The 2022 smoke alarm legislation: How does it impact properties being sold?

Since 1 January 2022, smoke alarms in Queensland residential properties sold need to meet the new strict legislative requirements in accordance with the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 and Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008.

Conveyancers should be aware of the requirements to help ensure sellers avoid the ramifications of non-compliance and buyers are aware of their entitlements.

The new legislation adds several new complex requirements to current smoke alarm legislation. Some of the key new additions are that smoke alarms must:

  • be installed in each bedroom as well as on each storey and in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the dwelling
  • be photoelectric, comply to AS 3786-2014, and powered by either 240 volt or a 10-year lithium battery
  • be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling so all activate together.

Smoke alarms must meet requirements prior to contract signing. If the seller fails to comply, the buyer is entitled to an adjustment at settlement equal to 0.15% of the purchase price. The adjustment must be claimed by the buyer in writing prior to settlement. If the seller has not complied after settlement, the buyer will be required to install compliant smoke alarms.

With so many new requirements to adhere to, and to ease the stress of the sales process, it is recommended that sellers use a professional smoke alarm provider to upgrade the smoke alarms in their properties to 2022 legislation. Smoke Alarm Solutions is the leading provider of smoke alarm services to the Australian real estate industry and is a trusted partner of the REIQ. Their service Sellers Compliance helps ensure properties being sold will be compliant upon sale.

Smoke Alarm Solutions is strongly recommending that sellers enrol their properties for a smoke alarm upgrade at time of listing. Properties for sale will be competing for smoke alarm providers with the hundreds of thousands of rental properties that still need to comply to 2022 legislation. Since 1 January 2022 rental properties need to comply to the new legislation at commencement of a new lease or lease renewal and Smoke Alarm Solutions’ research suggests just 50% of Queensland rental properties are compliant. This backlog of rental properties has created an industry-wide wait time of four to six weeks for a smoke alarm upgrade.

With Smoke Alarm Solutions’ Sellers Compliance, sellers can comply their properties for just $124 per installed smoke alarm with no additional service fee. However, for properties that are tipped to sell especially fast, Smoke Alarm Solutions offers an express service which ensures a two-business day turnaround for an additional fee of $199.

To find out more about the 2022 smoke alarm legislation or the Sellers Compliance service, visit the Smoke Alarm Solutions website or email Sellers can upgrade their property via the Sellers Compliance Service here.

This sponsored content article represents the views of the sponsor and does not necessarily reflect the views of Queensland Law Society

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