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Who is responsible for smoke alarms in a rental property?

Smoke alarms are a hugely important safety measure for your home, but who is responsible for installing and maintaining them in a residential tenancy? 

Smoke alarms are an inexpensive and incredibly effective way to protect your safety at home. They’re also mandatory if you plan to lease out your rental property in Canberra.

Who is responsible for installing and maintaining smoke alarms?

A lessor cannot enter into a residential tenancy agreement unless he or she has installed and maintained smoke alarms in the premises, according to the Residential Tenancy Act.

Smoke alarms must be on every story of a premises, as well as in hallways or corridors outside of bedrooms.

Any smoke alarms installed must comply with Australian Standard 3786, which outlines the requirements for smoke alarms, their labels, packaging and instruction. Smoke alarms can be batteries or hard-wired, so long as they’re functional and installed on or near the ceiling.

Tenants’ role in maintaining smoke alarms¬†

In the ACT, tenants are responsible for the maintenance of a property per the Residential Tenancy Agreement. Therefore, it’s up to tenants to replace the batteries in a smoke alarm whenever necessary.

To avoid miscommunication – or worse, a dangerous situation – it’s important for landlords and tenants to understand who is responsible for smoke alarms in a rental property.

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