Homeowners & Landlords Have New Safety Requirement

The Nebraska Legislature passed the Carbon Monoxide Safety Act (the ” Act”) in 2016. The Act is effective on January 1, 2017. The Act requires a carbon monoxide alarm be installed in all multi-family or single family dwellings constructed after January 1, 2017. This requirement is only applicable if the dwelling contains a fuel-fire heater or appliance, a fireplace, or an attached garage. The carbon monoxide alarm must be installed and located on each habitable floor or as specified in any building code adopted by a political subdivision or the State of Nebraska.

Not only is the alarm required for new construction, but it is also required after January 1, 2017 for any interior remodel or alteration which requires a permit. If the dwelling unit is rental property, a carbon monoxide alarm must be installed if there has been a change in tenant occupancy. Prior to the commencement of a new tenant occupancy, a carbon monoxide alarm must be installed on each habitable floor. This is only required for rental property where a fuel-fired heater or appliance, fire place or an attached garage is present. The owner of the rental property must provide batteries necessary to make the carbon monoxide alarm operational or replace any carbon monoxide alarm if notified by a tenant it was stolen, removed or missing or not operational during the tenants occupancy. If there is a deficiency in the carbon monoxide alarm, it must be repaired by the owner when notified by the tenant.

A tenant of a rental property also has duties in regard to the carbon monoxide alarm. A tenant must keep, test and maintain the alarm in good repair, notify the owner if the alarm is stolen, removed, found missing or not operational during their occupancy. If the tenant finds any deficiency in the alarm they cannot correct, they must also notify the landlord.

The Seller’s Disclosure Statement provided by the Nebraska Real Estate Commission has also been amended to have a disclosure in regard to carbon monoxide alarms. Beginning in 2017, a carbon monoxide alarm must be placed on habitable floors in dwelling units, both single and multi-family, as well as rentals. This requirement is separate from smoke detecting devices, however, a carbon monoxide alarm and a smoke detecting device can be combined if they give separate and distinct alarms.