The Realty Solutions Group is a property management company serving Alexandria and Northern VA. We often get questions from landlords about smoke detectors and whether they are required in rental properties. They are required in Alexandria and there are specific regulations about where they are located in the property.
The local ordinance requires that the owner of any rental unit furnish the property with smoke detectors. At the beginning of every tenancy, you are required to provide your tenants with a certificate that states all smoke detectors in the house are present, have been inspected and are in good working order. It’s also required that you give your tenants this documentation on an annual basis after they have moved into your property.
Smoke detectors must be installed in every sleep area in the home. They should be placed outside of each separate bedroom, in the immediate vicinity of that sleeping space. Make sure you have them installed on each story of your home, including the basement if there is a space there that has been converted into a bedroom or sleeping area.
If you have a split level home and there is not an intervening door between the adjacent levels, smoke detectors that are installed on the upper level will be sufficient as long as the lower level of the home is less than one full story beneath the upper level and that smoke detector.
This might sound complicated if you’re a new landlord or you’re not familiar with the law. You simply have to make sure you have smoke detectors outside of every bedroom and you have to inspect and test them every year. If you’re not sure you are in compliance, or you have questions about what you need to do, please contact us at The Realty Solutions Group, and we’d be happy to tell you more.