Failing To Plan, Is A Plan To Fail

A transition strategy for your rent roll in relation to new smoke alarm legislation!

The changes to smoke alarm laws in Queensland have been in place for 12 months, and while most owners prefer to wait until the last minute, it’s not a viable strategy for a busy Property Manager with a rent roll to manage.

It is a daunting conversation to have with an investor, explaining that a mandatory upgrade could cost them up to a months’ rent. It’s harder still to persuade them to do it sooner rather than later! Unfortunately, delaying the work until the last minute increases the risk of the price going up due to higher demand, and reduces the opportunity to spread the cost over time.

Communication is critical, and your preferred smoke alarm service provider should be able to help tailor your message through your newsletters and email campaigns. By educating the owners on the new laws, the reasons for the changes and their choices, many of your owners will be willing to upgrade sooner and help you manage the transition.

Before you start the conversation, it’s important to have all the answers and it pays to check your preferred supplier is across the changes too. Here are 3 straightforward questions they should be able to answer, and provide you with the evidence you can pass on to reassure owners:

Are the alarms you’re installing right now compliant with the Australia Standard 3786-2014?

The answer should be yes. This has been a requirement since Jan 1, 2017. It is reasonable they supply a Certificate of Conformity as evidence is a handy document for your own records.

Are the alarms you’re installing able to be interconnected?

If not, your owners may be paying for alarms that will only be compliant for another 4 years. It’s a short term solution that you, and your owners, need to be aware of. It may mean every alarm in every property will need to be upgraded, no matter how recently they installed it.

What is your transition strategy?

Put simply, if they don’t have one, then neither do you. Some providers plan to install the entire house in one hit, which means your owners are up for one hefty bill. It also means they will be under huge demand, just when you need them most. Others may provide a payment plan, which is more attractive to the owner but could be very complicated for you, and neither option will stop that last minute rush.

Ideally your supplier installs alarms today that meet the latest Australian Standard and can be interconnected with incoming alarms. This means an alarm they put in today will interconnect to the alarm they put in next year and so on. In this way a property receives a new alarm each year or scheduled visit, depending on the owners’ preference. Over time, the property will be brought to the new standard and the owner will only have paid for the alarms as they’re fitted, spreading the cost over the next 4 years, and keeping your invoicing simple.

Safe Home Services is happy to help build your transition strategy, and have newsletter articles ready to be tailored for your use. Simply email and one of our Safe Home Advisors will be in touch or visit Safe Home Services website for more information.