Agent letter - Annoyed!

Received a letter from my agent suggesting that I sign up for $99 pa per property for inspection of Fire Alarms with a specific company. The letter states that they do not receive any commission from this arrangement.

The thing that has annoyed me is that they state that in order to AVOID the service I have to sign a disclaimer stating that I take full responsibility for the maintenance of smoke alarms in my properties. It further releases the agent of any liability. If I don't sign i'm automatically provided the service and must pay the associated cost.

The service includes changing out old alarms / batteries and as many visits to the property as necessary but my alarms are hard wired, interlinked as its in one block and were fitted 12 months ago.

Has anyone else experienced anything similar? $297 pa isn't a huge sum but its the principle of feeling railroaded I don't like.
 
Ahhh yes - the search function!

Thanks!:D

Still annoyed I have to actively do something to STOP the service that I didn't ask for in the first place.
 
Have you raised this issue with your property manager at all? Sometimes it's good to ask questions before dousing the bridge with petrol and dangling a match above it.
 
Have you raised this issue with your property manager at all? Sometimes it's good to ask questions before dousing the bridge with petrol and dangling a match above it.

Nope. Just doused the bridge with petrol and dangled a match above it.

I don't like proposals that offer no benefit to me, will cost me money and benefit other parties through reduced legal exposure.

Whats to talk about?
 
Nope. Just doused the bridge with petrol and dangled a match above it.

I don't like proposals that offer no benefit to me, will cost me money and benefit other parties through reduced legal exposure.

Whats to talk about?

Maybe just to get their point of view, and to air your disagreement. They might have a really good reason you haven't thought about. If you're not completely satisfied, sack them and find a more awesome property manager. :D
 
Maybe just to get their point of view, and to air your disagreement. They might have a really good reason you haven't thought about. If you're not completely satisfied, sack them and find a more awesome property manager. :D

OK, as the thread title says - I'm Annoyed!

But your niceness is disarmingly calming so I won't light the match on the PM just yet - i'll call her to discuss!
 
Received a letter from my agent suggesting that I sign up for $99 pa per property for inspection of Fire Alarms with a specific company. The letter states that they do not receive any commission from this arrangement.

The thing that has annoyed me is that they state that in order to AVOID the service I have to sign a disclaimer stating that I take full responsibility for the maintenance of smoke alarms in my properties. It further releases the agent of any liability. If I don't sign i'm automatically provided the service and must pay the associated cost.

The service includes changing out old alarms / batteries and as many visits to the property as necessary but my alarms are hard wired, interlinked as its in one block and were fitted 12 months ago.

Has anyone else experienced anything similar? $297 pa isn't a huge sum but its the principle of feeling railroaded I don't like.

Got a similar letter, except I wasn't automatically opted in for their scheme.

When talking to the agent about re-renting the place, we discussed this issue briefly. I said it was overpriced and unnecessary. These days, you can get alarms with a 10 year battery life. No need to check it every year. A check can be done at the beginning of each tenancy, that should be enough.

The rental manager understood and did not push the issue further.

Talk to your rental manager about it. With hard-wired alarms, that doesn't seem necessary at all. Your agent should be able to do a quick check of the alarm at the beginning of each tenancy.
 
You don't have to accept the company they choose...

The Smoke Alarm laws have become very strict and confusing...in Qld, the min. requirement is battery operated and at each change of tenancy of renewal of tenancy - you are required to have it checked.

:) If you live local - you can do it yourself. As long as you advise your agent.

They are just protecting themselves...letter was probably a little harsh - you can find your "preferred" company and have the same thing done for around $70 - $80 p.a.

Unless you have the commitment to sevice it yourself, you should get a third party to do it for you. They will provide you with a certificate to state that the smoke alarm complies, easier if you ever need to process an insurance claim. Tax deductible and should form part of your asset protection strategy.

We've already had numerous views on this matter in this forum - your agent can only check to see if it is tampered with and test it at inspections but they should not open it, replace batteries in it etc...

Recommend: you find someone else who is more price competitive and advise your agents to use this other company as your preferred service provider.
 
It may be a bit harsh and I totally sympathise with you. Rental agents are sometimes as just as big a problem as tenants (which is unfortunate for those rare good agents out there).

But lura does make very valid points in her posts. Fires in residential property are the single biggest killer of people in buildings in this country and as owners of IP's we have a big legal obligation to provide safe premises.

Every IP owner should take the the time to understand their respective states laws in relation to their obligations with smoke alarms and dont skimp to save a couple of $$. Insurance companys will happily not pay out on fire damage if it can be proven that smoke alarms were not installed, operating or maintained in accordance with state laws.

More over, being cross examined in the coronors court is a position you dont EVER want to be in, especially as the result of a tenants actions.:eek:
 
No response/notification cannot be taken as acceptance. My real estate did the same thing, I told them to pull their ****ing head in and learn the law.
 
I got a report from my Property Manager the other day as they do 6 monthly routine inspections - it was noted on the report that the smoke alarm was tested and working. Just part of the service a decent property manager could quite easily provide as part of their inspections of the property.
 
More over, being cross examined in the coronors court is a position you dont EVER want to be in, especially as the result of a tenants actions.:eek:

In NSW a LL is responsible for ensuring smoke alarms are operational at the start of the tenancy. The tenant is responsible for maintenance during the course of the tenancy unless they are physically incapable in which case it again falls to the LL. Why the REA's want to push it onto the LL is beyond me as they should be fully aware of this requirement.

If after changing the battery the tenant finds the smoke alarm does work then they are to report it to the LL and it is the LL responsibility to make the necessary repairs.

As Willy1111 says the REA could easily carry out a test during the regular inspection, all that's required is a retractable rod.

Regards

Andrew
 
I got a report from my Property Manager the other day as they do 6 monthly routine inspections - it was noted on the report that the smoke alarm was tested and working. Just part of the service a decent property manager could quite easily provide as part of their inspections of the property.

Yes received an inspection report today with the smoke alarm noted as working.

Also included in today's "package" was the automatic opt in to the smoke alarm scheme.
 
Smoke Detectors

I would double check that the service of your smoke detector was in fact completed.

I was charged for two tests in less than twelve months, probably six months apart.

I found out later that the tenants were not at home for the second test and I still received the charge with the money deducted from the rent.
 
This should definitely be a service landlords either do themselves or is provided to them by a competent agent as part of an inspection and at the end/start of a tenancy for no extra charge. Using a long-life battery and including a special condition in the lease that the tenant must not remove the smoke detector will also reduce the landlord's risk.

Agents will never spruik a third party's services (e.g. landlords insurance, electronic payment provider, tradies) unless there is something in it for the agent.
 
This should definitely be a service landlords either do themselves or is provided to them by a competent agent as part of an inspection and at the end/start of a tenancy for no extra charge.

Agreed. It doesnt take that much effort to deal with this once every 12 months. Getting a competent agent - now theres a the challenge!:D
 
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