Landlord Quick Tip #278

Tip #278: Putting It To the Test

 After a fatal apartment fire this week, fire investigators pointed blame at the landlord for the absence of working smoke detectors in the complex.

Landlords shoulder the responsibility for installing and maintaining smoke detectors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also bring tenants in on the action:

Make sure your move-in inspections include a test of the smoke detectors. That way, a damaged detector or low batteries can be noted as a red flag and the problem can be fixed immediately.

During the walk-through, point out the detectors to the new tenant. Show the tenant how to test the battery, and require tenants to test the system once per month.

Require tenants to immediately report a low or dead battery, or to replace the battery if that is allowed in your state.

Provide tenants with a smoke detector addendum like the one available on our Landlord Forms page.  This addendum can include a prohibition against tampering with the smoke or carbon monoxide detectors in the unit, and is particularly important for multifamily properties.

Put tenants in charge of their own safety, and you can increase the odds that everyone will stay safe.

See last week’s Landlord Quick Tip.

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