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Is My Landlord Liable for Asbestos Exposure?

Legally Reviewed by Joseph P. Williams on March 18, 2024

Today, asbestos is recognized as a known carcinogen that is dangerous for the public in any amount. However, this was not the case until around the 1980s, when researchers discovered the link between asbestos and deadly illnesses, including mesothelioma. Up until this point, asbestos was widely used as a building and construction material because of its desirable properties. Unfortunately, this means that thousands of homes and apartment buildings in New York today still contain asbestos.

Discovering asbestos in your home can be a frightening experience, especially when it’s in a place you should feel safe – your rental property. At The Williams Law Firm, P.C., we understand the deep concerns and health fears you may be grappling with. Facing the possibility of asbestos exposure in your rental property is not just a matter of legal liability; it’s about your well-being and peace of mind. We have dedicated years to helping families navigate the complexities and emotional toll of asbestos exposure, and we are here to fight for your rights.

Harmful Asbestos Exposure in Rental Properties in New York

Being exposed to asbestos can result in these fibers being inhaled or ingested and lodged within the body’s tissues. This can lead to harmful scarring, the growth of cancerous tumors, and other health issues. 

What Apartment Materials Are Most Likely to Lead to Asbestos Exposure?

Most illnesses connected to asbestos are chronic or incurable. Unfortunately, many tenants living in rental units throughout New York are at risk of asbestos exposure. This is because many products used during the construction of new buildings contained asbestos until about 1981, including:

  • Drywall
  • Insulation
  • Soundproofing materials
  • HVAC ductwork
  • Furnace and boiler components
  • Cables 
  • Roofing
  • Siding 
  • Textured paint
  • Sheetrock 
  • Spackling
  • Popcorn ceilings
  • Vinyl floor tiles

Asbestos was a popular building material because it is naturally fire and heat resistant, stable, durable, flexible, and an excellent electrical insulator. 

How Does Asbestos Negatively Impact Tenants?

Today, thousands of homes and buildings that were constructed prior to 1980 in New York still contain asbestos. The asbestos in these products may be released into the air with any amount of disturbance, such as home renovations or a hole being punched in the wall.

What Are a Landlord’s Responsibilities Regarding Asbestos?

Landlords have a legal obligation to maintain the safety of the units and buildings that they rent to tenants. This obligation involves regularly inspecting the property, fixing any known defects or hazards, and warning tenants of known health or safety risks. 

When it comes to asbestos in a house or apartment, a landlord in New York has a legal responsibility to obey federal and state regulations. These regulations generally require landlords to:

  • Test for asbestos in the walls or other components of a rental building.
  • Warn tenants and potential applicants about the presence of asbestos on the property.
  • Safely remove asbestos from a rental property.

The rules and regulations that apply to landlords and asbestos include the implied warranty of habitability (tenant’s rights), OSHA regulations designed to protect workers, and the New York City Housing Maintenance Code

If a landlord violates any of the laws pertaining to the maintenance and safety of a rental unit, he or she may be found liable for related tenant injuries and illnesses, including mesothelioma and asbestosis from asbestos exposure.

What to Do if You Suspect Asbestos in Your Rental

If you believe that your rental home or apartment contains asbestos, notify your landlord right away. Request official testing to be done if your landlord is denying the presence of asbestos without ever having paid for professional testing. 

Avoid the part of your house where you believe you have found asbestos. If the material has not been compromised, asbestos fibers may not yet have been released into the air. If test samples come back positive for asbestos, your landlord is responsible for repairing the issue or removing the asbestos.

How Can an Asbestos Lawyer Support You With Your Claim?

When you suspect you have been exposed to asbestos due to your landlord’s negligence, working with an asbestos exposure attorney from The Williams Law Firm, P.C. can be invaluable.

We can support you in numerous ways throughout the legal process, helping you to obtain fair financial recovery, including through the following services:

  • Conducting an independent investigation
  • Working with medical professionals
  • Negotiating with every party to recover a satisfactory settlement
  • Preparing your case for court
  • Collecting evidence to prove liability
  • Consulting with experts to determine the full scope of your damages
  • Assuring that all documents are filed correctly and in a timely manner
  • Reviewing your damages to determine the total value of your claim
  • Communicating with the other parties on your behalf
  • Organizing your medical records and bills
  • Working with your healthcare providers to obtain any missing records
  • Organizing and presenting the evidence in order to prove liability and damages
  • Accessing  research methods and tools only available to legal professionals
  • Providing a quicker delivery of documents from law enforcement and doctors
  • Offering an understanding of the legal system and how to make it work for you
  • Reducing stress related to your claim

We recommend you refrain from representing yourself during these legal matters, as this can quickly result in reduction of compensation. When you work with an attorney from The Williams Law Firm, P.C., you are much more likely to receive complete compensation, reduced litigation time, and lessened stress during the claim.

Please contact us as soon as possible to improve your odds of legal success even further. The sooner you reach us, the more effectively we can collect evidence, understand your needs, and build a strong case in your favor. 

How to File a Lawsuit Against a Landlord for Asbestos Exposure

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness in New York and believe you were exposed at a rental property, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against your landlord – even if you moved out of the property decades ago. There are asbestos trust funds available to compensate victims who were exposed to asbestos by landlords or rental companies that have since declared bankruptcy or been dissolved. We encourage you to contact The Williams Law Firm, P.C. for invaluable support today. We have never lost a case, and we are here to fight for your needs. 

Contact an attorney, like the talented and dedicated Joseph P. Williams, who specializes in asbestos cases to request a free consultation about your potential lawsuit. An attorney can help you gather evidence against a landlord, file your lawsuit, and negotiate for maximum compensation for your life-changing diagnosis. You can reach us by calling (855) 575-6376 or completing the contact form on our website.

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