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Commercial landlord responsibility to tenant re. water safety

Bremerton, WA |

Our office is a tenant in a very, very old building. None of the tenants in the building that I've talked to drink the water from the taps; they all buy bottled water (as do my coworkers) because "who knows what comes out of those pipes." I just don't feel right about this, even if the water is 'not safe,' which we don't know, as it hasn't been tested. Yesterday I determined how to get a test for lead and copper done, by the City's water testing lab. I wrote the Property Director asking her to pay for this testing. My questions are: 1) should the Property Director readily agree to pay for this testing? 2) Does the landlord have a responsibility to a) provide potable water at locations reasonably assumed to be potable, i.e., kitchen sinks? and, b) determine if the water is indeed potable by city standards? (i.e., perform testing to make that determination). Thank you!

Attorney Answers 1


Thanks for using Avvo. I am an Avvo Staff Moderator. To read more about our moderation team, follow the link below. Our current question volume may increase the response times of our loyal Avvo lawyer-answerers. My goal is to give you some preliminary information and guidance regarding your legal situation while you wait for an attorney in your area to respond.

I borrowed this answer from another Avvo contributor John Donald Sullivan (see link below).
"Washington does not have a commercial landlord tenant act. Landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities are generally found by reading the lease or, if the lease is silent, incomplete or unclear, by looking at the common law."

If you would like a definitive answer to your particular question, I have also provided a link to a local attorney referral service. They can put you in touch with a commercial lease specialist who will usually charge a nominal fee for a 30 minute consultation.

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