A recent article posted in The Windsor Star may prompt concern for condominium corporations that have rental units. The owners of a house have been charged for not providing functioning smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, after the death of a mother of four from smoke inhalation when a pot was left on the stove and caused a fire. It is important to note that according to the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, in rental units, the landlord of the building is responsible for the installation, maintenance, and testing of CO alarms. The landlord is also responsible for providing the tenant with CO alarm maintenance instructions. In residential condominium suites, the owner of the condominium suite is responsible for the installation and maintenance of carbon monoxide alarms, and often there may be agreements between the owner and the condominium corporation, where the corporation takes on responsibility on behalf of the owner. However, if the condominium owner rents the suite to a tenant, the owner takes on the role of the landlord and is responsible for the installation and maintenance of the alarms, but again, there may be agreements between the corporation and owner/landlord. Tenants are responsible to notify the landlord as soon as they become aware that an alarm in their unit is disconnected, not operating or impaired. Similarly for smoke alarms, landlords must ensure rental properties comply with the law and tenants must contact their landlord immediately if they do not have the required number of alarms. Tenants also may not disable or tamper with these alarms in any way. It is important to follow these rules and standards to avoid serious ramifications.
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