Chapter 92 of the Texas Property codes addresses property code for rental properties. Landlords or property managers are fully responsible for understanding and complying this state code. With 9 sub-chapters and 95 individual sections it can be a bit overwhelming. The purpose of the website is to help users navigate sections of the code easily. Also we will post recent and upcoming changes to Texas rental property code. View Chapter 92 Texas Property Code
HB 1168 applies to a home, mobile home, duplex unit, condominium unit, or any dwelling unit in a multi-unit residential structure that is being leased to a tenant. It essentially makes state law consistent with model codes (some local ordinances already require a smoke alarm in each separate bedroom) by requiring at least one smoke alarm to be placed in each bedroom or in the room used for sleeping, in the case of an efficiency unit. In addition, if multiple bedrooms are served by the same hallway, there must be a smoke alarm in the hallway in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms; and if the unit has multiple levels, there must be a smoke alarm on each level.View HB 1168 All Changes to Property Code
For properties occupied as a residence before Sept. 1, 2011, a smoke alarm may be battery operated and is not required to be interconnected with other smoke alarms. Owners will have until Jan. 1, 2013 to comply. For properties built after Sept. 1 2011 (new properties), local ordinances may impose stricter requirements.
Note: This legislation does not affect the alternative compliance method for a one-family or two-family dwelling unit, which may be satisfied by complying with the local code. [What this means is that if one to two-family unit is already in compliance with their local code, they have complied with the smoke alarm section of the property code].
Also, if a landlord has installed a 1A10BC residential fire extinguisher or other non-rechargeable fire extinguisher required by local ordinance, the landlord must inspect the fire extinguisher at the beginning of tenant's possession and within a reasonable time after receiving a written request from the tenant. Finally, a landlord at the landlord's expense is required to repair or replace a non-functioning fire extinguisher, one that does not have the correct pressure as recommended by the manufacturer, or one the tenant has used for a legitimate purpose.
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Disclaimer: The above is our interpretation with respect to the basics of the Texas Property Code with regard to landlord responsibilities. While this information can help ensure property code compliance for your rental property, we are not lawyers. Since this is the case, you may want to review the full detailed text of Chapter 92 - Residential Tenancies - Texas Property Code as it applies to landlord and tenant arrangements.