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Landlord negligence may have exposed my family to low level CO over a period of 1.5 years.

sarahm73sarahm73 Member Posts: 25
So I posted photos earlier of what now seems to be gas condensation the chimney walls in the basement.
I'm trying to figure things out in my own head before deciding if I should take action.
Ok so here's the thing... I moved into this rented house in Sept '15 with my young kids. Last week we returned home to an odd smell. I opened the basement door and saw smoke billowing up the stairs. A minute later the smoke detector of my duel alarm activated. I evacuated and called 911.
The fire dept traced the smoke to the furnace and red tagged it. They were perplexed by the CO alarm not sounding as the levels were high enough. They brought in fans to clear out the CO until the level were eliminated.
The following day the fuel comp arrive to assess. The workers told me that the chimney was completely blocked by fallen bricks and soot and that no gases could escape.
The chimney guys came to assess and said the chimney looked like it hadn't been cleaned in decade. There was no liner or cap. The cement had turned to sand.
Per the tags hanging on the furnance downstairs, it looks to have been installed in 2000. Evaluations were done regularly but as for cleaning and servicing tags? There are 5 of those from 2000-last week.
Here's the kicker, before I moved in I had mild asthma. In oct 2015 and Oct 2016, after I just started to use the oil heat for the season, I had very severe attacks leading to about 8 days hospitalization in total. In march I got up in the middle of the night and my legs went from under me. Not sure if I fainted but it's never happened before. My kids have had frequent headaches and nausea (dr was monitoring as no apparent cause).
I'm just piecing it together now but I think we were exposed to low levels of CO for a long time! I'm horrified.


  • captaincocaptainco Member Posts: 168
    Most states have rental laws that require landlords to provide a safe living environment.
    Document document document!!!! Save receipt from chim company! Get write up from FD! Photograph furnace and all tags on furnace!
  • Bob HarperBob Harper Member Posts: 732
    Contact the building dept. to see if it was inspected in 2000 when installed. All chimneys must be lined and must be suitable for the class of service. The chimney must be inspected annually along with the connector pipes and appliances. The CO alarm didn't respond because UL listed alarms are not designed to alert right away. They are designed to alert only once you've met the medical definition of CO poisoning. As Capt. CO stated most states now recognize an implied warranty of habitability, esp. with multifamily and rental units. I'll review your earlier thread but contact me to discuss.
  • sarahm73sarahm73 Member Posts: 25
    Thank you so much. I will do that!
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