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SMOKE ALARMS – NEW RULES FROM JANUARY 2022

If you enter a Contract to sell or lease your property from 1 January 2022, you will be required to have hardwired photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms.

Smoke alarms in the dwelling must:

  • be photoelectric (AS3786-2014); and
  • not also contain an ionisation sensor; and
  • be hardwired to the mains power supply, if currently hardwired. Otherwise, smoke alarms can be either hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10 year battery or a combination of both; and
  • be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.

The legislation requires smoke alarms must be installed in the following locations:

  • on each storey
  • in each bedroom
  • if there is no hallway, between the bedroom and other parts of the storey; and
  • if there are no bedrooms on a storey, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.

Further information on the requirements can be found on this link.

Disclosure requirements

When you sell, you must declare to the Buyer on the Contract and the Transfer documents whether the home has compliant smoke alarms installed. This information is sent to local authorities, and it is possible that they will launch prosecutions for breaches. As a Seller you cannot contract out of this obligation and must comply with the minimum smoke alarm requirements.

What if I do not have compliant smoke alarms installed?

Failure to install compliant smoke alarms is an offence (even if it has been disclosed) and a Seller may be subject to a fine (a Seller can still be fined for committing an offence after the property has been sold). As such, we recommend that Sellers ensure that compliant smoke alarms are installed at their cost prior to settlement.

Although there are fines and offences involved, the Standard REIQ Contract does not give the Buyer the express right to terminate the Contract due to the non-existence of a safety switch or smoke alarm. If you are a Buyer of a property that does not have compliant smoke alarms installed, you should have this rectified immediately.

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