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judgeThe Toledo, Ohio Landlord who pleaded “no contest” to homicide charges after a generator he installed caused the deaths of four tenants was sentenced in court last week.

The judge sentenced the man to six months in jail, three years probation, and 1,000 hours of community service.  He faced a possible sentence of 20 years.

According to a local report, he apologized to the victims’ relatives and expressed remorse for the deaths of the tenants, who he said he had known for nearly two decades.

The landlord allowed the mother and her three children to move into a house with no electricity or heat in late winter.  He explained that he brought in the generator because the family complained of being cold.

Half of all states have passed laws requiring carbon monoxide detectors in rental properties.

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  • Anthony

    What a $hitty situation to be in! This definitely sounds like negligence but he was just trying to help!

  • gary

    Sounds like somebody trying to do the right thing – stupid as it was. Now that our justice system has branded him a criminal, the obvious civil suit that will surely follow should be a slam dunk.

    As the article explains, 1/2 the states have required carbon monoxide detectors in rentals. Once again, the law is crafted to make the landlord responsible for the well-being of the tenant. Who is responsible for seeing that the detectors are functioning on a DAILY basis? Most have a light that shows if battery level is adequate – but that doesn’t mean the unit is working – or that anybody even looks at the light.

    How about a law that requires tenants to be completely responsible for buying their own detectors and maintaining them? Why not make it illegal for them to sign a lease without promising to do so?

    When do the citizens of this country return to accepting responsibility for their own lives? How about getting back to the concept that a landlord is merely renting property – and not signing on as a babysitter or a parent?

  • Joseph

    Gary is right. I am tried of being the parent for all my tenants. In California it is illegal to do this. Being a landlord you have to always be on the lookout for anything that a tenant my sue you for. I am just suprise at how this landlord would rent a unit without electricity or heat.

  • 1forthelandlords

    1. Renting a unit that has no electricity AND no heat
    2. running a combustion engine (generator) indoors

    Is it just me or are landlords becoming more and more brain-dead? The potential lawsuit(s) here could have been easily avoided. Loss of life could have easily been avoided. This has nothing to do with needing to be on the lookout for getting sued. This has nothing to do with laws that require landlords to be responsible for the well-being of their tenants. This has nothing to do with CO1 detectors in the house. This has everything to do with exercising one small ounce of common sense. This landlord was extremely lucky to get the sentencing he received.

    I do hope that the two previous landlords/property owners are currently exercising common sense when renting out their properties. Failing to do so gives the rest of us landlords a bad name.

  • jeff

    He got off easy he could be in the can for 20 years. As landlords it is our property, we must take care of it. to put people in it with out electricity or heat was just plain stupied

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