Have Your Say on Renting in Queensland

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If you’re a tenant, rental property owner or property manager, then you need to watch this video! Both renting reform is on the horizon, as well as important legislative changes to smoke alarms.

If you are a tenant, rental property owner or property manager, the Queensland Government is opening the door to renting reform, and invites you to share your ideas about renting in Queensland.

You can have your say by completing a short online survey or by visiting a community consultation event.

Your feedback will help inform a review of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008, and help shape the future of renting in Queensland, ensuring better protection for tenants and property owners.

The Open Doors to Renting Reform consultation is being undertaken by the Department of Housing and Public Works, together with the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA).

This is your chance to comment on a wide range of topics related to renting, such as looking for a property, finding tenants, bond payments, rent payments and increases, renting with pets, requesting or organising maintenance and repairs, breaking leases and more.

The Queensland Government is casting the net wide to listen to the challenges and opportunities with renting, and understand the issues across the state throughout the ‘looking, leasing, living, leaving’ rental cycle.

Have your say about renting in Queensland by completing the online survey at www.qld.gov.au/rentinginqld or visit the website for information on community consultation booths.

New smoke alarm legislation

Smoke alarms save lives. Reports have found that the risk of death in a house fire is reduced by more than half if properly maintained smoke alarms are installed.

Queensland now has the most comprehensive smoke alarm legislation in Australia after coronial recommendations into the tragic death of 11 people in a Slacks Creek house fire in 2011.

The Fire and Emergency Services (Domestic Smoke Alarms) Amendment Act 2016 (Qld) commenced 1 January 2017 and imposes additional obligations on property owners/managers with regard to the installation and maintenance of smoke alarms at domestic dwellings.

If existing smoke alarms were manufactured less than 10 years ago, and are still in good working order, they will comply with the new legislative requirements.

However, it is important for property owners/managers as well as tenants to understand the new requirements and the time frames that apply.

From 1 January 2022

Smoke alarms in homes must adhere to each of the following:
-be photoelectric (AS 3786-2014)
-not also contain an ionisation sensor
-be less than 10 years old
-operate when tested
-be interconnected with every other smoke alarm in the dwelling (all activate together)
-be either hardwired or powered by a non-removable 10-year battery.
-Smoke alarms must be installed on each storey:
-in each bedroom
-in hallways which connect bedrooms and the rest of the property (if there is no hallway, between the bedrooms and other parts of the storey)
-if there are no bedrooms on a storey, at least one smoke alarm must be installed in the most likely path of travel to exit the dwelling.
-In addition to the above, property owners/managers must:
-test and clean smoke alarms and replace any flat or nearly flat batteries within 30 days before the start or renewal of a tenancy
-not remove a smoke alarm or a battery (other than to replace it), or do anything to reduce the effectiveness of the alarm e.g. paint it.

Tenants must:
-test and clean (by vacuuming or dusting) smoke alarms at least once every 12 months
-replace any flat or nearly flat batteries
-advise the property owner/manager if there is any issue with the alarm (apart from batteries)
-allow the property owner/manager right of entry to install smoke alarms.
-not remove a smoke alarm or the battery (other than to replace it), or do anything to reduce the effectiveness of the alarm e.g. paint it.

Andrew McCarthy-Wood

Radio Announcer, Freelance News Video/Photographer/Journalist and Media/Marketing Consultant.

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