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I am... an owner of short-stay accommodation

If you’re an owner of short-stay accommodation in Victoria, you are responsible for providing information to guests that will keep them safe during their stay.

Short-stay accommodation refers to apartments, houses and rooms rented like hotels and motels, through online providers. They can be booked for days or months.

If you’re the owner of a short-stay apartment which has been identified as having combustible cladding, it is best practice to ensure those renting the property are aware. This means including a clause in the booking agreement about the property having combustible cladding.

It is important to note that a building or apartment with combustible cladding does not necessarily make the premises unsafe. Higher-risk buildings across the state are eligible to have the combustible cladding fixed by Cladding Safety Victoria’s $600 million cladding rectification program, and owners of identified apartments are encouraged to speak to their owners corporation about what this means for them.

As an owner, you also have the responsibility to ensure all guests are aware of fire safety information and know practical steps they should take to be fire safe. This is important regardless of whether the building has combustible cladding or not.

  • Ensure smoke alarms are not covered or disconnected and are tested each month. If smoke alarms have 9-volt batteries, it is critical they are replaced every year. Consider changing your smoke alarms to ones with a 10-year lithium battery. 
  • Keep a dry powder fire extinguisher easily accessible in your home at all times. Guests should use fire extinguisher only in case of a small fire and if they feel physically and mentally able. 
  • Ensure guests are informed of escape routes and escape procedures.

It is critical that guests understand and practice fire safety precautions:

  • Remove rubbish, clutter and flammable items from balconies.
  • Keep balcony furniture away from exterior walls.
  • Keep items one metre from air-conditioning units, including clothing that is on the balcony to dry.
  • Do not use barbecues on balconies.
  • Do not smoke on balconies.
  • Do not store gas bottles on balconies.
  • Keep fire doors clear, closed and unlocked at all times.
  • Know the building fire evacuation plan and be familiar with escape routes and escape procedures.
  • Call 000 in an emergency.

I’m unsure if my short-stay apartment has combustible cladding – what should I do?

If you’re an owner of an apartment leased for short-stay accommodation and you aren’t sure if the building contains combustible cladding, the guest is concerned the building might have combustible cladding, or you want to know whether your building is included in Cladding Safety Victoria’s program, please contact a member of the building’s owners corporation or owners corporation manager. The owners corporation is the best way to find out this information because they will be contacted by Cladding Safety Victoria if the building has been identified in the Statewide Cladding Audit and if it is eligible for the program.

If the building has been found to contain combustible cladding, and it is within Cladding Safety Victoria’s program, it is the responsibility of the owners corporation and the owner to inform guests.

Fire Safety Resources 

Download, print and display the below poster outlining fire safety tips: 

Or contact support@claddingsafety.vic.gov.au to arrange a copy of the poster to be mailed to you.

Essential Safety Measures

Essential Safety Measures (ESMs) are the safety features required in a building to protect occupants in the event of a fire. If a fire occurs, well maintained ESMs can provide residents with more time to exit the building and lessen the chance of fire spreading. ESMs require ongoing care and maintenance.

Read more information including advice to owners corporations about Essential Safety Measures.

Looking for more information? 

For more information on testing, maintaining and replacing smoke alarms, visit Fire Rescue Victoria.

More information about the responsibilities of landlords can be found by visiting Consumer Affairs Victoria, including information about fire safety in rental properties which should be provided to tenants.

How can I contact Cladding Safety Victoria for more information?

We’ve provided information on our website about our cladding rectification program and a range of other resources to assist tenants and residents and owners corporations. However, if you need further assistance, please get in touch with Cladding Safety Victoria via email: support@claddingsafety.vic.gov.au or phone our support line Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm on 1300 456 542.

Reviewed 17 May 2021

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