Liability of the Landlord for Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Law Blog

If you are a tenant who has sustained injuries due to carbon monoxide poisoning, you can make a legal claim against your landlord. The liability of your landlord is determined by statutes that regulate carbon monoxide devices as well as general landlord/tenant laws. This paper will discuss these issues and determine whether you have a valid case.

General Laws on Landlord/Tenant Relationships

In the past, landlords were not responsible for the state of their property after they had rented it out unless they pledged this responsibility. In these modern times, the landlord is held responsible for common areas and premises that he/she controls. The liability of the landlord with regards to their property varies from one jurisdiction to another. On the other hand, the tenant is held responsible for conditions in his/her rented premises. However, the tenant is not deemed responsible for the conditions in his/her rented premises if the landlord assumes such responsibility. For example, if your landlord pledges to fix a faulty stove in your house, you cannot be blamed for carbon monoxide exposure caused by the faulty stove when the landlord fails to fix it.

Clear Liability of the Landlord for Carbon Monoxide Exposure

If your carbon monoxide exposure is a result of your landlord's failure to repair or maintain a pipe, furnace or any device that is in an area that your landlord controls (like a basement), your landlord's liability towards you is clear.

If your landlord promised either through a lease or some other means to repair a pipe, stove or device that is in your rental house, but made these repairs negligently causing you to be exposed to carbon monoxide, the liability of your landlord is clear.

If there is an ordinance or regulation that requires your landlord to repair or inspect appliances that could expose you to carbon monoxide poisoning and he/she does not abide by these requirements, the liability of your landlord is clear.

When Liability of the Landlord is not Clear

When carbon monoxide exposure is caused by the malfunctioning of a device or appliance on your rented premises and the appliance was functioning properly when your tenancy started, the liability of the landlord is not clear.

If your landlord did not violate any regulation or ordinance and you did not know or inform your landlord about the malfunction, your landlord may not be deemed responsible for your injuries. For example, if your landlord conducted a thorough inspection of a gas stove on your premises before renting it out to you, and then you damage the gas stove unknowingly, your landlord cannot be held responsible if the stove caused carbon monoxide poisoning.

Additionally, if your stove was initially defective, by design or a manufacturing defect that your landlord does not know, the manufacturer of the stove is the one who will be held liable and not the landlord.

For more information on liability in cases like these, contact a law firm like Nigams Legal.


10 December 2015

Break In: Everyday Legal Matters You Should Know About

My name is Jeanette Kennan. I have been a high school legal studies teacher for many years. As such, I am fascinated by legal cases I come across in the media. Family and friends often consult me about minor matters related to the law and although no expert, I can often point them in the right direction. It occurred to me that there may be other people out there who are not aware of basic legal issues. After all, you probably don't think about legal matters related to death, accidents or crimes until you find yourself in a crisis situation. This blog is designed to give you some introductory information about a range of legal topics. Hopefully, it will help you to be prepared and informed should a legal concern arise. I really appreciate you breaking in to my humble little site. Please enjoy.