Smoke alarms are mandatory in those homes and other shared accommodation buildings where people sleep as specified in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 (NSW) (EPA Regulation).
Property managers (as agent for the landlord), landlords and tenants have specific responsibilities in regards to smoke alarms:
- Landlords must ensure that smoke alarms are installed and maintained.
- Neither the landlord nor the tenant are permitted to remove or interfere with the operation of a smoke alarm installed in the rented premises, unless they have a reasonable excuse to do so.
- Landlords have the right of access to rented premises to fit or maintain smoke alarms, providing the tenant has been given at least two days’ notice.
- Where the smoke alarm has a replaceable battery, it is recommended that the landlord fit a new battery at the beginning of a tenancy.
- Owners of residential property who rent out their premises as holiday accommodation are responsible for installing smoke alarms and replacing batteries.
The Regulation requires that smoke alarms:
- comply with Australian Standard AS 3786M5;
- be installed on or near the ceiling in every corridor or hallway associated with a bedroom or, if there is no corridor or hallway, between the part of the home containing the bedroom and rest of the dwelling.
The NSW Parliament has passed the Residential Tenancies Amendment (Review) Bill 2018 providing that only landlords can carry out repairs to smoke alarms, except for certain kinds of smoke alarms and repairs. A penalty will apply for landlords who fail to repair a smoke alarm.