Over one third of all QLD agent-managed properties are non-compliant.
Over one third of all QLD agent-managed properties are non-compliant. Blainey Woodham /

Cause for alarm, properties non-compliant

PROPERTY investors in Queensland are being urged to ensure their rental properties have the correct number of working smoke alarms installed, with new data revealing more than one third of all agent-managed properties do not comply with this basic legislative requirement.

The figures have been compiled by Smoke Alarms Australia, Australia's longest-running residential smoke alarms specialist, after carrying out inspections in more than 140,000 residential properties Australia-wide.

They show that over 1 in 3 (36%) properties managed by real estate agencies in Queensland require at least one of their smoke alarms to be replaced, and almost 1 in 4 (23%) have no working smoke alarms installed at all.

Worse still, the proportion of non-compliant agent-managed properties in Queensland has increased since 2010.

These figures are similar to the national figures for smoke alarm non-compliance released by the company in November 2014.

Troy Thompson, General Manager at Smoke Alarms Australia, said if you have engaged a real estate agency to manage your investment property, part of their responsibility is to ensure your property meets the smoke alarm installation and maintenance legislation in Queensland.

"The consequences of non-compliance can be fatal for tenants or, at the least, result in a hefty fine of up to $500," Mr Thompson said.

"Now, the start of the year, is a good time to ensure the agent managing your property does three things: check if there are smoke alarms installed in your property, when the alarms were last checked and, if not, have the smoke alarms checked and replaced by a reputable smoke alarms specialist who carries all of the liability for product and workmanship."

A State-by-State analysis reveals the number of agent-managed properties that are non-compliant with smoke alarm legislation in each state.

Nationally

Queensland is not the only non-compliant state with regards to the installation of working smoke alarms in agent-managed properties.

The data by Smoke Alarms Australia reveals that 1 in 2 (48%) properties managed by a real estate agency nationally required at least one of their smoke alarms to be replaced, and 1 in 3 (35%) had no working smoke alarms installed at all.

New South Wales

The amount of agent-managed properties not compliant with smoke alarm legislation in New South Wales is in line with the national figure, with 1 in 2 (49%) New South Wales properties managed by a real estate needing at least one alarm replaced on inspection, and 1 in 3 (36%) having no working smoke alarm installed at all.

"Smoke alarms have now been mandatory in all New South Wales homes for 10 years, and as each alarm has a maximum 10 year lifespan, many will need to be replaced throughout 2015 if they're not already faulty," says Troy.

Western Australia

All West Australian homes need mains-powered smoke alarms installed, with fines of up to $5000 for non-compliance.

When inspections took place, 39% of West Australian homes managed by a real-estate agent had at least one non-working smoke alarm.

However in comparison to other states Western Australia had the lowest incidence of agent-managed properties with no working alarms at all, at just 7%.

Victoria

Victorian homes built after 1 August 1997 require mains-powered smoke alarms installed, with all other homes also requiring smoke alarms be they battery operated or mains-powered, with a $600 fine imposed on those who fail to comply. Victoria is the worst state for smoke alarm compliance in agent-managed properties.

Over half of agent-managed properties (55%) needed at least one smoke alarm to be replaced, with 42% of agent-managed homes having no working smoke alarms at all.

Inspections took place from 2010 up to 22 October 2014 [1] All figures rounded to the nearest whole number END For interviews and more information, please contact: Candice Palmer | 0424 983 599| 02 9279 3330 | e: cpalmer@theideassuite.com.au



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