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6711 Forest Lawn Dr., Suite 107
Los Angeles, CA 90068

(323) 882-6606


Stay current on the latest articles from Kari Negri and SKY Properties.

Smoke and CO Detector Checklist

“Ask Kari” is a monthly, Question & Answer feature from Kari Negri.  Kari has two decades of property management experience, is a featured speaker at many industry trade shows, such as AAGLA’s annual trade show, and is the CEO of SKY Properties, Inc. in Los Angeles.

Smoke and CO Detector Checklist

Did you know that when you serve notice to your tenants that you will be performing your six-month smoke detector and carbon monoxide check, you must notate everything you wish to look at? Or you are not permitted to look at it at all? With that, here are some things to check:

  1. Smoke Detector and CO Detector.

When checking smoke detectors, test with smoke detector aerosol canister. It sprays synthetic smoke that will cause the detector to beep if the detector is working correctly. For CO detector, test via pressing the test button. If it beeps, it’s an indication that it is supposed to be functioning properly.

  1. Plumbing.

For plumbing, check under all sinks for leaks. Inspect all faucets and showers for leaks. For toilet, check to see it is not loose and balanced perfectly, that it flushes correctly, and that it’s not running. You may even qualify for free ultra-low-flow toilets through DWP water conservation programs. They not only save water, but also save you money. Check the caulking around tubs and toilets. If the caulking is bad, cracked, old, it can leak into sub-flooring, and can cause a lot of damage.

  1. All appliances, A/C Filter, water heater closet, stove hood filter, and heater vents.

We touched on these things last month, but as a quick review, don’t let your dryers cause a fire from lint build-up (even from lint behind/underneath the lint catch). Decalcify your dishwashers. Make certain water heater closets are clean and free of clutter. Clean wall heater vents to make sure air can vent easily. Check and/or replace the stove hood filter. Review manufacturers instructions regarding maintenance for each appliance. Drain your water heaters per the manufacturers recommendations (often every 18-24 months) to rid bottom of sediment. Make sure your water heaters have relief valves and are properly earthquake strapped.

  1. Pest control.

Check for evidence of pest infestation such as droppings, eggs and staining inside cabinets, drawers, under sinks, etc. When calling in pest control, it’s imperative that the tenant be given sufficient notice and unit preparation instructions. Best to follow up with tenant the day before pest control to make certain the unit is prepped. Some pest control companies keep a log of each unit to keep a record of how the pest control problem is under control, if the tenant allowed entry, prepped the unit, and any other tensions that may have affected the treatment. You should keep records of this too!

  1. Peeling paint.

Check for peeling paint throughout the unit. Pay particular attention to ceilings, window sills, and walls. This is also a good opportunity to check for evidence of any leak damage, such as bubbling paint and discolorations.

  1. Anything that would affect their deposit return on move-out.

Things you might look for in the unit include damage to carpet and flooring, holes/damage to walls, doors and cabinets, damage or improper use of plumbing and light fixtures, evidence of hoarding, cleanliness in general.

As always, please remember, I am not an attorney. Seek clarification through your attorney. All articles are simply an opinion. Stay in touch at

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