Carbon Monoxide Alarms

100 Real Estate Tips in 100 Days (Day 65)

During the winter months of 2008 there were two incidents of CO2 poisoning resulting in death in Colorado. Both incidents generated considerable attention from the media, resulting in public and legislative pressure to respond to the latest incidents, and many previous incidents, with legislative action. A bill was introduced in the carbonmonoxidegasColorado House of Representatives on January 12, 2009 requiring Carbon Monoxide detectors be placed in residential dwelling units, which passed, and was forwarded to the Colorado Senate.

With passage of the bill, Governor Ritter signed the Bill into law on March 24, 2009, with an effective date of July 1, 2009. So what does this new law mean to the Colorado housing consumer?

For sellers and landlords, it means that residential dwellings sold or rented after July 1, 2009, just have a UL approved Carbon Monoxide Detector. Various requirements are mentioned in the law, but the simple fact is, transfers or rentals MUST have a detector in place after July I, 2009. The Real Estate Commission has been instructed to revise property listing contracts to properly inform residential property sellers of the new law. While real estate licensees are not required to enforce the new law, it should be obvious that sellers must comply or risk considerable complications. For landlords, failure to provide the required detectors provides untenable exposure in the event of an incident where the landlord is found in violation of the law.

For buyers, as well as tenants, failure of the seller or landlord to provide detectors is cause to void a sales contract or lease agreement. There may be other ramifications of this law, such as appraisal requirements in the event of a sale, as well as other potential lender requirements. It will be incumbent upon real estate licensees to inform both buyers and sellers of this law.

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