Queensland's Smoke Alarm Legislation: is it a Deadline or Not?
If you didn’t see the press release from Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, The Honourable Mark Ryan released last week, there's a few contradictions.
No wonder landlords are confused.
The first sentence states: “Landlords are being encouraged to act now as the deadline for residential rental properties to comply with smoke alarm legislation looms”. Numerous phone calls we’ve had with QFES confirms that 1st January 2022 is a deadline.
However if you read on: Mark Ryan says from 1 January 2022, residential rental properties would be required to have interconnected, photoelectric smoke alarms installed in every bedroom, in hallways and on every level.
“The law applies when new leases are commenced or an existing lease is extended, but we urge all property owners to transition to the new safer alarms as soon as possible.”
But? So it’s not a deadline?
And then Mr Ryan says residential rental properties that didn’t comply with the legislation would be unable to be rented out from January next year.
Then Antonia Mercorella, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland states: “With only a handful of months left before every rental property must comply, make no mistake – there will be no extension to the deadline. Now isn’t the time to compromise on compliance – be ready by 1 January, 2022 or lose the right to rent your property.”Right, so there's the word deadline again.
Our takeaway from this – let’s assume it is a deadline, because you know what?
Should you be unfortunate enough to have a fire in your rental property from 1st January 2022 and NOT have interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms installed as per the legislation, you know your insurance company will fight tooth and nail NOT to cover you.