Saturday, December 4, 2010

Who Provides North Carolina Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

The short answer is usually you, the landlord do.

SMOKE DETECTORS

The statute on landlord responsibilities NCGS 42-42
spells out pretty clearly that:

1) It is the landlord's duty to provide operable smoke detectors, either battery‑operated or electrical, having an Underwriters' Laboratories, Inc., listing or other equivalent national testing laboratory approval.

2)The landlord must install the smoke detectors in accordance with either the standards of the National Fire Protection Association or the minimum protection designated in the manufacturer's instructions, which the landlord shall retain or provide as proof of compliance.

3)The landlord shall replace or repair the smoke detectors within 15 days of receipt of notification if the landlord is notified of needed replacement or repairs in writing by the tenant. The landlord shall ensure that a smoke detector is operable and in good repair at the beginning of each tenancy.

4)However, unless the landlord and the tenant have a written agreement to the contrary, the landlord shall place new batteries in a battery‑operated smoke detector at the beginning of a tenancy and the tenant shall replace the batteries as needed during the tenancy.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors:

Carbon Monoxide detector regulations only apply to a dwelling unit having a fossil‑fuel burning heater or appliance, fireplace, or an attached garage. If any of these is present then:

(1) At the beginning of each tenancy the landlord must provide a minimum of one operable carbon monoxide detector per rental unit per level, either battery‑operated or electrical, that is listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory that is OSHA‑approved to test and certify to American National Standards Institute/Underwriters Laboratories Standards ANSI/UL2034 or ANSI/UL2075.

(2) The landlord shall install the carbon monoxide detectors in accordance with either the standards of the National Fire Protection Association or the minimum protection designated in the manufacturer's instructions, which the landlord shall retain or provide as proof of compliance.

(3) The landlord shall replace or repair the carbon monoxide detectors within 15 days of receipt of notification if the landlord is notified of needed replacement or repairs in writing by the tenant.

(4) Unless the landlord and the tenant have a written agreement to the contrary, the landlord shall place new batteries in a battery‑operated carbon monoxide detector at the beginning of a tenancy, and the tenant shall replace the batteries as needed during the tenancy. Failure of the tenant to replace the batteries as needed shall not be considered as negligence on the part of the tenant or the landlord.

(5) A carbon monoxide detector may be combined with smoke detectors if the combined detector does both of the following: (i) complies with ANSI/UL2034 or ANSI/UL2075 for carbon monoxide alarms and ANSI/UL217 for smoke detectors; and (ii) emits an alarm in a manner that clearly differentiates between detecting the presence of carbon monoxide and the presence of smoke.

Remedies

NCGS 42-44 provides the remedies for violations by the tenant or the landlord and states:

(a) Any right or obligation declared by this Chapter is enforceable by civil action, in addition to other remedies of law and in equity.

(b) If a landlord fails to provide, install, replace, or repair a smoke detector or a carbon monoxide detector within 30 days of having received written notice from the tenant or any agent of State or local government of the landlord's failure to do so, the landlord shall be responsible for an infraction and shall be subject to a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) for each violation. A landlord may temporarily disconnect a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector in a dwelling unit or common area for construction or rehabilitation activities when such activities are likely to activate the smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector or make it inactive.

(c) If a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector is disabled or damaged, other than through actions of the landlord, the landlord's agents, or acts of God, the tenant shall reimburse the landlord the reasonable and actual cost for repairing or replacing the smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector within 30 days of having received written notice from the landlord or any agent of State or local government of the need for the tenant to make such reimbursement. If the tenant fails to make reimbursement within 30 days, the tenant shall be responsible for an infraction and subject to a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each violation. The tenant may temporarily disconnect a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector in a dwelling unit to replace the batteries or when it has been inadvertently activated.

Words of wisdom:

Okay, first off, you should comply with the statute. It is not too expensive, it is the law, it is best for your property, and it is the right thing to do. Should the relationship break down between you and your tenants it is a good idea to have the tenant acknowledge in writing, either on the lease or the move in checklist, that the required smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are present.

Unfortunately this installment was not all that sexy but necessary all the same.

Happy landlording!

2 comments:

  1. Wonderful website a lot of valuable information here. I am looking forward for more useful topic soon. Thanks!

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    ReplyDelete
  2. Is the carbon monoxide detector required in the attic of single family rental home? Or just heated living spaces?

    ReplyDelete

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