May a landlord's duty to install smoke alarms be waived?

Asked by Alex R Johnson, Fulton, TX Wed Dec 12, 2012

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Chris Hutchi…, Agent, Hurst, TX
Wed Dec 12, 2012
You can't waive this requirement and you shouldn't want to waive it either. If something happened to the tenants and you knowingly we're out of compliance with the law. You could be personally liable and your insurance may not cover you either. It could even go to criminal negligence depending on the situation.

Bad situation.


Chris Hutchinson
The Michael Group
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Brian Rayl, Agent, Dallas, TX
Wed Dec 12, 2012
Yup, what Lynn said. Smoke alarms are a matter of personal protection and can be a life saving device. The Texas Property Code does not allow for the requirement to be waived. They are not expensive at all, so I don't see why any landlord would want the liability of asking for a waiver. I'd bet their homeowners insurance would also not want that liability and would revoke their insurance.

Best of luck,
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They save lives. There is no downside for NOT having them. Thanks for reply, Brian.
Flag Wed Dec 12, 2012
Alex R Johns…, Agent, Fulton, TX
Wed Dec 12, 2012
Texas Association of REALTORS say: NO. As a reminder, landlords have until Jan. 1, 2013, to comply with a state law that went into effect on Sept. 11, 2011, requiring the landlord of a property with a lease signed before Sept. 1, 2011, to install smoke alarms in each bedroom, in each hallway that services multiple bedrooms, and on each level of the dwelling unit.

Per the Texas Property Code, the duty to install smoke alarms may not be waived. If a landlord is not in compliance with the law on smoke alarms, a tenant may seek remedies, such as a judgment for damages related to the violation and court costs.

For two ways to alternatively comply with the requirements relating to smoke alarms, see Property Code, Section 92.2571.
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