Changes to tenancy laws start 23 March 2020

Significant changes to NSW residential tenancy laws start on 23 March 2020.

One of the key changes includes new obligations on landlords to ensure that smoke alarms installed in rented properties are working.

New requirements for landlords or agents​​

  • Landlords and agents must ensure smoke alarms are repaired (within 2 business days). This includes replacing a battery
  • Landlords or agents must:
    • check smoke alarms every year to ensure they are working
    • install or replace removable batteries every year (or for lithium batteries, in the period specified by the smoke alarm manufacturer)
    • replace smoke alarms within 10 years of manufacture, or earlier if specified by the smoke alarm manufacturer.
    • To inspect or assess the need for a smoke alarm repair or replacement, landlords or agents must give the tenant at least 2 business days’ notice.
    • To carry out a repair or replacement of a smoke alarm, landlords or agents must give the tenant at least 1-hour notice.

Some exceptions apply to residential property in a strata scheme.

More information on the smoke alarm requirements, including new requirements for landlords and tenants, who can repair or replace a smoke alarm or change a battery, and requirements relating to properties in strata schemes is available on NSW Fair Trading website

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