Carbon Monoxide DetectorMontana Landlord-Tenant Law FAQ’s

Overview: In the 2009 legislative session the law in section MCA 70-24-303 (the section of the law that specifies the landlord’s duty to maintain premises) was amended to include the need for a landlord to provide a carbon monoxide detector in rental units in accordance Department of Labor and Industry standards. However, at the time the law was enacted (October 1st 2009), the Department of Labor and Industry standards did not yet exist. This led to state-wide misconceptions and questions about the carbon monoxide requirements in rental units. These Department of Labor and Industry regulations now exist (effective from October 15th 2010) and are the focus of this FAQ.

Q: What law covers carbon monoxide detectors in rental units?
A: MCA – 70-24-303

Q: What triggers the need to have a CO detector?
A: Fuel-fired appliances in unit OR Attached garages (Does not need to have both)

Q: Where does the CO detector(s) have to be placed?
A: Outside of each separate sleeping area, in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms. Depending upon unit configuration more than one CO detector may be needed for compliance.

Q: What type of CO detector does it have to be?
A: It must comply with the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) 2034 standards. There are both battery and plug-in versions of CO detectors that meet the UL 2034 standards.

Extra Food for Thought: Sometimes carbon monoxide is incorrectly referred to as CO2. The root word “mono” means “one.” Carbon monoxide is correctly abbreviated as CO. CO2 would be carbon dioxide (which happens to be not nearly as hazardous).

These FAQ’s are answered by Sarnen Steinbarth a licensed property manager, State of Montana Certified property management and real estate continuing education instructor for Montana Property Education and owner of Blue River Property Management, LLC. Sarnen was has been contracted by the MT Board of Realty Regulation to develop the curriculum for property managers for 3 consecutive years. For more information on courses or to have Sarnen speak at your next event visit:

Legal Fine Print: This information provided by Montana Property Education is provided for informational purposes only; it is not offered as and does not constitute legal advice.