Landlord Responsibilities —Ensuring Tenant Safety from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

Carbon monoxide, an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas, poisons humans and can lead to serious health complications if inhaled in large quantities. Everything that consumes fuel, including numerous fixtures and appliances common in rental homes, releases carbon monoxide. Large concentrations of carbon monoxide can be harmful, although trim levels often are not. Anywhere, even rental houses, can have dangerous gas exposure. Bellevue Personal Injury Lawyers can tell you more about the laws revolving around carbon monoxide poisoning, so consult them today. 

Since humans cannot detect carbon monoxide, it suddenly poisons victims, even while they sleep. Nausea, vomiting, headaches, and occasionally even death are among the symptoms. Over 20,000 ER visits and over 400 fatalities are attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The good news for landlords is that by installing carbon monoxide detectors and doing routine maintenance, they may significantly lower the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Landlords may lessen the likelihood of accidents and not be found legally liable for tenants’ injuries by implementing a reasonable maintenance program and abiding by local and state legislation. In some cases, accidents to visitors or guests at the rental may make the landlord accountable.

When is a landlord responsible for furnace-related carbon monoxide poisoning?

A court may hold the landlord accountable for the injuries if the tenant can demonstrate that the landlord’s negligence caused or contributed to the dangerous situation. In the following situations, a court might hold a landlord liable for carbon monoxide poisoning brought on by furnaces:

  • Inability to do emergency fixes on the furnace

In many states, the law requires landlords to maintain all common spaces and rental buildings to the minimum standards for health and safety. Almost all courts also recognize a lease agreement’s implied guarantee of habitability. The law protects renters from unwarranted danger by mandating rental properties meet a minimal level of safety. There is no waiver of this guarantee.

Regular maintenance of the rental homes’ heating and ventilation systems, such as the furnace, is mandated by health and safety regulations. Tenants need to alert the landlord right away if they notice any signs of wear and tear on an explosive device, such as a furnace. After that, the landlord must perform the necessary repairs. If a renter becomes carbon monoxide poisoning due to a badly fixed furnace, the landlord could be held accountable.

  • Improper carbon monoxide detector installation

Installing carbon monoxide detectors in multifamily housing is mandated by law in certain states. Bedrooms, rooms next to a fuel-burning appliance, and entryways to an attached garage should all have CO detectors nearby.