Finding the right place to rent can be very stressful. There are so many variables in one’s search, including square footage, floor plan, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and of course, the simple question of whether it is affordable. We do our best to research the places that appeal to us, and to make a good choice.
We choose our living residences based upon the things we can see, but there are dozens of things we have no way of knowing until it is much too late. Renters are taken advantage of by unscrupulous landlords all the time. People move into houses that are infested with mold and vermin, or with structural unsoundness. One of the most deadly of these hidden dangers is asbestos.
By now it is well-established that asbestos causes Mesothelioma and other health problems, but this was not always known. Hundreds of thousands of buildings in the United States were built before these health hazards were discovered, and not all owners have been diligent about removing this dangerous substance.
A story out of Denver illustrates just how vulnerable we all are. A major apartment building was discovered to have asbestos, and the people were originally told to pack and stay in a hotel while the problem was resolved. Weeks passed with no word of what was to become of their belongings. Finally, the bad news came. The affected are now being told they will lose so many precious things, including:
- All their clothing
- All their bed linens
- All their upholstered furniture
- All porous memorabilia, possibly including photo albums and other irreplaceable items
Management is refusing requests for more information, and it is unknown how they will go about making people whole, or even if the people will lose even more belongings than the list they were already given. Simple replacement costs are not enough in a situation like this, as many items cannot be replaced with money. Also, the long-term health ramifications are impossible to guess, and management will almost certainly attempt to downplay the exposure.
Large scale exposure like this is uncommon, but dozens of renters are exposed to hazardous conditions on a daily basis across the country. If you or someone you love was exposed because of a landlord’s negligence, please contact an attorney to help you fight for what you are entitled to and help prevent landlords from exposing future tenants.