Texas Property Code for Security Devices and Smoke Alarms


The relationship between landlords and tenants cannot be left ungoverned, as clashes are almost certain to manifest sooner or later. In Texas, multiple statuses govern the code of conduct between landlords and tenants, including Chapter 92 of the Texas Property Code. The property codes given in the chapter provide clear guidelines regarding the use of security devices and smoke alarms. Even then, conflicts between landlords and tenants are commonplace when it comes to the installation, rekeying or up-gradation of such systems. Therefore, if you’re looking for apartments for rent in San Angelo or for that matter, any other city in the US, it is advisable to be aware of all the relevant guidelines.

Landlord’s Obligations Regarding Security Devices

Rekeying Locks

Rekeying is the process of changing the keys, access cards or combination to the house. This applies to all exterior doors that grant outsiders access to the inside of the house, regardless of their locking mechanism. The landlord needs to rekey all such locks within 7 days after the tenant has moved in, and this must be done every time there is a change.

Installing Smoke Alarms

Installing a smoke alarm is a mandate in three areas of the property:

  • Bedrooms
  • Area outside bedroom
  • Individual levels of property

Note that if multiple bedrooms have a common hallway, they may have a shared smoke alarm.

Securing Entrances

Tenants have the right to demand their landlords to secure all entrances, including front door, emergency exit door, sliding glass doors, windows and other inlets. Every exterior door must have a lock that is either a deadbolt or door knob. If the main (front) door has a keyed lock, it should be a deadbolt; whereas, a door knob is sufficient for other doors.

In addition, a door viewer or a suitable substitute such as a clear glass pane may also be a mandate in certain cases. While double-sided deadbolts are not mentioned in the Texas property code, it may be a regulation device as per the locally applicable regulations or fire codes (check local ordinances). Note that different codes and ordinances apply to certain categories of doors such as the French door.

These were the Texas property codes for security devices and smoke alarms. To avoid all possible confusions with your landlord, ensure that these codes are being honored before moving in, and every time there is any major renovation work.

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