After six people died from carbon monoxide poisoning this winter, Colorado has passed tough legislative concerning carbon monoxide detectors in rentals. The homes where the deaths occurred did not have detectors.
The new law spells out the responsibilities of both landlords and tenants regarding the proper maintenance of the detection units, right down to the batteries. Landlords in Colorado are required to inspect the units before a new tenant moves in to make sure the last tenant didn’t steal them, and that all are in working condition.
The law applies to any unit with fuel-fired appliances, or an attached garage.
A limitation of liability is also included in the Colorado law preventing lawsuits against rental owners for manufacturing defects, and it also prohibits any person from removing the batteries of a detection unit except to replace them.
Many states have enacted similar statutes in the past five years in response to deaths in residences, including rentals. Local governments may also enact these types of regulations, so check with an attorney familiar with the laws in your area if you need to determine whether you are in compliance.