When it comes to apartments and rental properties, tenants usually care a lot about factors like the apartment or rental unit size, rent price, location of the apartment or rental, and safety features. Although these are important factors for tenants to consider, there are many more things people need to care about when it comes to the apartments or rentals they live in. For instance, tenants should be concerned about their rights in regards to asbestos in rental units and apartments. Even though asbestos is not widely used in construction anymore, this substance is still present in many rental properties built before the 1980s. Drywall, paint, cement, ceilings, floor tiles, roofing materials, insulation materials, plaster, and casing for electrical wires are features in older buildings that can contain asbestos materials.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos, which is the name of a group of six unique minerals, is a naturally occurring fiber that is highly heat, electricity, and corrosion-resistant. Because of its qualities, asbestos was widely used in building materials from the early 1940s until its effects on human health became known in the 1970s. Many buildings built before the 1980s are thought to be asbestos-contaminated. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can lead to illnesses such as mesothelioma and asbestosis.
It is vital to note that the landlord is nor legally obligated to remove asbestos material in a rental unit just because it is present. Generally, when there is no danger of asbestos becoming airborne, the law does not require removal. However, the law may require landlords to test for asbestos, disclose the presence of asbestos, and even remove asbestos in some circumstances. When asbestos abatement is necessary, it should be carried out by asbestos removal companies and in a controlled way to ensure the least amount of harm and disruption.
Even though landlords are not legally required to remove asbestos just because it is present in an apartment or rental unit, they are legally obligated to provide tenants with livable rentals. Every tenant has a right to live in a rental that meets basic safety and health standards. So, if a tenant fears that their apartment or rental unit is asbestos-contaminated and that asbestos fibers could be airborne, their landlord is responsible for fixing the conditions. When a landlord does not make the necessary corrections and fails to provide a habitable premise, the law might allow a tenant to withhold rent, move out without notice, or even sue the landlord for damages. Nevertheless, before taking any step, a tenant should seek professional guidance.
Landlords’ Liability for Tenants Asbestos-Related Damages
In some circumstances, tenants can hold landlords liable for asbestos-related injuries or damages. For example, if a landlord who knew or should have known about the presence of asbestos fails to disclose it, they may be held liable if a tenant can demonstrate they were exposed to asbestos in their apartment or rental.
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment.