Toxic Materials on Residential Property
When you select a place to rent, you want to believe that your landlord is trustworthy. For example, if there were something specific that was toxic or dangerous to an inhabitant, you would hope that a landlord would disclose this information to you prior to entering into a rental agreement. This is important because many older properties have serious dangers, which could be harmful to one’s health. Specifically, shingles or insulation (asbestos), lead-based paints and mold could all be harmful.
In many states, if you are selling or leasing residential property to a person, you must disclose the existence of known dangerous materials on the property to all tenants. For example, federal law requires the disclosure of lead hazards that often derive from older paint or plumbing. Lead paint is especially harmful to children. A landlord has a duty to fix property risks associated with lead paint if a particular law, the local health department or common law requires such. Many local laws mandate that landlords disclose other dangerous substances, too. However, depending on your particular state and city, the disclosure laws may differ.
Have you been injured by toxic materials in your rental unit?
If you believe that you or your loved ones have been harmed from toxic materials in your unit, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area. If your landlord did not fulfill his or her duty to disclose when you entered into the rental agreement, he or she may be liable for your injuries. Moreover, the penalties for failure to disclose toxic substances can be considerable. This is because such omissions are not only against the law, but also extremely harmful to inhabitants.
In some jurisdictions, a landlord will be liable to harmed tenants even if he or she was unaware of such toxic substances. In other words, some states practice strict liability, meaning the landlord will be liable for damage caused by toxic substances, regardless of his or her knowledge of the harm.
What if I want to pursue a legal action against my landlord?
- Any correspondence that you have with your landlord or insurance company
- Detailed photographs of any visible health hazards (for example, mold)
- Any bills and receipts, which detail inspections and repairs
- Medical records and bills
These items should be maintained and protected in preparing your case. It helps to share this information with a legal professional.
Contact Zayed Law Offices at 815.726.1616 or complete a short online contact form for more information or to setup your free, no obligation consultation today.