Honolulu, HI asked in Real Estate Law for Hawaii

Q: I purchased a condo 4years ago, but did not receive a disclosure form. I now discover that my ceiling is covered with

asbestos "popcorn" on the ceiling. What is the seller's obligation under hawaii law?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Gregory Andrews Cade
Gregory Andrews Cade
Answered

A: Since the vast majority of houses built before the mid 1980s have asbestos somewhere in their structure, the seller is not required by law to priorly disclose the presence of this toxic agent. Another reason why asbestos disclosure was not deemed necessary by the State of Hawaii pertains to the relatively low risk of domestic exposure. Asbestos represents a health hazard only when fibers become airborne. Within most building materials, asbestos fibers are tightly bound and therefore cannot come off as long as the product is in good condition. This includes asbestos spray-on ceiling treatment, also known as popcorn ceiling.

If this product was applied on the ceiling of your condo, you should avoid disturbing it to prevent exposure. Thereby, remodeling projects involving the ceiling are ill-advised unless the product is professionally removed beforehand and so is impacting the surface with furniture or other objects. As a rule of thumb, all furniture in the problematic room(s) should be at least one foot below ceiling level to make sure it will not be accidentally damaged. The removal of asbestos popcorn ceiling is rarely necessary, as this product does not typically pose a health threat. In fact, removing it is likely to increase the risk of exposure by releasing toxic fibers in the air.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.