Can you tell me about landlord disclosure laws regarding a nuclear meltdown?

UPDATED: Sep 12, 2011

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Can you tell me about landlord disclosure laws regarding a nuclear meltdown?

I just recently rented a house with my boyfriend. After renting the house someone told us that 52 years ago there was a nuclear meltdown 2.9 miles from the house. In fact it is the largest nuclear spill in US history (Santa Susana Field Laboratory). We are worried not only about the chemicals and radiation that may not only be in the soil but also in our well water. Was the landlord required to disclose the nuclear meltdown to us before we rented? Is she responsible for paying for the water and land to be tested to make sure it’s safe?

Asked on September 12, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In every transaction in this country be it a sale or rental, the seller or owner of the item is required to disclose all known about the item that would materially affect its desirability to a buyer or what a willing buyer would pay for it.

From what you have written, supposedly there was an event causing concern for you more than fifty (50) years ago. Look in the neighborhood where you are renting. I presume that there are people living nearby. Ask your neighbors if they have any concerns over what supposedly happened fifty (50) years ago.

If you have concerns about the water used for your unit and the water is provided by the local municipality, contact it about questions as to its quality.

Your landlord has no responsibility to have the water and land tested for you at this time. If the soil and water were contaminated with unacceptable levels of radiation, it would be evident from simply looking at the surrounding vegetation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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