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Old 11-05-2019, 06:43 PM
 
11 posts, read 5,554 times
Reputation: 10

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About a year and a half ago, I rented my first apartment. Some time after I finished the process of moving everything into the studio and settling down, I noticed that there was only one hard-wired device which looked like a smoke alarm, but no carbon monoxide detector. In addition, there was no fire extinguisher. Thinking that the device might be a smoke alarm/carbon monoxide detector combo, I sent an e-mail to my landlord asking for clarification. They never responded. Not wanting to rock the boat, I kept my mouth shut about it (which I realize was a mistake). While I am fortunate that nothing has happened since then, I am concerned about having potential guests at the studio and want assurance that my apartment is safe. From what I've learned, I was supposed to get a Certificate of Occupancy upon moving in. However, I only received a copy of the lease agreement from my landlord as well as two packets from the management company overseeing the entire complex. The packets cover rules and regulations, but there is no Certificate of Occupancy.

Moving forward, I will be more careful when renting an apartment from someone and not let something like that be dismissed for so long. That being said, though, what should I do for this situation?

Last edited by Zack51; 11-05-2019 at 06:58 PM..
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Old 11-05-2019, 06:48 PM
 
3,140 posts, read 2,378,497 times
Reputation: 2369
Call your local housing office, it's likely there is a C of O but they just don't send them out to everyone. But that's the only way you're going to see if management isn't getting back to you.

Do you have a lot of people over asking for your C of O? It doesn't seem like you're concerned enough about your own personal safety to move, so what's "the situation"?
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:43 PM
 
8,720 posts, read 7,924,703 times
Reputation: 8288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack51 View Post
About a year and a half ago, I rented my first apartment. Some time after I finished the process of moving everything into the studio and settling down, I noticed that there was only one hard-wired device which looked like a smoke alarm, but no carbon monoxide detector. In addition, there was no fire extinguisher. Thinking that the device might be a smoke alarm/carbon monoxide detector combo, I sent an e-mail to my landlord asking for clarification. They never responded. Not wanting to rock the boat, I kept my mouth shut about it (which I realize was a mistake). While I am fortunate that nothing has happened since then, I am concerned about having potential guests at the studio and want assurance that my apartment is safe. From what I've learned, I was supposed to get a Certificate of Occupancy upon moving in. However, I only received a copy of the lease agreement from my landlord as well as two packets from the management company overseeing the entire complex. The packets cover rules and regulations, but there is no Certificate of Occupancy.

Moving forward, I will be more careful when renting an apartment from someone and not let something like that be dismissed for so long. That being said, though, what should I do for this situation?
If I were you I'd email the management company again and ask where the carbon monoxide detector & fire extinguisher are.

If you don't get an answer, call.

If your call isn't returned & the management company has an office, stop in and ask.

If none of the above work, sent a letter via certified mail to the manager.

If that doesn't get you a reply, call the town/city and tell them that your LL/complex isn't in compliance with the law and you have no CO detector or fire extinguisher in your apartment.

Also, in the city my rentals are in, it's not called a certificate of occupancy. It's called a:

CERTIFICATE OF SMOKE DETECTORS, CARBON MONOXIDE ALARM & PORTABLE FIRE
EXTINGUISHER COMPLIANCE (CSDCMAPFEC) (I copied & pasted, I'm not "yelling").


Good luck!
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
1,665 posts, read 1,749,525 times
Reputation: 2058
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack51 View Post
About a year and a half ago, I rented my first apartment. Some time after I finished the process of moving everything into the studio and settling down, I noticed that there was only one hard-wired device which looked like a smoke alarm, but no carbon monoxide detector. In addition, there was no fire extinguisher. Thinking that the device might be a smoke alarm/carbon monoxide detector combo, I sent an e-mail to my landlord asking for clarification. They never responded. Not wanting to rock the boat, I kept my mouth shut about it (which I realize was a mistake). While I am fortunate that nothing has happened since then, I am concerned about having potential guests at the studio and want assurance that my apartment is safe. From what I've learned, I was supposed to get a Certificate of Occupancy upon moving in. However, I only received a copy of the lease agreement from my landlord as well as two packets from the management company overseeing the entire complex. The packets cover rules and regulations, but there is no Certificate of Occupancy.

Moving forward, I will be more careful when renting an apartment from someone and not let something like that be dismissed for so long. That being said, though, what should I do for this situation?

Did you renew your lease knowing that the apartment may be in violation of local laws or did your lease expire and you are now a month to month tenant?
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:55 PM
 
11 posts, read 5,554 times
Reputation: 10
Jaymoney, the apartment is in a good location and has a relatively cheap price, so that's a large part of the reason I haven't moved elsewhere. Again, I know it was a mistake to let this problem go for as long as I have. I'm trying to make up for it now and won't be as careless in the future.

InformedInfo, thank you for your suggestions. In my lease agreement, it states that the landlord is responsible for the Certificate of Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Compliance (CSDCMAC). So, I'll e-mail them again about the certificate and call if I don't hear back. The apartments in this area have a bit of an unusual setup. Rather than one landlord managing all apartments in the building(s), the management company has different landlords assigned to different apartments.

Reenzz, my lease has expired and I'm now a month-to-month tenant.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:32 PM
 
3,140 posts, read 2,378,497 times
Reputation: 2369
You keep saying it's a mistake and a problem, but it's obviously not, since you didn't move out. You were just willing to overlook it.

Just call the city, skip the middleman.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:20 PM
 
8,720 posts, read 7,924,703 times
Reputation: 8288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack51 View Post
Jaymoney, the apartment is in a good location and has a relatively cheap price, so that's a large part of the reason I haven't moved elsewhere. Again, I know it was a mistake to let this problem go for as long as I have. I'm trying to make up for it now and won't be as careless in the future.

InformedInfo, thank you for your suggestions. In my lease agreement, it states that the landlord is responsible for the Certificate of Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Compliance (CSDCMAC). So, I'll e-mail them again about the certificate and call if I don't hear back. The apartments in this area have a bit of an unusual setup. Rather than one landlord managing all apartments in the building(s), the management company has different landlords assigned to different apartments.

Reenzz, my lease has expired and I'm now a month-to-month tenant.
I've never, in my 20 years + of being a landlord, given a copy of the certificate to my tenants.

I keep them in my files.

But you do need a CO detector and a fire extinguisher. You've tested your smoke detector & know that it works, yes? It's not just a little ceiling decoration?
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:27 AM
 
1,677 posts, read 1,209,043 times
Reputation: 2615
I’m a landlord and I don’t give the C of O to my tenants. That’s not how it works.

OP, you can pick up a smoke/CO detector at Home Depot for $30. Yes, it’s the landlord’s responsibility, but if you are genuinely concerned about the safety of your guests (while taking a year and a half to follow up), maybe you should just go buy one.

I also wonder if you’ve tried removing the unit from the ceiling and reading the label. The combo units look pretty much the same as a smoke-only detector.

Signed,
A happy soon-to-be-ex-landlord
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:46 AM
 
Location: Central, NJ
2,473 posts, read 5,141,992 times
Reputation: 3579
I would buy a detector and a fire extinguisher if I was worried about being poisoned or putting out fires.
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