Asbestos-containing products were mainly used for construction and insulation. In 1989, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned all new uses of asbestos; however, uses established prior to 1989 are still allowed. As such, many structures and rental properties built prior to 1981 are presumed to contain asbestos.
Does the Law Require Discloser of The Presence of Asbestos on a Premises?
Both federal and state laws, require landlords to disclose the presence of asbestos, test and remove it in some situations. Any structure built pre-1981 is presumed to contain asbestos unless asbestos testing rules indicates otherwise. Pursuant to California Health and Safety Code Section 25915, landlords of properties built prior to 1981 are required to disclose the presence of asbestos on the premises.
Other Applicable Asbestos Regulations
Occupational Safety and Health Administration laws apply to landlords in all states of the US. If the landlord wants to renovate and or disturb asbestos contains material, landlords are required to follow OSHA regulations.
Landlords Liability with Respect to Asbestos
If a landlord did not disclose the presence of asbestos and tenants are harmed by airborne fibers, the landlord can be held legally liable for any injury or damage suffered by a tenants or employees.
Responsibility of Landlords to Tenants with Regards to Asbestos
While landlords are responsible to disclose asbestos, generally landlords are not required to remove asbestos, so long as the asbestos is still intact. This is primarily due to the fact that there is only a slight risk of asbestos airborne exposure when the asbestos is intact and undisturbed.
As such, unless the asbestos has been disturbed, begins to deteriorate, flake and release dust, it is best to leave it alone. Asbestos is hazardous when it is begins to flake, crumble, or easily crumbled; continuous handling or impact will increase friability.
Furthermore, landlords are responsible to provide tenants with habitable premises and if there is asbestos in your rental property that is releasing airborne fibers, the landlord is responsible to remediate the uninhabitable condition.
What is a Landlord Required to do If There is Asbestos in an Rental Property?
In the event, a landlord suspects or is aware that there is asbestos on their premises a landlord should take reasonable steps to mitigate his or her risk of liability. As such, a landlord should regularly inspect the property to ensure that the asbestos is not crumbling, flaking, peeling, and releasing airborne fibers. In the event the asbestos has been disturbed and or begins to crumble and flake, the landlord should seek help from an asbestos removal professional.
What If a Landlord Doesn’t Remove Asbestos Found on a Premises?
In the event your landlord doesn’t fix the conditions and provides you with habitable premises, we invite you to contact KAASS Law firm at (310) 943-1171 for a free consultation on your case and further assistance.