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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Experience:  Litigation Attorney
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I'm a renter and there are no working smoke alarms in

Customer Question

I'm a renter and there are no working smoke alarms in the new house. I'm scared to stay in here what does the las say I should do. Going on s week trip and afraid of leaving my belongings in a house with no smoke detector
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

What state are you located in?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Virginia
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.

See below for the Virginia statute regarding smoke detectors:

§ 15.2-922. Smoke detectors in certain buildings.

Any locality, notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, general or special, may by ordinance require that smoke detectors be installed in the following structures or buildings: (i) any building containing one or more dwelling units, (ii) any hotel or motel regularly used or offered for, or intended to be used to provide overnight sleeping accommodations for one or more persons, and (iii) rooming houses regularly used, offered for, or intended to be used to provide overnight sleeping accommodations. Smoke detectors installed pursuant to this section shall be installed in conformance with the provisions of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (§ 36-97 et seq.), and any locality with an ordinance shall follow a uniform set of standards for maintenance of smoke detectors established in the Uniform Statewide Building Code. The ordinance shall allow the type of smoke detector to be either battery operated or AC powered units. Such ordinance shall require that the owner of any unit which is rented or leased, at the beginning of each tenancy and at least annually thereafter, shall furnish the tenant with a certificate that all required smoke detectors are present, have been inspected, and are in good working order. Except for smoke detectors located in hallways, stairwells, and other public or common areas of multifamily buildings, interim testing, repair, and maintenance of smoke detectors in rented or leased units shall be the responsibility of the tenant; however, the owner shall be obligated to service, repair, or replace any malfunctioning smoke detectors within five days of receipt of written notice from the tenant that such smoke detector is in need of service, repair, or replacement.

§ 55 - 248.13. Landlord to maintain fit premises.

A. The landlord shall:

1. Comply with the requirements of applicable building and housing codes materially affecting health and safety;

B. The landlord shall perform the duties imposed by subsection A in accordance with law; however, the landlord shall only be liable for the tenant's actual damages proximately caused by the landlord's failure to exercise ordinary care.

Basically, you need to provide written notice to your landlord that the apartment is not up to code with smoke detectors and that you will terminate your lease in 30 days if the situation is not remedied within 21 days.

§ 55 -248.21. Noncompliance by landlord.

Except as provided in this chapter, if there is a material noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement or a noncompliance with any provision of this chapter, materially affecting health and safety, the tenant may serve a written notice on the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach and stating that the

rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than 30 days after receipt of the notice if such breach is not remedied in 21 days. If the landlord commits a breach which is not remediable, the tenant may serve a written

notice on the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the breach, and stating that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less that 30 days after receipt of the notice. If the landlord has been served with a prior written notice which required the landlord to remedy a breach, and the landlord remedied such breach, where the landlord intentionally commits a subsequent breach of a like nature as the prior breach, the tenant may serve a written notice on the landlord specifying the acts and omissions constituting the subsequent breach, make reference to the prior breach of a like nature, and state that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than 30 days after receipt of the notice.

Please let me know if you have any further questions or let me know if you would like additional services. If not, please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated for my work. (There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 next to my answer, an excellent or good rating would be fantastic).

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.
I see you have reviewed my answer, do you have any further questions? If not, please do not forget to positively rate my answer (There should be smiley faces or a 1-5 ranking on my answer. I would appreciate a good or excellent rating) as this is the only way that I am compensated for my work.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.
Do you need help with the rating system? We answer these questions with the expectation that our work will be compensated by the site. Without your positive rating that won't happen, so if you could take the extra step and help me out, I would appreciate it. There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 next to my answer, an excellent or good rating would be fantastic.

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