What to do about asbestos in my rental home?

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What to do about asbestos in my rental home?

Rental home single dwelling. Lived in 6 months. Found asbestos in basement. Want to move still have 6 months on lease; landlord didn’t inform of such conditions. Informed him a week ago of the asbestos he hasn’t returned my call. I’m concerned of the lung term damage to myself and children. I contacted EPA and my local health department and no one seems to care or no what my rights are or if I have any.

Asked on June 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with a landlord tenant attorney about your case; you may have a cause of action based on what is known as the "implied warranty of habitability." That is a term added to all leases that the rented premises shall be safely inhabitable and usable for their intended purpose--which in this case is residence by a family. It is possible, depending on the amount and condition of the asbestors, that this warranty has been violated, which could give you grounds to either terminate the lease early or force the landlord to remediate the situation. Bear in mind that not all asbestos is harmful--if it is solid, intact, not shreded or "shedding," behind walls, etc., it may be that there is no health risk; only when asbestos is ingested or breathed in does it normally pose a substantial threat. If this asbestos does not pose a threat, there may be no violation of the implied warranty of habitability.


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