There are certain jobs we procrastinate on. Taking out the rubbish, cleaning our ovens or those pesky wardrobe runners. However, there are some jobs that have far worse consequences than a little built-up dust. And that is to replace your smoke alarm battery.

Regular checks of your smoke alarm battery doesn’t just stop that constant beeping from keeping you up at night. It saves lives. It is the one device in your home that you should always have spare batteries on hand for.

As a landlord, you have certain responsibilities when it comes to ensure the effective installation and maintenance of smoke alarms in your rented properties. For tenants, it is also in your best interest to keep up with checking and acting upon smoke alarm batteries that have run their course. Get in touch with your property manager to let them know it needs attention.

Let’s revisit the NSW regulations on smoke alarms.

NSW Residential Tenancies Act Guidelines

  • Landlords are responsible for installing smoke alarms in rented premises.
  • Landlords have the right of access to rented premises to fit or maintain smoke alarms. They must give tenants at least 2 days notice.
  • Neither the landlord nor the tenant is permitted to remove or interfere with the operation of a smoke alarm fitted in the rented premises.
  • Where a smoke alarm is of the type that has a replaceable battery, it is recommended that the landlord put a new battery in at the commencement of a tenancy.
  • After the tenancy begins, the tenant is responsible for replacing the battery if needed. Fire and Rescue NSW can assist elderly tenants or those physically unable to change a smoke detector battery.
  • The condition report includes a specific reference to smoke alarms. It specifies that tenants and landlords are able to note and comment on the presence of smoke alarms at the beginning and end of the tenancy.
  • Lastly, residential owners who rent out their premises as holiday accommodation are responsible for installing smoke alarms and replacing batteries.

Source: (NSW Department of Fair Trading)

So make sure that replacing your smoke alarm battery is not on your to-do list. Make sure it is a priority as lives can depend on it.