Can My Real Estate Agent Dictate Who I Can Use?
DIYing your own Smoke Alarms can be a great cost saving exercise. The smoke alarm install company model is that they dictate terms to their ‘customer’ being the Real Estate agency. They give this blanket approach whereby they say they won’t make a property compliant if they’ve not installed their alarms.
A compliance certificate is something that is given by a certified electrician to show that the property is compliant with current legislation. However, if you’re not installing hardwired alarms (which must be installed by an electrician) and only require Wireless Photoelectric Interconnected Smoke Alarms, then it is not a legal requirement as long as you’re committed to testing and clean the smoke alarms annually or 30 days prior to a new tenant moving in.
A compliance certificate is what agencies ask for from their smoke alarm companies as proof of work completed.
Let’s use the example of a smoke alarm going off for no reason in the middle of the night and your Agent saying you'll be charged with call-out fees, replacement alarms etc. With a controller you (or your tenant) has the ability to locate and silence the alarm (for up to 8-10 hours) so you can then have it looked at in the morning.
As a landlord it’s totally up to you what type of smoke alarm you install (obviously to Australian Standard 3786:2014). However, if a smoke alarm company has your property manager over a barrel to sure-up their business, you’ll have to maintain the alarms yourself.