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WHo is responsible for smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in a single family home?

Baldwin, NY |

There aren't any detectors in the house. The landlord sent someone to look at the house about a month ago and knows that there aren't any detectors. I am sure he will try and say it is my responsibility. How can I make him pay for/install them?

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Attorney answers 4


Dear Baldwin tenant:

The landlord is required to provide a house with working CO detectors and smoke alarms.

The fact that your home is without either may indicate further violations of housing, safety, habitability and health codes.

You could request an inspection by the town code enforcement officer, but you should try to learn ahead of an inspection whether an immediate vacate order will result from the dual failure of the landlord to comply with these two well known and wide spread personal and home safety systems.

Your should have observed this failure before moving into the house. You should look through your lease for mention of the CO detectors and smoke alarms.

Take the time to install the proper safety detectors now, and deal with the landlord later if you have to.

Taking care of protecting yourself and your family takes precedence over the financial responsibility.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.


A word to the wise is if you fight with your landlord, you'll be homeless quickly. Buy the detectirs and pipe down. The street is one court case away.

Good luck.


The landlord must provide them.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


Landlord is responsible. When he purchased the house there is an affidavit requiring smoke detectors.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or

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