Smoke Detector Inspection Form
Heavens forbid you should have a fire and an insurance claim, but if you do, your claim may be delayed or denied if there's uncertainty about your smoke detectors. Were they operating? When was the last time they had been tested? Could the tenants have tampered with them?
The form below, combined with a reminder in your calendar or "to do" list, will help you prove that you have a routine smoke detector inspection as part of your being a landlord.
When is a Good Time to Make a Smoke Detector Inspection?
You can do it during a vacancy and have the tenants sign this form as part of their move-in packet. Some landlords use it as an opportunity to gather information about behaviors that they fear may be in violation of the agreement. For instance, if you think they have too many birds in the apartment, you can call for a smoke detector inspection. If you happen to see too many birds while you're inspecting, then you can start that conversation with them. Do not abuse this. The primary reason for your entry must be a real inspection and battery replacement.
Remember you must always give notice of entry, and identify smoke detector inspections as a valid reason for entry, in your agreement.
How to Fill Out This Form
Fill out the top half at the end of a vacancy (address, location of detectors, etc.). Have the middle parts signed by the tenants at move-in. Fill in the bottom lines each time you enter the apartment during that tenancy to conduct an inspection. We recommend any time you inspect you also replace the batteries.
You're not alone. Members can commiserate with other landlords over email and Facebook message boards, and learn what can be done to prevent it.