Legislation mandates that all homes and shared accommodation buildings where people sleep be fitted with working smoke alarms.

Important for landlords to note:

  • Neither the landlord nor the tenant are, except with reasonable excuse, permitted to remove or interfere with the operation of a smoke alarm fitted in the rented premises.
  • Where a smoke alarm has a replaceable battery, the landlord must put a new battery in at the commencement of a tenancy.
  • After the tenancy begins, the tenant is responsible for replacing the battery, if needed, in battery-operated smoke alarms.
  • Hard-wired smoke alarm back-up batteries are to be replaced by the landlord.
  • If the tenant is physically unable to change the battery the tenant is required to notify the landlord as soon as practicable.
  • The condition report section of the tenancy agreement includes a specific reference to smoke alarms so that tenants and landlords are able to note and comment on the presence of smoke alarms at the beginning and end of the tenancy.
  • Owners of residential properties who rent out their premises as holiday accommodation are responsible for installing smoke alarms and replacing batteries.
  • Other laws apply to boarding houses and backpackers.

Best practice:

  • Prior to the commencement of a tenancy, smoke alarms should be checked, cleaned and tested.
  • Alarms should be replaced if they are faulty, missing or past their expiry date (all smoke alarms, including 240v hardwired alarms, must be replaced no later than 10 years after their manufacture date).
  • It is recommended that a new battery be installed at the commencement of a tenancy if the smoke alarm has a replaceable battery.
  • The Condition Report should show that this has been done and the date the tests/checks were performed.
  • Ongoing maintenance and inspection of smoke alarms is important.
  • Please see the Real Estate Institute of NSW website for further information and the NSW Fire and Rescue website. 
  • We care about your safety so we encourage our tenants and landlords to be aware of current smoke alarm legislation.

For further information, please send an email with your details to the property management team at