News & Industry Updates

Stay up-to-date on the latest smoke alarm related news. Read industry articles and media releases about changes to legislative requirements and handy tips on how to ensure your investment remains complaint.

News & Industry Updates

Stay up-to-date on the latest smoke alarm related news. Read industry articles and media releases about changes to legislative requirements and handy tips on how to ensure your investment remains complaint.

Victorian Smoke Alarm Legislation Changes

Published August 2021

Bonnie Hutchison from Smoke Alarm Solutions Victoria, is the Southern Territory Manager for the Sales Team. Bonnie provides helpful answers to common questions regarding the changes to Smoke Alarm Legislation in Victoria

Why were changes to Victorian Smoke Alarm legislation implemented? 

The Victorian rental market has changed significantly over the last two decades with many Australians delaying the purchase of a home and renting for longer. The Victorian government has implemented changes for fairer and safer housing intending to balance the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords from the moment a rental agreement is signed until after the agreement ends. 

The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act of 2018 was fair and safe legislation around rental properties. However, the Victorian Government has implemented an overhaul of particular safety elements which has made regular safety checks mandatory.

When did the changes come into effect?

The first proposed draft of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Act was released in November of 2019 with the legislation due to come into effect in March of 2020. COVID-19 delayed the legislation with it officially coming into effect on 29th March 2021. 

What are the changes to the Victorian legislation regarding smoke alarms?

There have been three main changes to the legislation regarding smoke alarms:

1) Smoke alarms must be inspected and maintained every 12 months by suitably qualified technicians. This would potentially exclude the average landlord and property managers from inspecting rental properties, as they are not specifically trained to do so.

2) The legislation states that relevant inspection documents must be completed either on, or before the date of the new lease, and certification of inspection must be passed on to the tenant. 

3) Tenants must be given access to the smoke alarm manual(s) installed in each property, including a reminder of the tenant’s duty of care to not tamper with the property’s smoke alarms, and to advise of any faults as soon as possible. 

Are there new requirements for gas and electrical safety inspections? 

In addition to the smoke alarm legislation, there are now mandatory requirements for gas and electricity items to be inspected as well. Inspections are required every 12 months for smoke alarms and electricity but biennially for gas appliances (every two years). 

All inspections must be completed by suitably qualified, licensed electricians, or A-type gas fitters. Issued certificates must then be passed on to the tenant on or before the date that a tenant enters into the new tenancy agreement. 

Is the legislation compulsory?

The legislation is mandatory and carries heavy penalties for non-compliance, including fines that can be issued by the Victorian government. 

The additional implications are regarding the landlord’s insurance coverage if a property is found to be non-compliant. In the case of an incident, insurance companies will want to see proof of compliance along with the insurance claim.

What are Smoke Alarm Solutions doing to ensure property managers and their landlords meet these new requirements?

Smoke Alarms Solutions have introduced the new Home Safe Solutions subscription package that covers the trio of services required under the new legislation. It's a ‘one-stop shop’ solution whereby we cover the smoke alarm, electrical, and gas safety requirements under the new legislation.

What about electrical and gas?

For electrical and gas safety we are identifying and inspecting all items noted in the new legislation. For example, our electricians will identify landlord-installed appliances, installations, and fittings. Our Type-A Gas Fitters will also check for landlord-installed appliances, check the mains gas line, and check for any faults and ensure the property is safe. 

Certification is something that we provide for landlords and agents to provide to their tenants with all three services. 

What about properties without gas appliances? 

We also offer a smoke alarm and electrical-only Home Safe Solutions subscription.

What final message do you have for Victorian property managers and landlords?

The Victorian legislation can be overwhelming. Smoke Alarm Solutions are compliance experts and we are ready to offer assistance.

Give us a call. We are here to help you understand the legislation and feel confident about the decisions that you're going to make moving forward. 

We pride ourselves on being experts in compliance rather than just offering a product. Let us do what we do best so that you can continue offering your clients a premium service.

Smoke Alarm Solutions is Australia's leading provider of smoke alarm services to the real estate industry.

Smoke Alarm Solutions is Australia's leading provider of smoke alarm services to the real estate industry.
  • A very responsive team and good follow up with our tenants in arranging inspections. We purchased rent rolls from other agencies and the transition of the smoke alarm services from the previous agencies to us is easy and seamless! We are confident with the teams’ services and would not hesitate to recommend to anyone!

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  • As a Principal of a Real Estate agency, we are always diligent to ensure that the agency and our properties meet all current legislation and compliance. After using several different companies for Smoke Alarm compliance over the years, none compare to the professionalism of Smoke Alarm Solutions.

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  • As a Property Manager, I've found Lisa (Business Development Manager) to be an asset to the company, and of great assistance to us. She has regularly kept in contact, and never too busy to find the answers to our questions. The service team have attended when requested and the compliance reports sent through promptly. We look forward to our continued collaboration.

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  • All Smoke Alarm Solutions staff are well versed in the current and new upcoming legislation and are always helpful and professional from the administration team to the technicians attending on site. Respectful of our tenants and the property, the technicians are fantastic. The invoices and quotes are easy for our Landlords to read and understand.
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  • We returned to Smoke Alarm Solutions after using a smaller company, we were tired of our calls not being returned and waiting for invoices. When we transferred back nothing was a hassle and Brendan went out of his way to make our job as Property Managers easier. Our tenants and Landlords have peace of mind with the 24/7 emergency service and now receive invoices within 24 hours of the job being carried out.

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  • Ironfish have been working with Smoke Alarm Solutions for a number of years now, and we found them to be professional and on top of the legislations. Bonnie Hutchison, in particular has been wonderful to deal with. A true star for their company!

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  • Smoke Alarm Solutions even offered a free information training session to help to further educate our property management staff. The new online portal is an absolute dream for us busy professionals and is just another reason why we cannot recommend Smoke Alarm Solutions enough.

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  • Thank you for all the assistance you provide our team. You and your team are always, experienced, prompt and helpful with everything we ask.
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  • There are a lot of other companies out there that will dazzle you with their selling skills, promise you the world and may even offer cheaper rates but after taking over a rent roll of hundreds to find that owners were being charged by another company but not one property was actually visited or met the required criteria, we just wouldn’t risk giving our business to anyone but Smoke Alarm Solutions. Professional, ethical and by far the best smoke alarm specialist around!
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