Replacing smoke detector batteries in rentals is a question that comes up often. So whose responsibility is it is the question this week for Ask Landlord Hank. Remember Hank is not an attorney and he is not offering legal advice. If you have a question for him please fill out the form below.

Dear Landlord Hank:

Whose responsibility is it to replace batteries in smoke detectors? The landlord or the tenant?

– Robert

Hi Robert,

That would depend on the lease.

In my lease I make it very clear that the tenants are responsible for the smoke detectors and the battery replacement in rentals, as well as batteries in the thermostat and any other remotes for the property.

If it’s not specifically spelled out in the lease I would think it is the tenant’s responsibility as part of the upkeep of the property.


Hank Rossi