Buying your first investment property? Read on to learn about the fire and safety responsibilities that landlords must adhere to, and how a pre-purchase property inspection can assist.
Purchasing a House

The Quick Guide to Fire and Safety Responsibilities for Landlords!

If you’re looking to invest in your first property, you need to know your fire and safety responsibilities as a new landlord. Lacking the knowledge or know-how is not an excuse when it comes to following Queensland’s strict fire and safety laws, and knowing your obligations beforehand helps you make an educated decision. Action Property Inspections offers pre-purchase property inspections to help confirm whether the property you’re looking at is up to scratch, but ultimately it is your legal obligation to make sure the property meets the current standards. For a quick guide to the fire and safety obligations for landlords, read on!

What are the obligations of residential landlords in Queensland?

Landlords have a number of obligations they must meet at the beginning of and during a tenancy. When it comes to current Queensland safety laws, this is especially important. Some of the obligations include:

  • Pool safety. If the property has a pool, the landlord’s responsibility is to ensure the pool fence is in compliance with the current pool safety laws in Queensland.
  • Smoke alarm laws in Queensland are especially strict. The landlord must ensure that smoke alarms are properly installed and maintained. They must also ensure the property is fitted with the correct type of smoke alarm, and they must test the alarms within 30 days before a new tenancy takes place. 

Any failure to comply with Queensland’s strict safety requirements could result in hefty legal penalties, so it’s important that landlords know their requirements.

What are some of the recent changes to fire safety in Queensland?

Fire safety in Queensland is no joke, and the legislation is updated like clockwork. The Queensland State Government has just introduced new legislation that states that from the 1st January 2022, landlords need to make sure that their property meets the requirements of the domestic smoke alarm legislation on the commencement of a new lease or lease renewal. This could include anything from installing interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms into bedrooms as well as to the currently required smoke alarms, or updating the alarms. It is your responsibility as the landlord to ensure this is carried out. 

Queensland legislation also states that within thirty days before the start of a tenancy in a residential property, the landlord needs to test and clean each smoke alarm in the property. You don’t need to be licenced or qualified in any capacity to clean or test a domestic smoke alarm. 

What’s required by law?

If you need to upgrade the smoke alarms in the property you’re looking to buy, you must choose smoke alarms that:

  • Are photoelectric and comply with Australian standards;
  • Don’t contain an ionisation sensor;
  • Are less than 10 years old;
  • Are fully functional and operate when tested;
  • Are interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the property so that they activate at the same time.

If the property you’re looking to buy has a smoke alarm hardwired to the domestic power supply and it needs to be replaced, ensure it is replaced with a hardwired photoelectric smoke alarm. Smoke alarms must be marked with AS3786-2014 to comply with the legislation.

To have your investment property inspected, contact Action Property Inspections and book an appointment today!



About Andrew Mackintosh

Andrew Mackintosh has been answering home inspection questions in the greater Brisbane area since 1995. He has personally carried out over 20,000 building inspections and is a licensed builder and licensed building inspector, Member of Queensland Master Builders Association & Institute of Building Consultants. Being the business owner and the inspector, Andrew is passionate about providing clients with excellent customer service, value for money, honest, unbiased, thorough inspection and reporting in a professional and timely manner to allow clients to make informed decisions when purchasing property.

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