New Requirement for Rental Properties

by Chris on February 21, 2011

California landlords have until July to install carbon monoxide detectors in single-family properties — if they haven’t done so already.

The rule applies to any single-family home that has an attached garage, fireplace, or fueled appliances.

At least 24 states currently require the installation of battery-supported carbon monoxide detectors in rental properties, and provide penalties against landlords who fail to properly install and inspect the detectors. Where a state does not require the devices, local building or fire codes  may.

Carbon monoxide deaths can occur from improper venting of fossil-fuel (gas, propane) appliances, including the improper use of space heaters that a tenant may bring into the rental property.

Because carbon monoxide is odorless, and the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are the same as typical winter viruses like the flu, many victims are unaware they are in danger until it is too late.

The statutes that are passed regarding carbon monoxide detectors often are in reaction to deaths occurring in those states. Carbon monoxide detectors are inexpensive, especially when weighed against the potential liability a landlord could face for injury or death.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

MARI JARVIS February 22, 2011 at 8:59 am

Thanks, as always, for this important advice. It’s reassuring to be in the loop of tenant/landlord information. I am convinced of the absolute necessity of a strong lease with extensive credit/background checks. Thanks for keeping the industry professional.

Greg Gottlieb February 22, 2011 at 7:11 pm

I am not sure what the laws are regarding carbon monoxide detectors in my state, but I have always installed them along with fire/smoke detectors in each of my rental properties. One reason is to help with liability protection in case a furnace malfunctions. But the primary reason is to protect the health and well being of my tenants. I would feel awful if a tenant got seriously sick or died, and that could have been prevented by a $35 device and a semi annual investment in batteries.

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