Regulations came into effect in NSW in March 2020 have increased the mandatory smoke alarm safety obligations on landlords and property managers. Find out what’s changed and the solution you need to be compliant before it's too late.

Just before Christmas 2019, the updated Residential Tenancy Regulations (NSW) were released, outlining increased obligations for landlords and property managers regarding smoke alarm maintenance.

The new legislation came with new hassles for property managers - but it doesn’t have to. If you’re an existing client of ours, please contact your account manager today to discuss a total compliance solution for 2020 and beyond.

(If you are not a current Detector Inspector client, but would like further information, fill out the form at the bottom of this page to find out more.)

What’s changed?

Here’s a summary of the changes that came into effect in March 2020.

  • Mandatory annual smoke alarm service 
  • Landlords are responsible for the urgent repair or replacement of smoke alarms
  • Landlords are responsible for the annual replacement of batteries
  • Landlords are obligated to replace alarms according to manufacturer instructions (requiring knowledge of the instructions for the specific brand and type of alarm)

Although tenants are permitted to arrange their own maintenance in some circumstances, the notification requirements for this are complex.

A new administrative burden

Under the new regulations, there are options for tenants to manage their own smoke alarm requirements under some circumstances. Unfortunately, instead of lightening the landlord’s burden, this could generate more administration with the potential for confusion.

Consider something as simple as a battery replacement. Under the new regulations:

  • A tenant must notify the landlord of their intention to replace the battery, then replace it within 2 days.
  • Once replaced, the tenant has 24 hours to notify the landlord that the replacement is completed.
  • If the landlord doesn’t receive the notification, the responsibility shifts back onto the landlord (and their property manager) to attend the property and replace the battery within 2 business days!

As the experts in safety and compliance, we’ve done the research and designed new solutions for our valued agency clients to meet the regulations in 2020.

Are you one of our current clients? Contact your account manager to learn more about the changes and implement a new solution for the properties you manage.

Are you looking for a provider to help you navigate the new legislation, hassle-free? Fill in the form below and we'll be in touch within one business day. 

Related: learn about details of upcoming changes to regulations in Victoria

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