Did you know that up to 50 per cent of Australian homes have expired, faulty or incorrectly positioned smoke alarms? Apart from the obvious issue of potentially endangering lives, there are also some serious legal implications to consider if your property’s smoke alarms are faulty (or non-existent).
Every state has different, very rigorous legislation relating to smoke alarms in residential rental properties. In Victoria, all alarms must be properly maintained and cleaned annually, with the battery changed every year and the entire unit replaced before the expiry date of 10 years. The penalties for failing to comply are severe, and fines can be up to $750. Failing to observe this legislation could also result in your insurance company dismissing any claim for damage, personal injury or loss of life.
With these implications in mind (and for your peace of mind), MICM Property can arrange for smoke alarm specialists to visit your property as often as necessary during the year for an annual fee of just $79 per property. This fee covers all lease changes, renewals and faulty alarm attendances, as well as batteries and replacement of any smoke alarm that has become expired or faulty after November 1, 2011. You can, however, maintain the compliance of the property yourself, although it is necessary to notify MICM in writing first that you agree to be wholly responsible for adherence to state and federal laws.
So the next time you burn the toast and have to bang on your alarm with a broom handle, it’s a good reminder that everyone’s homes needs to be compliant – even your investment properties.