Are you selling a property in QLD? Here’s what you need to know about smoke alarm compliance and the contract of sale

On 1st January 2022 new laws outlined in the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 came into effect. These new laws place extra duties upon Queensland property sellers to ensure that;

– interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms (not also containing an ionisation sensor) have been installed on every level and in every bedroom and interconnecting hallways outside the bedrooms

– be hardwired to the mains power supply, if currently hardwired, or powered by a non-removeable 10-year lithium battery

– comply with Australian Standard 3786:2014, be less than 10 years old, and function when tested

Disclosure obligations and smoke alarm compliance

If you are selling a residential property in QLD you are required by law to disclose certain information to the buyer before they enter into a contract – the two main documents where this information is captured are;

  • the contract of sale
  • the ‘Form 24’ (Transfer of Title)

Contract of Sale

The standard contract of sale in Queensland contains a section that the seller is required to complete prior to the buyer signing the contract, stating whether the property is fitted with compliant smoke alarms. When preparing a property for sale, these smoke alarm requirements must be met before a property can settle.

As a seller you cannot contract out of this obligation and must comply with the minimum smoke alarm requirements. Failure to install compliant smoke alarms is an offence (even if it has been disclosed) and the seller may be subject to a fine (a seller can still be fined for committing an offence after the property has been sold). As such, it is recommended that QLD sellers ensure compliant interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms are installed at their cost prior to settlement.

Form 24

When a property is sold, the vendor must also lodge a Form 24 (Transfer of Title) with Titles Queensland (formerly called the Queensland Land Registry Office), stating that the above requirements of the smoke alarm legislation have been met, and that the purchaser is aware of the fact. The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) can subsequently access the property specific smoke alarm information contained within the Form 24.

Smoke alarm compliance certificate when selling in QLD?

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) is Queensland’s peak professional body for the real estate industry. On their website they clarify a few points in relation to smoke alarm compliance certificates when selling, and this is what they state;

Please refer to our Legal Disclaimer. Information provided is general in nature and should not be construed as expert legal advice. You should always seek the assistance of an independent legal professional when selling or purchasing a property.