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Legal FAQs for REALTORS® — Landlord-Tenant Issues
Smoke Alarms

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Legal disclaimer

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

No. House Bill 1168, which became effective on September 1, 2011, requires a landlord to install smoke alarms: (1) in each bedroom; (2) in each hallway that services multiple bedrooms; AND (3) on each level of the dwelling unit. A landlord of a property first occupied before September 1, 2011, has until January 1, 2013, to comply these new requirements. Per the Property Code, the duty to install smoke alarms may not be waived. Two ways that a landlord may alternatively comply with requirements relating to smoke alarms are to have a fire detection device that includes a fire alarm device as defined by Section 6002.002 of the Insurance Code or to install smoke detectors in compliance with Chapter 766 of the Health and Safety Code. 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.

Legal Disclaimer: The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on Any legal or other information found here, on, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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