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Old 10-22-2013, 07:56 PM
 
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I live in VA. I just started a new lease with a new tenant. I have regular smoke detectors in there...but today, the tenant said that it's the law to have Carbon Monoxide smoke detectors in the house if there's a gas fireplace in the apartment (which there is).

Can anyone shed some light on that please?
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Morrisville, NC
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Best thing would be call the city and ask. Many do require them to be retrofitted in rental units. New housing must have them now per the latest electrical code.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:12 PM
 
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Apparently not in Virginia.

Quote:
Virginia
Tenant Obligations
§ 55-248.16. Tenant to maintain dwelling unit
A. In addition to the provisions of the rental agreement, the tenant shall:
7. Not remove or tamper with a properly functioning smoke detector installed by the landlord, including removing any working batteries, so as to render the detector inoperative;
8. Not remove or tamper with a properly functioning carbon monoxide detector installed by the landlord, including removing any working batteries, so as to render the carbon monoxide detector inoperative.
And that's all you get under VA.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Codes

But call the town and ask to speak to a fire inspector and s/he will tell you if this has been updated and what your obligations are.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:23 PM
 
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If the tenant says that's the law, perhaps they wouldn't mind telling you where exactly it's written. Is it state, county or city law? What section, number, etc?

If it turns out the tenant is mistaken, they can always buy their own CO detector at an home improvement store or online. I looked at them on Amazon once, and they're not expensive - in the $15 to $30 range. They plug into outlets like a nightlight.

Let them buy their own unless you are truly obligated under the law.
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Old 10-22-2013, 08:27 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
32,002 posts, read 73,810,591 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinking-man View Post
I just started a new lease with a new tenant...
today, the tenant said...
1) You're obliged to comply with what the law requires of you.
1a) LEARN what the law there requires of you in ALL matters

2) google "happy clause"
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Riverside Ca
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I know california requires it now. Not sure if its all states but it's not like they are expensive.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
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Yeah, California now requires them. If it was me, I'd install one to keep them happy and keep you out of any liability, since the tenant sounds a tad trigger happy. Then, make sure you get them to sign something stating that you installed one, and if it disappears with the tenants when they move - charge them for it.

We just put in the kind that plugs into a wall socket.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Riverside Ca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
Yeah, California now requires them. If it was me, I'd install one to keep them happy and keep you out of any liability, since the tenant sounds a tad trigger happy. Then, make sure you get them to sign something stating that you installed one, and if it disappears with the tenants when they move - charge them for it.

We just put in the kind that plugs into a wall socket.
Don't forget to add they are responsible for testing and changing the batteries every x months. I sharpie a date that I change the batteries on the detector side facing the wall. There are some that are plug in with battery back up
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,816 posts, read 28,416,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrician4you View Post
Don't forget to add they are responsible for testing and changing the batteries every x months. I sharpie a date that I change the batteries on the detector side facing the wall. There are some that are plug in with battery back up
Yeah, we change the batteries for the tenants every year, and do a quickie inspection at the same time for running toilets, leaky faucets, etc.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:12 PM
 
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They are very cheap, and they save lives. A few months ago ours went off in the middle of the night, I woke up feeling very sick. When we realized what it was we opened all the windows and called the local gas company. They came over within 10 minutes! It was our gas heater pilot light and they shut it off. If it hadn't gone off we could have died in our sleep. I ended up feeling very sick the rest of the day, by the evening I was fine luckily. We know someone who has family who died because of CO poisoning.

I looked here:

Virginia Landlord and Tenant Duties

Under tenant obligations:

8. Not remove or tamper with a properly functioning carbon monoxide detector installed by the landlord, including removing any working batteries, so as to render the carbon monoxide detector inoperative;

So just pay the $15 and get one.
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