Houston, TX asked in Real Estate Law for Oklahoma

Q: our yard has a layer of asbestos siding buried about 3ft down. Should that have been disclosed when we purchased it?

We bought our home in 2009. There was a tree pushing our retaining wall out (making it fall). We removed the tree. We had to dig into the dirt to get the root system out. This is when we discovered the layer of shingles buried. This was not disclosed when we bought the home. Is the estate we purchased the home from responsible for the cleanup?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Gregory Andrews Cade
Gregory Andrews Cade

A: According to the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission, the seller must priorly disclose the presence of any hazardous materials that they know of on the property, including asbestos. However, the seller is exempted from legal consequences if they were not aware of the existence of such materials on the property. Considering the place where you found the asbestos siding, chances are that the previous owner did not have any knowledge of its presence either. I suggest you contact them or the real estate agency you bought your house from to clear this matter up. If it turns out they had not known there were asbestos-containing products on the property before selling it to you, you will ultimately have to support the cost of the cleanup.

It might also be a good idea to contact the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission. They will certainly be able to provide you with more information in this respect.

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