If you are looking to rent your property in Queensland there are a number of building fire safety regulations that you must adhere to. The laws, which are applicable under the Queensland Fire and Rescue Safety Act 1990, apply to all domestic homes in the state, not just the rental sector. When leasing a home, it can be quite confusing for lessors to understand their responsibility for compliance and associated costs. All new developments usually adhere to the regulations upon construction and their project marketing companies like Ray White property marketing Queensland will have all the details about the prescribed fire safety installations for each building they are marketing for developers.
From a rental perspective there are four main parties who are responsible; they are:
- The Owners
- The Occupiers
- Individuals Broad term which encompasses all parties for general fire safety obligations
- Managing Entities (Real Estate Property Managers or Body Corporates)
There is a resource available from Queensland Emergency Services which is designed to assist owners and occupiers with building safety available here. This is only a guide and it may be worth contacting an authorised company to help with compliance. Some of the obligations include:
- Certifying that ventilation systems or air flow systems are not altered or tampered with in violation of s13.
- Displaying fire safety signs in units and within the walkways and staircases of the unit complex
- Specific obligations for backpacker housing
- Requirements relating to the construction and development (usually assessed by property development and projects supervisors)
- Developing a fire and evacuation plan for the new development complex
- Coordinating the evacuation for every aspect of the building
- Supplying owners and occupiers updates to any changes made immediately
- Monitoring the compliance of renters is the tenant non-compliant? What actions have been taken to prevent risk or injury?
General Tips for Owners Looking to Rent
There are some easy steps to take to make sure your property is fire safety compliant. It is good practice for you to familiarise yourself with your duties under the relevant acts and rules laid out in the rental agreement. Keeping a copy of the compliance audit that was done on the property is a good idea in case of an enquiry. It is also a good idea to work with your property management team to make sure the rental agreement clearly states the responsibilities and costs associated with fire safety for each party. Some other notable areas to investigate include:
- Start and end dates of the tenancy
- Common area usage
- Storage compliance
Records of ALL fire safety documents should be held by your property marketing office or yourself including but not limited to; fires safety installations, maintenance of fire safety devices (such as smoke alarms and sprinklers), occupier agreements to uphold fire safety standards (such as property maintenance that affects fire safety like cleaning gutters and keeping vegetation away from the house etc.) Lots of Renters tend to let the yards and exterior of properties in Queensland go unattended. This can be a real concern for owners, especially during bush fire season. It is a good idea to highlight these maintenance requirements if your home is in an area prone to bush fires.
Being fire safe doesnt have to be a complicated process and there is many companies who are able to assist with these areas such as the property management team at Ray White. If you do wish to lease the property privately, contact the Queensland Fire Brigade and the Department of infrastructure for assistance. More fires safety for rentals information can be found here.
This information is provided as a general guide to the subject discussed. Specialist advice should be obtained for your circumstances.