Texas Property Code

Sec. § 92.2611
Tenant’s Disabling of a Smoke Alarm


(a)

A tenant is liable according to this subchapter if the tenant removes a battery from a smoke alarm without immediately replacing it with a working battery or knowingly disconnects or intentionally damages a smoke alarm, causing it to malfunction.

(b)

Except as provided in Subsection (c), a landlord of a tenant who is liable under Subsection (a) may obtain a judgment against the tenant for damages suffered by the landlord because the tenant removed a battery from a smoke alarm without immediately replacing it with a working battery or knowingly disconnected or intentionally damaged the smoke alarm, causing it to malfunction.

(c)

A tenant is not liable for damages suffered by the landlord if the damage is caused by the landlord’s failure to repair the smoke alarm within a reasonable time after the tenant requests it to be repaired, considering the availability of material, labor, and utilities.

(d)

A landlord of a tenant who is liable under Subsection (a) may obtain or exercise one or more of the remedies in Subsection (e) if:

(1)

a lease between the landlord and tenant contains a notice, in underlined or boldfaced print, which states in substance that the tenant must not disconnect or intentionally damage a smoke alarm or remove the battery without immediately replacing it with a working battery and that the tenant may be subject to damages, civil penalties, and attorney’s fees under Section 92.2611 (Tenant’s Disabling of a Smoke Alarm) of the Property Code for not complying with the notice; and

(2)

the landlord has given notice to the tenant that the landlord intends to exercise the landlord’s remedies under this subchapter if the tenant does not reconnect, repair, or replace the smoke alarm or replace the removed battery within seven days after being notified by the landlord to do so.

(d-1)

The notice in Subsection (d)(2) must be in a separate document furnished to the tenant after the landlord has discovered that the tenant has disconnected or damaged the smoke alarm or removed a battery from it.

(e)

If a tenant is liable under Subsection (a) and the tenant does not comply with the landlord’s notice under Subsection (d), the landlord shall have the following remedies against the tenant:

(1)

a court order directing the tenant to comply with the landlord’s notice;

(2)

a judgment against the tenant for a civil penalty of one month’s rent plus $100;

(3)

a judgment against the tenant for court costs; and

(4)

a judgment against the tenant for reasonable attorney’s fees.

(f)

A tenant’s guest or invitee who suffers damage because of a landlord’s failure to install, inspect, or repair a smoke alarm as required by this subchapter may recover a judgment against the landlord for the damage. A tenant’s guest or invitee who suffers damage because the tenant removed a battery without immediately replacing it with a working battery or because the tenant knowingly disconnected or intentionally damaged the smoke alarm, causing it to malfunction, may recover a judgment against the tenant for the damage.
Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 869, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 918, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 28.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.
Amended by:
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 257 (H.B. 1168), Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2011.
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 257 (H.B. 1168), Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2011.
Source

Last accessed
Jun. 7, 2021