Fair enough, but I wonder how many inspected homes would be compliant. The home I'm currently renting isn't; it doesn't have alarms in every bedroom.
You won't get charged; you can only get charged for violation of statute.Prep, where can you show me in common law that a landlord/owner has been charged for smoke alarm installed different to stat law. Does stat law not become the law over common law?
If a tenant doesn't report faults, the owner would almost certainly not be liable.Prep, therefore if it stipulates in stat law that the tenant is responsible to ensure the smoke detector is working, during their lease and they change the battery, if not to contact the agent/owner. If the tenant doesn't then report faults who is liable? Therefore why does an owner have to pay $99 to have an inspection done each year?
absolute waste of money $110 per year for them to go out and press the button!!
That is NOT all that these companies do!
it would only be worth it if your smoke alarm malfunctioned 8 times per year
I just get my tradie to go down for $75 to simply take the old one out and put a new $8 bunnings one in!
1) Whether the number, type, and location of alarms is correct. Most landlords aren't conscientious / aware enough of the factors influencing these to get it right on their own. (It's not rocket science, but a lot still get it wrong.)
2) Whether they get the testing and batteries right. It may seem simple, but...
a. What if the landlord accidentally uses the wrong type of battery (e.g. rechargeable vs non-rechargeable)?
b. What if the landlord thinks the test showed "working", but they actually just didn't understand how the alarm testing procedure worked, and the alarm had never worked?
3) Will the court accept a landlord's say-so that they did the test and changed the battery as sufficient evidence of same? (Getting a witness, taking photos, etc., are good protections against this particular risk.)
4) Even if the contract between landlord and tenant puts the onus on the tenant to test the alarms and check the batteries, there are a million reasons why a court might find that this wasn't viable / reasonable. e.g. High ceilings, elderly tenant, lack of making tenant aware how to test and that they had sole responsibility, etc etc.
If the location and placement is wrong, regardless of whether some handyman came around and said it was OK (and that's what the smoke alarm firms are, BTW. Handymen) you are still potentially liable.
Are you a lawyer? Are you suggesting that there is a non-delegable duty of care by landlord towards tenants, or are you suggesting that a court would find that employing a smoke alarm company was an unreasonable action by the landlord?If the location and placement is wrong, regardless of whether some handyman came around and said it was OK (and that's what the smoke alarm firms are, BTW. Handymen) you are still potentially liable.
If the location and placement is wrong, regardless of whether some handyman came around and said it was OK (and that's what the smoke alarm firms are, BTW. Handymen) you are still potentially liable. You are required to know. The information is freely available and fully understandable by the common person in the street. It's not like having a job done by an electrical contractor or an engineer who has statutory authority, obligations and responsibilities in addition to recognised specialised knowledge. And I have had smoke alarm cos screw it up (admittedly not for a long time though.) Not to mention that these companies seem to change their business names every few years and don't tell you the name of the guy who did the job in most cases.
I believe there are technicians who do the checks, and in our case last week, we needed another alarm positioned as a room function had changed in our house. They sent back an electrician who checked all the alarms again. This happened in an IP last week too where we turned a garage into a bedroom and it then obviously needed an alarm.
We get full details, including full name of technician and/or electrician who attended.
Reason (3) is right on the money, and it is enough to sway me. Independent documented evidence that the job was done.
There are a million reasons why a court might still find that a landlord was negligent.
Nearly all of those arguments would, I'm confident as a not-yet lawyer, be defeated in court by employing a third party to do the testing, because I believe a court would find that it's reasonable for a landlord to expect that paid professionals would do these things properly and advise of any problems with the location, type, number of alarms, etc. (Whether the third party actually does those things properly is a separate issue; in negligence, the landlord only has to show that their reliance on the third party was reasonable, and I can't imagine that such reliance would be deemed unreasonable.)
1) Reiterating that this is not certain. I may be wrong; a court might find it's reasonable for a landlord to position and test alarms themselves. I doubt it, but I may well be wrong. Even if they did find that, the landlord would have to justify how they chose the alarms, positioning, etc. and demonstrate that they'd done their research. I wouldn't like to be in that position.Scott no mates and Prep, it is a wonder that anyone of us would walk out side or owner a rental property in case something may happen or may not! If the requirement set by law is abc then the owner can do no more than abc until it is tested in a court of law if it ever gets there!!. There are always fires but most no injuries or deaths but I am sorry there have been some deaths. Where there has been no mentions of smoke detectors or fault ever deflected to an owner that i am aware off. Would an owners public liability insurance not cover them if they followed the laws?
I will disagree with you on this point Morbius. The ones that I have dealt with to date use electricians. Do you seriously believe companies offering this service will undertake unauthorised electrical work?
Why? Hard wired appliances require a sparky to change them. If they're incorrectly located they will require relocation not the addition of a battery operated unit somewhere near the right spot.
The BCA directs the correct placement of the smokeys so placement can be confirmed.