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Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Experience:  Landlord-Tenant Disputes, Leases, Evictions, Foreclosures.
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In Iowa, does a landlord have any responsibility for not disclosing

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In Iowa, does a landlord have any responsibility for not disclosing they are renting a former meth lab? We moved into the house months after the lab was busted and were not informed. We no longer live there. My daughter has unexplained skin irritations she takes a steroid for and I am fearful it was from the rental we occupied. Is ther any action I can take now or in the future?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. Prior to leasing the subject property to you, the landlord needed to make sure it was habitable. By that, I mean that it was safe to live in, seeing how they knew what took place inside the home, prior to your occupancy. If you could show that the skin irritations and other harm she suffered was a direct result of the meth lab and the property not being properly inspected, cleaned and habitable, you could have a legal basis to sue the landlord for the damages and costs, suffered by your daughter. In a situation like this, you should speak with the doctor and see if he/she thinks there is any direct correlation and then speak with the landlord about the problem.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

To clarify, the landlord had no specific legal obligation to disclose the meth lab prior to rental? His responsibility was to make it safe to live in and any future liability would hinge on being able to prove that the skin irritation is a directly caused by the residuals of the lab, correct?


Thanks for your prompt response!

Rick, you are welcome. If the home was used as a meth lab, the landlord should have been required to get the property inspected after it was fixed up, to make sure there were no health risks. As we know, chemicals can remain and have a long lasting effect, so the rental should have been inspected by the city to make sure it was up to code. The landlord or a person authorized to enter into a rental agreement on behalf of the landlord must disclose to each tenant in writing before the commencement of the tenancy, whether the property is listed in the comprehensive environmental response compensation and liability information system maintained by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. (Iowa Code § 562A.13). As such, if there is a health hazard, it would need to be disclosed.
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