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Questions on Ebola, Apartments and Landlords

I have been watching the recent news about the ebola virus just like everyone else. Amongst all of the news I noticed that the two victims here in the US lived in apartments. Now, I understand the threat that Ebola is and I also understand the need to contain it. Nonetheless, as a landlord certain questions pop into my head when I read headlines like the following:

“Ebola decontamination begins at Dallas apartment of 2nd hospital worker”

Questions like:

Who pays for this hazmat cleanup?

How was the hazmat team allowed in to the apartment? Who gave them permission to remove all of the tenant’s belongings? Was it by court order? Did the family allow them in? Would I as the landlord have to get close to the place and let them in? Should I get one of these?

What about damages to the apartment caused by the hazmat team? Who is responsible for those?

Is the rent still being paid?

When and how does the landlord get possession of their property back? Do they even want it back?

What happens if one of my tenant’s gets ebola or a similar disease? What rights do I or my other tenants have?

These are all interesting and hopefully unique legal questions that I quite frankly do not have the answer to right now. But, I think it would be helpful to know what a landlord’s rights and responsibilities are on the front end of these things just in case.

I will try and get some answers and put them in another blog post.

If anyone out there has any related experience or expertise, please share it.

What other questions might you have as a landlord in a similar situation? Please share with your comments.

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