Can a landlord pass on a$500 fine issued by the fire departmentto tenant, if they werewas babysitting a 3 year old that pulled a fire alarm?

Babysitter took our 3 year old out and stopped by her apartment. He (3 year old) pulled the fire alarm (it had no cover – recommended by the fire dept) at the apartment. She (nanny) (within 60 seconds) reported the false alarm to the office mgr (who was on phone with Fire Dept). Next day the apartment manager slapped her with a $500 fine. She can’t afford it (its almost her entire rent!) and neither can we. Is this legal? They said they get a certain number of waivers but they’ve been used up? What can we do?

Asked on February 27, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The way to resolve the dispute is to carefully read the basis for the fine. Was the fine for no cover or was the fine for the fact that the fire alarm was pulled?

If the fine was for no cover, then the landlord should pay the fine because he or she is required to comply with existing fire codes. If the fine was for pulling the fire alarm, then the parents of the child should be responsible for this.

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