REAL ESTATE UPDATE / What the Maine Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Law Means for You Print

In 2009, the Maine Legislature passed “An Act to Protect Maine Residents from Home Fires and Carbon Monoxide.”  Chapter 162 (LD 550).  The portions of the law mandating installation and maintenance of CO detectors are entirely new (25 M.R.S.A. § 2468) while those dealing with smoke detectors are changes to an existing statute (25 M.R.S.A. § 2464).

If you are a current or potential owner of a single-family dwelling or apartment, these laws may have a significant impact if not implemented. 

Smoke Detectors

  • Owners of single-family or multifamily units are required to have a working smoke detector (photoelectric or ionization) in each area within or giving access to bedrooms.
  • After October 31, 2009 smoke detectors installed in a multifamily or newly constructed single family occupancy must be both hardwired and powered by battery.
  • Upon a tenant’s written notification of any deficiencies in smoke detectors, the landlord shall repair or replace the smoke detector.
  • Tenants shall keep the smoke detectors in working condition by keeping charged batteries in battery-operated smoke detectors, by testing the smoke detectors periodically and by refraining from disabling the smoke detectors. (This language should be included in all leases).
  • Any smoke detector located within 20 feet of a kitchen or a bathroom containing a tub or shower must be a photoelectric-type smoke detector.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  • Owners shall install, or cause to be installed, at least one approved carbon monoxide detector in each area within, or giving access to, bedrooms in:
    • Each apartment in any building of multifamily occupancy;
    • Any addition to or restoration of an existing single-family dwelling that adds at least one bedroom to the dwelling unit; and
    • Any conversion of a building to a single-family dwelling.
  • A CO detector must be both hardwired and powered by battery.
  • Upon the request of a deaf or hard-of-hearing occupant, the owner of a dwelling unit shall provide an approved CO detector suitable to warn the occupant.  If the owner does not provide a suitable CO detector, the tenant may purchase and install a suitable CO detector and deduct the actual costs from the rent.
  • In an apartment occupied under the terms of a rental agreement or under month-to-month tenancy, CO detectors are to be in place and operational at the time of each occupancy.
  • Upon a tenant’s written notification of any deficiencies in CO detectors, the landlord shall repair or replace the CO detector.
  • Tenants shall keep the CO detectors in working condition by keeping charged batteries in battery-operated CO detectors, by testing the CO detectors periodically and by refraining from disabling the CO detectors. (This language should be included in all leases).

A person who violates either statute is guilty of a civil violation and is subject to a fine of not more than $500 for each violation.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the attorneys at TMF to discuss this or any other legal matter.

 

Normal 0 false false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact

any of the attorneys at TMF to discuss this or any other legal matter.

 
© 2017 TMFAttorneys.com
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.