2 October 2017

Today is International Tenants’ Day, an event celebrated around the world, and the theme this year is Safety in Your Home, with particular emphasis on fire regulations and fire safety. The theme was inspired by the devastating and tragic fire in Grenfell Tower in London earlier this year.

We think it’s a good idea to think about fire safety at any time, so here are some useful tips to remember:

  • Make sure you have working smoke alarms, and they are installed properly.
  • Have an escape route from your home and test it with your family.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen, and know how to use it.

Remember, smoke alarms are compulsory in all rental properties, and have been since 1 July 2016. Both landlords and tenants are responsible for maintaining smoke alarms:

  • Landlords must make sure smoke alarms work at the start of each new tenancy.
  • Tenants must not damage, remove, or disconnect a smoke alarm, and need to replace dead batteries during the tenancy (if these are older-style smoke alarms with replaceable batteries).
  • Tenants must let the landlord know if there are any problems with the smoke alarms as soon as possible.
  • Landlords can enter a rental home to comply with smoke alarm requirements (after 24 hours’ notice) between 8am and 7pm.
  • Landlords and tenants could be fined up to $4,000 for not meeting their obligations.

In boarding houses, landlords must replace expired batteries in the common areas of boarding houses like hallways and kitchens, and tenants must replace expired batteries in their rooms.

Check out our website for more information about smoke alarms in rentals, and how to install them properly.

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