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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Philadelphia PA
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    Default responsibility to inform tenants?

    What are our responsibilities to tenants when we discover unsafe conditions in rental properties?

    Recently I found a lead service line in a house that 4 college students were renting. I think they have a right to know, but I'm not going to assume that my client is going to provide a copy of the report to the landlord, that the landlord is going to read it, and especially that the landlord is going to do anything about it.

    How do others deal with this?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
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    Default Re: responsibility to inform tenants?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
    What are our responsibilities to tenants when we discover unsafe conditions in rental properties?

    Recently I found a lead service line in a house that 4 college students were renting. I think they have a right to know, but I'm not going to assume that my client is going to provide a copy of the report to the landlord, that the landlord is going to read it, and especially that the landlord is going to do anything about it.

    How do others deal with this?
    Good question..... As the father of a college student, I think I would make sure that a copy of my report mysteriously found it's way to the local health department or AHJ. Slum Lords take advantage of college kids whenever they can.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    2,365

    Default Re: responsibility to inform tenants?

    Making college students aware is only a small part of the battle..... I was recently inspecting a large rental property full of college students and really old free standing gas heaters. These things were all just killing machines....

    One of the girls in the place said they had a guy come by because one stopped working and he said it was putting out dangerous levels of CO.... that was a couple months ago she said. "But it works just fine now" was her next comment.

    All the book smarts in the world won't help them survive sometimes


  4. #4

    Default Re: responsibility to inform tenants?

    I always advised the "occupant" either verbally or by note of any condition that could harm them. That would include lead pipe. I also would advise the listing agent of that issue in an email or letter.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: responsibility to inform tenants?

    I also inform tenants, present or involved parties of hazardous conditions, space heaters, etc.
    Lead water line is hazardous? No wonder I'm so dumb. That's all we have in Chicago in older homes.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
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    3,746

    Default Re: responsibility to inform tenants?

    John
    Should you report to your client that you found lead water pipes?
    I would say yes.
    Should you report to the tenants that there are lead water pipes?
    Perhaps, though it seems a lot, if not most, of Philly has the same condition.
    Would I report it to the tenants?
    No.
    I would report it to the tenants if, I believe:
    The unsafe condition is the result of a defect or condition the landlord is responsible to correct, and
    the unsafe condition poses a significant or eminent risk to the tenants, and
    knowledge of the unsafe condition is likely to reduce the risk.

    Last edited by Rick Cantrell; 01-28-2010 at 08:33 AM. Reason: added "I beleive"
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

  7. #7
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: responsibility to inform tenants?

    Tennant's, owners, sellers agents all. I tell them immediately of life safety items and at the very least if no one is around or can be gotten a hold of at that moment in time, I leave a note behind.

    If someone was about to step in front of a speeding car and you could reach them in time would you grab them and pull them back or just let fate take its course??????

    Lead pipes ???/ A slow death ???? Probably already swallowed a bunch of lead ??? Probably not because the seller/owner of the property is going to be informed with a request for repair from the buyer or at the very least a disclosure of the home inspectors findings. Of course your part of the country may be different on disclosure.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
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    Default Re: responsibility to inform tenants?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Menelly View Post
    ...
    Lead pipes ???/ A slow death ???? Probably already swallowed a bunch of lead ??? ....
    It's not considered a clear and present danger. Testing often shows little lead is actually leaching into the water, and the only water that does have elevated lead in it is the water that has been sitting in the pipe overnight. Apparently the pipes tend to be coated with other mineral deposits on the inside that form a kind of protective layer.
    That's no reason not to inform the tenants. It just isn't an emergency.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    St Paul, MN
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    1,628

    Default Re: responsibility to inform tenants?

    I agree with John. We see a lot of lead water supplies in St Paul. They've been tested and found that the interior sludge coating on the pipe protects the lead from entering the water.

    MinnesotaHomeInspectors.com
    Minnesota Home Inspectors LLC
    ASHI #242887 mnradontesting.com

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