San Luis Obispo, CA asked in Environmental and Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: Was my landlord obligated to tell me the well water is contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE) before i moved in?

I was told that my daughter and I can't drink the water but never informed that it was because the well water was known to be contaminated with carcinogens.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, landlords have a legal obligation to disclose certain material defects or hazards that may affect the habitability or safety of a rental property. Contaminated well water with known carcinogens, such as trichloroethylene (TCE), would likely constitute a material defect or hazard that must be disclosed to tenants before they move in. Failure to disclose such information may constitute a violation of California's landlord-tenant laws and could expose the landlord to legal liability.

As a tenant, you have the right to expect full and accurate disclosure of any potential health or safety hazards associated with the rental property, including water contamination issues. If your landlord failed to disclose the presence of TCE in the well water before you moved in, you may have grounds to take legal action against them for breach of duty to disclose. You may consider consulting with a qualified attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant law to explore your options and determine the best course of action.

In addition to seeking legal recourse, you should also take steps to protect yourself and your family from exposure to contaminated water. This may include using alternative sources of drinking water, such as bottled water or water from a safe and reliable municipal source, until the contamination issue is resolved. It's important to prioritize your health and safety while addressing the legal aspects of the situation with your landlord.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

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.