Smoke detectors are intended to provide an early warning of a fire. California law requires smoke detectors to be set in certain regions of each residence, whether it is a privately owned home or a rental property. While the state guidelines are stringent in regards to installation and positioning, cities and counties can enact more stringent demands. Landlords and tenants should check local codes and ordinances for smoke sensor policies in rental properties.
A rental property must be habitable, meaning that it meets all local and state codes and ordinances. Examples of conditions needed for habitability include powerful waterproofing for windows and roof, working electrical and plumbing systems, fire exits, a working deadbolt on the exterior door, decent trash containers and appliances in good repair. Working smoke detectors are a part of the habitability conditions outlined by the state of California.
Smoke Detector Laws
The California Department of Consumer Affairs states that working smoke detectors must be put in each rental property, whether it is a multiple-unit building or rental house. If the rental property is an apartment complex, the stairwells should also have working smoke detectors. This reveals the law located in the California Health and Safety Code 13113.7, as well as at California Civil Code Section 1941.1. It is not optional for your landlord to choose whether or not to install smoke detectors. The absence of smoke detectors in a rental real estate is against the law.
Smoke Detector Requirements
According to the California Health and Safety Code § 13113.8, a smoke detector should be set up just outside of each bedroom at a private or rental property. New structures constructed after 1992 must have hardwired smoke detectors with a battery backup. These newer properties must additionally have a smoke detector inside each bedroom. Properties constructed before 1992 are required to have battery-operated detectors set up. All smoke detectors must be accepted and listed by the state fire marshal.
The landlord is responsible for installing working smoke detectors, however, the renter bears some responsibility for ensuring they stay in great working order. The tenant should notify the landlord immediately if the smoke detectors malfunction so they can be mended or replaced. Tenants cannot remove the smoke detectors and must guarantee that batteries are regularly replaced. A neighbor has limited capacity to make certain working smoke detectors in a rental property in the event the tenant or the tenant’s guests don’t take responsibility for proper maintenance and maintenance.