 to mitigate risk for your landlords.
However, if your investors would still prefer to wait until the lease renewal in 2022 we will, of course be here to assist them. In this event, we urge them to contact their landlord insurance to ensure cover will remain in place.
If you would like to discuss this further or have any other questions around the 2022 changes to smoke alarm legislation please contact your Safety Watch CRM, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 1300 362 918.