Carbon Monoxide Detectors Required For All Rentals

Following a trend in recent years of carbon-monoxide-related deaths stemming from the use of grills and propane heaters indoors, carbon monoxide detectors are now required for all rental properties. The rule took effect January 1, 2013. The Washington State Building Code Council requires a detector on each level of the residence and outside each sleeping area.

While the state landlord-tenant laws do not specify tenant responsibilities for maintaining carbon monoxide detectors, most standard leases assign responsibilities in a similar fashion to those governing smoke detectors. Property owners are required to install the detectors, while tenants are responsible for their maintenance, and are subject to a fine of up to $200 for non-compliance.

Some buildings already have dual smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, but the Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Division recommends testing these at least once a month, especially if they are frequently disabled due to smoke while cooking.

For more information on Seattle rentals, contact your local real estate agent today.

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Will the City of Seattle Require All Landlords to Register Rentals?

Are you living in a run down rental? The City of Seattle is considering cracking down on older problem rental buildings by requiring all landlords to register their rental units for inspections. According to NPR, the non profit group Tenants Union of Washington State is working in collaboration with other groups, along with Seattle City Council to determine a new system of rental registrations. In the proposal, Landlords would have to register all units, pay an initial fee, and go under inspection for health and safety issues every 5-10 years.

There would be some exemptions in place, such as vacation rentals, and mother in law apartments, but overall if the proposal is approved, landlords will have to adhere to a new set of rules. As of now the city council committee may come to a vote before the full council meeting on October 1st. For more information on the issue, visit NPR online.