Smoke detectors are essential for every property. It keeps both your property and tenant safe. However, there is some confusion regarding the installation and maintenance of these necessary devices. Who should install them? Who should make sure the smoke detector batteries are still working?
Smoke Detector Installation
The laws regarding smoke detectors vary by state and/or county. In Oregon, all homes that are being sold or rented need to have working smoke alarms. Legislation is updated almost every year so make sure that you are updated on the safety requirements for your tenants.
The landlord will be responsible for the installation of smoke detectors. It is also up to them to verify that it is working. Placement and types of smoke alarms also vary in every state. It can be on each level of the home and/or per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Smoke Detector Batteries
At the start of the tenancy, the landlord should ensure that the smoke detectors have working batteries. The batteries need to be checked at least once every six months. This responsibility falls on the tenant. They need to replace batteries as needed and notify the landlord in writing. The tenants are however prohibited from tampering with the alarms.
With that said, the landlord should specify the instructions on the lease/rental agreement concerning battery replacement. On the other hand, generally, it would depend on the lease. Some landlords may specify that they will be the only ones to change the batteries. If not, then it would be the tenant’s responsibility to check when the batteries are due for a change.
Changing the Batteries
Tenants may request for the landlords to change the batteries if they are unable or uncomfortable doing it themselves. In this case, you can set an agreement to have them pay the price for the batteries. You can go on your normal inspection and change the batteries then.