160D-1204. Heat source required.

(a) A local government shall, by ordinance, require that every dwelling unit leased as rental property within the city shall have, at a minimum, a central or electric heating system or sufficient chimneys, flues, or gas vents, with heating appliances connected, so as to heat at least one habitable room, excluding the kitchen, to a minimum temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit measured 3 feet above the floor with an outside temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

(b) If a dwelling unit contains a heating system or heating appliances that meet the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, the owner of the dwelling unit shall not be required to install a new heating system or heating appliances, but the owner shall be required to maintain the existing heating system or heating appliances in a good and safe working condition. Otherwise, the owner of the dwelling unit shall install a heating system or heating appliances that meet the requirements of subsection (a) of this section and shall maintain the heating system or heating appliances in a good and safe working condition.

(c) Portable kerosene heaters are not acceptable as a permanent source of heat as required by subsection (a) of this section but may be used as a supplementary source in single-family dwellings and duplex units. An owner who has complied with subsection (a) of this section shall not be held in violation of this section where an occupant of a dwelling unit uses a kerosene heater as a primary source of heat.

(d) This section applies only to local governments with a population of 200,000 or over within their planning and development regulation jurisdiction, according to the most recent decennial federal census.

(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to diminish the rights or remedies available to a tenant under a lease agreement, statute, or at common law or to prohibit a city from adopting an ordinance with more stringent heating requirements than provided for by this section. (2019-111, s. 2.4; 2020-3, s. 4.33(a); 2020-25, s. 51(a), (b), (d).)