Remain compliant with the 2022 smoke alarm legislation
  • 02 Jul 2024
  • 5 min read
  • By Smoke Alarm Solutions and the REIQ

New rule of entry for rooming accommodation in Queensland

Smoke alarms, Entry provisions

In the latest round of rental reforms in Queensland, a significant new rule has been introduced regarding a provider’s right of entry into rooms within rooming accommodations.

This rule, which was introduced upon on assent of the legislation from 6 June, 2024, has been designed to enhance safety and ensure compliance with fire safety standards and focuses on the installation, maintenance, and replacement of smoke alarms.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has been a pivotal advocate for this essential change. As a proud sponsor of the REIQ, Smoke Alarm Solutions wholeheartedly supports this change, anticipating significant improvements in safety as a result.

Key Details of the New Rule:

  1. Provider’s Right of Entry: Providers are now explicitly permitted to enter a tenant's room within rooming accommodation to install, maintain, or replace a smoke alarm by way of a new specific entry condition listed on the Form R9 Entry Notice – Rooming Accommodation. This rule is critical to ensure that all smoke alarms are functional and up to date on an ongoing basis, thereby enhancing the safety of all residents within share accommodation. The REIQ has been instrumental in advocating for this inclusion.
  2. Notice Requirement: Providers must give tenants at least 24 hours' notice to exercise this right. This notice is to be in writing and delivered using a Form R9 Entry Notice – Rooming Accommodation (unless there are emergency situations which may allow entry with less than 24 hours’ notice).

Importance of the Rule:

  • Safety Compliance: The primary purpose of this new rule is to guarantee that entry is allowed in order to ensure smoke alarms in rooming accommodation are properly installed, maintained, and replaced as needed and in accordance with strict Queensland legislation. Smoke alarms are a critical component of fire safety, and their proper functioning can save lives in the event of a fire. The REIQ, alongside Smoke Alarm Solutions, has consistently highlighted the importance of maintaining high safety standards for smoke alarms within rental properties.
  • Tenant Awareness: The 24-hour notice period requirement ensures that tenants are adequately informed about when and why their room will be accessed. This respects the tenant's privacy while also fulfilling safety requirements in a prompt manner - thus in turn reducing barriers of entry. The REIQ has always supported measures that provide transparency and protect tenants’ rights whilst concurrently ensuring properties are protected to the highest standards.

Support from Industry Leaders:

Sam Das, Head of Operations at Smoke Alarm Solutions, expressed strong support for this new rule, stating, "We are thrilled to see this new addition come to fruition.

“At Smoke Alarm Solutions, we regularly attend properties that are share accommodations, and we believe this new component of the law is going to significantly enhance the safety of tenants in properties.

“This new entry condition will provide us with a smooth and unencumbered entry process when required to carry out maintenance works as part of strict regulations or if a beeping smoke alarm requires prompt attention. This new rule will undoubtedly protect lives and provide peace of mind for both landlords and property managers."

"In the past, the Form 9 General Tenancies Agreement Entry Notice outlined a specific stipulation for entering a property to install, maintain, or replace a smoke alarm.

“However, with the recent reforms concerning rooming accommodation, all tenants can now enjoy enhanced protection, regardless of their style of accommodation.

“Additionally, property managers and service providers are now equipped with clear guidelines regarding entry into properties for smoke alarm related activities These reforms mark a significant step towards ensuring the safety and rights of all tenants."

The introduction of this new entry rule marks a milestone in enhancing fire safety standards within rooming accommodations across Queensland. The collaboration between the REIQ and industry leaders like Smoke Alarm Solutions highlights the shared commitment to tenant safety and well-being.

As these reforms take effect, tenants can rest assured that their homes are safer, landlords’ properties are better protected against fire, whilst property managers have clearer guidelines to follow - fostering a more transparent and accountable rental environment.

This achievement underscores the ongoing efforts to improve living conditions and protect lives, reflecting a collective dedication to making Queensland’s rental properties as safe as possible.

REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella praised the new grounds for accessing rooming accommodation to install, maintain, or repair smoke alarms, calling them a win for both practicality and tenant safety.

“These changes are in the best interests of tenants, property owners and real estate professionals, and recognise that ensuring tenant safety comes first and foremost,” she said.

“The strict legislation governing smoke alarms in Queensland is well-founded, as it can save lives in the event of a fire. This new entry rule is a practical step that enables property owners and managers to meet these crucial requirements in a timely, compliant manner.

“The REIQ has long maintained that access to smoke alarms is imperative for safety. At the height of COVID-19 when property access restrictions were mandated, the REIQ advocated strongly for the continuation of smoke alarm inspections and maintenance, emphasising that smoke alarm safety is too serious to delay.”

Read another property management story from the REIQ: Q&A: Changes to Urban Utilities Authority to Act processes.

Or browse our suite of property management articles.

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