Tuesday, August 14, 2007

New law may require sellers to install hearing impaired smoke detectors!

This was taken from the Texas Association of Realtors' Website:

Smoke detector requirements
The 80th Texas Legislature in 2007 made changes to seller's disclosure requirements, specifically regarding smoke detectors. What are the smoke detector requirements for homes in Texas? (Aug. 6, 2007)The legislation, which is effective Sept. 1, 2007, requires one- and two-family dwellings constructed in Texas to have working smoke detectors installed in accordance with the requirements of the building code in effect in the area in which the dwelling is located. This requirement extends to a landlord of a one- or two-family dwelling unit and satisfies the requirements of the current smoke-detector laws applicable to landlords. The law further requires that a permit issued for a home improvement include the installation of smoke detectors in accordance with the local building code if the dwelling for which the permit will be issued does not comply.

What rights do buyers have under this law? (Aug. 6, 2007)Certain purchasers may require the seller to install smoke detectors equipped for hearing-impaired persons prior to the closing date of the sale of the home. In order to impose this requirement on the seller, the purchaser must satisfy a number of requirements:

There must be a written contract in place.
It must be a sale of single-family dwelling or duplex.
The buyer or a member of the buyer’s family who will live in the dwelling must be hearing impaired.
The buyer must provide written evidence of the hearing impairment signed by a licensed physician.
The buyer must submit a written request to the seller to install the smoke detectors.
The buyer must specify in the written request where the detectors are to be installed.
The buyer must send the written request not later than the 10th day after the effective date of the contract.

The bill allows the buyer and seller to agree on the brand and which party will bear the cost of the detectors. The seller must install the detectors no later than the closing date. If the seller fails to install, as may be required, the buyer has the right to terminate the contract.
As a realtor that works heavily in the deaf community, it is my pleasure to assist my disabled clients to understand their rights when it comes to being safe in their new home. The Mahon Team stands ready to help you! Give us a call! - Brandi Mahon

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