Keep your Airbnb compliant with smoke alarm legislation

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According to And Chill Property Management’s inaugural Short Stay Confidence survey, one in three Australians is keen to list their investment property on Airbnb.   

“High property prices are causing low relative rental yields and higher mortgages, which coupled with [APRA’s] push for tighter investor lending, is putting significant stress on investors,” said Chris Leeson of And Chill Property Management. “The shortage of short stay accommodation and leasing on Airbnb provides high comparative yields for these investors”.

While the public enthusiasm for Airbnb is at an all-time high, and many indicators point to sustained growth, some hosts fail to consider how current smoke alarm legislation will impact their property investments.

According to Julieanne Worchurst, national sales and marketing director at Smoke Alarm Solutions (SAS), homeowners and investment property owners who offer Airbnb accommodations need to ensure they’re compliant with the existing federal and state smoke alarm legislation.

“Although the jury is still out as to whether Airbnb hosts qualify as landlords or not, it is imperative to ensure their property’s fire detection system is working and compliant to specifications set out in the Building Code of Australia, which concerns all Australian properties,” Worchurst said. “Regardless of whether you are a homeowner or a landlord, each smoke alarm installed in your property needs to be operational and the system needs to comply with federal legislation.”

Queensland, in particular, has very stringent new smoke alarm legislation for brand new properties that receive development approval after January 1. “Photoelectric, 240-volt interconnected smoke alarms need to be installed in each sleeping place,” Worchurst said.

To safeguard your guests, it’s best to hire a reputable smoke alarm maintenance service provider to install and service the smoke alarms in your Airbnb property.

On the other hand, if Airbnb hosts don’t have appropriate smoke alarms installed on their properties, does this revoke their landlord insurance?

“It depends on the circumstances and whether or not the landlord was aware,” said Sharon Fox-Slater, executive general manager at EBM Insurance. “There is no specific requirement in many landlord policies to have smoke alarms fitted. However, all steps must be taken to minimise risk, and also, all legislative requirements must be met.”  

If the appropriate smoke alarms were not installed and the landlord was aware, chances are the policy won’t respond to a subsequent loss. “Likewise if it is deemed that reasonably the landlord should have been aware regardless, then the policy likely will not respond to a subsequent loss,” she added.


Related Stories:
Will More Stringent Smoke Alarm Legislation Be Passed In NSW?
Melbourne’s Airbnb Hosts Make Up To $150,000 Annually

 

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