Charlottesville, VA asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia

Q: I rent in virginia and my ceilings fell down in the bedrooms the landlord said asbestos was found what can I do

The first ceiling fell not due to water damage, then the second bedroom ceiling fell the next day then we noticed my bedroom sagging. I stayed at my girlfriends house for 20 days so far while the landlord fix it. The workers didn't put down any plastic over my belongings and spread that insulation dust everywhere even downstairs. The landlord tested the dust and said it had traces of asbestos and he wants me not to go back the the house and wants me to terminate my lease. What are my options

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1 Lawyer Answer
F. Paul Maloof
F. Paul Maloof
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: It sounds like the premises is in an uninhabitable condition. You should contact the Office of Housing Code Enforcement for the city/county in which the premises is located and make a formal complaint. An inspector should be sent to the premises to make an inspection. If the inspector finds housing code violations, the inspector will write up a Notice of Violation and serve it on the landlord. If the landlord does not fix the violations, you will be in a position to vacate the premises and file a Tenant's Assertion with the Court to seek a termination of the lease, and perhaps a request for rent abatement. The court filings are complicated so you should consult an attorney who knows this area of the Virginia law.

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