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Contagious diseases, hazmat, ebola and your real estate responsibility as a landlord

Kimberly Smith contagious diseases, hazmat, ebola and your real estate responsibility as a landlordBefore you read the rest of this blog, make sure you have the answers to these questions:

Have you ever done a hazardous materials cleanup?

Do you have a hazmat cleanup company on your vendor list?

Does your insurance cover the costs of a hazmat clean?

Does your loss-of-rent insurance cover you if you need to do a hazmat clean?

With the ebola fear out there now, let’s not panic! If you have been in real estate for more than a few years you can probably remember when AIDS was a big fear.

A contagious disease in one of our rentals

One of our offices did experience a hazmat clean this year. It was not the result of ebola, but was the result of a tenant who was diagnosed with another very contagious blood disease.

In our case the tenant contacted us about the situation and was financially responsible for the property cleanup. Since we rent properties fully furnished not only was the property cleaned but we also had to dispose of all porous items in the property.

Everything from the window coverings, sofas, beds and carpeting needed to be replaced and the total cost was over $20,000.

As a real estate agent, investor or landlord what are your responsibilities and what is the law?

As with all real estate, every state is different and has its own laws regarding disclosures, so check with the laws in your state. But, what really is a “Material Fact” and what can come back to haunt you? Generally if you are selling real estate, the seller rather than the real estate agent needs to disclose if a person has died in the house in the last 3 years.

Today in most states, AIDS is a protected class and if you disclose this you could be subject to discrimination claims.

In my experience the most serious cleanups have been the result of properties that have been used as meth labs, properties that have been used to produce methamphetamine drugs.

These drugs are made from household items but the resulting chemical cocktail permeates nearly every surface of the property and exposure can lead to cancer, organ damage and other health issues. Today it is possible to have a property cleaned by a certified hazmat company and future disclosure may not need to be necessary.

Use this as an opportunity to be educated and prepared and the odds are in your favor that you will never need to do any of this.
But make sure you and your team have a procedure in place should you need it.

Visit Kimberly’s site here.

Do you have Kimberly’s book? You can get it here.

Kimberly Smith on making money with rental properties

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