Is a landlord required to provide working smoke detectors for the tenant?

Yes, North Carolina law provides that landlords are required to provide and install working smoke detectors in houses and apartments they rent. The tenant is not responsible for providing these smoke detectors.

North Carolina General Statute § 42 42 contain the following statutory obligations of the landlord with respect to smoke detectors:

  1. Landlords must provide an operable smoke detector that has the Underwriters Laboratory Inc. approval or an approval from a similar testing organization.
  2. The landlord must install a proper detector in accordance with the standards of the National Fire Protection Association.
  3. Upon receiving notice of a need for replacement or repair of a smoke detector, the landlord must, within 15 days after receipt of such notice, repair or replace the smoke detector.
  4. The landlord shall ensure that the smoke detector is operable at the beginning of each tenancy.
  5. The landlord shall replace batteries in battery operated smoke detectors at the beginning of each tenancy.  However, for this one requirement, the law specifically says that the landlord would not be negligent for failure to install these new batteries.
  6. If the landlord shall fail to comply with any of the requirements mandated by North Carolina law (except for the requirement concerning changing new batteries) the landlord is liable for any injury or death that results from this failure.