Notices and Disclosures Codes

States

Nine states have provisions expressly requiring notice and disclosure from one party to the other: Arizona, Hawaii, Georgia, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Washington. Four states – Arizona, Hawaii, Mississippi, and North Carolina require the tenant to notify the landlord of problems.

As described earlier, four states have unusual requirements. New Mexico requires the landlord to give tenant a copy of the lease. Minnesota requires the landlord to disclose outstanding / unresolved code inspection actions regarding the property. Washington requires that the landlord provide the name and address of the landlord. Maine is the only state to incorporate the federal lead-hazard disclosure requirements into its landlord-tenant law.

Arizona

8. The tenant shall notify the landlord of any situation or occurrence that requires the landlord to provide maintenance, make repairs or otherwise requires the landlord to take action as prescribed in § 33-1324.

§ 38-12-504. Tenant's maintenance of premises

(1) In addition to any duties imposed upon a tenant by a rental agreement, every tenant of a residential premises has a duty to use that portion of the premises within the tenant's control in a reasonably clean and safe manner. A tenant fails to maintain the premises in a reasonably clean and safe manner when the tenant substantially fails to:

(f) Promptly notify the landlord if the residential premises is uninhabitable as defined in section 38-12-505 or if there is a condition that could result in the premises becoming uninhabitable if not remedied.

Georgia

44-7-20. Landlords required to give prospective residential tenants written notice of any previous flooding

When the owner of real property, either directly or through an agent, seeks to lease or rent that property for residential occupancy, prior to entering a written agreement for the leasehold of that property, the owner shall, either directly or through an agent, notify the prospective tenant in writing of the property's propensity of flooding if flooding has damaged any portion of the living space covered by the lease or attachments thereto to which the tenant or the tenant's resident relative has sole and exclusive use under the written agreement at least three times during the five-year period immediately preceding the date of the lease. An owner failing to give such notice shall be liable in tort to the tenant and the tenant's family residing on the leased premises for damages to the personal property of the lessee or a resident relative of the lessee which is proximately caused by flooding which occurs during the term of the lease. For purposes of this Code section, flooding is defined as the inundation of a portion of the living space covered by the lease which was caused by an increased water level in an established water source such as a river, stream, or drainage ditch or as a ponding of water at or near the point where heavy or excessive rain fell. This Code section shall apply only to leaseholds entered into on or after July 1, 1995.

Hawaii

§ 521-55. Tenant's responsibility to inform landlord

Any defective condition of the premises which comes to the tenant's attention, which the tenant has reason to believe is unknown to the landlord, and which the tenant has reason to believe is the duty of the landlord or of another tenant to repair, shall be reported by the tenant to the landlord as soon as practicable.

Maine

§ 6030-B. Environmental lead hazards

1. Environmental lead hazard disclosure. A landlord or other lessor of residential property shall provide to potential tenants and lessees a residential real property disclosure statement that includes, but is not limited to, information about the presence or prior removal of lead-based paint in accordance with Title 22, section 1328.

2. Application. The landlord or lessor shall provide the residential real property disclosure statement under subsection 1 when a structure that is part of the real property was built prior to 1978.

3. Notification of repairs. A landlord or other lessor of residential property who undertakes, or who engages someone else to undertake, any repair, renovation or remodeling activity in a residential building built before 1978 that includes one or more units that are rented for human habitation shall give notice of the activity and the risk of an environmental lead hazard pursuant to this subsection.

Minnesota

504B.195. Disclosure required for outstanding inspection and condemnation orders

Subdivision 1. Disclosure to tenant.

(a) Except as provided in subdivision 3, a landlord, agent, or person acting under the landlord's direction or control shall provide a copy of all outstanding inspection orders for which a citation as been issued, pertaining to a rental unit or common area, specifying code violations issued under section 04B.185, that the housing inspector identifies as requiring notice because the violations threaten the health or safety of the tenant, and all outstanding condemnation orders and declarations that the premises are unfit for human habitation to:

(1) a tenant, either by delivery or by United States mail, postage prepaid, within 72 hours after issuance of the citation;
(2) a person before signing a lease or paying rent or a security deposit to begin a new tenancy; and
(3) a person prior to obtaining new ownership of the property subject to the order or declaration. The housing inspector shall indicate on the inspection order whether the violation threatens the health or safety of a tenant or prospective tenant.

(b) If an inspection order, for which a citation has been issued, does not involve code violations that threaten the health or safety of the tenants, the landlord, agent, or person acting under the landlord's control shall post a summary of the inspection order in a conspicuous place in each building affected by the inspection order, along with a notice that the inspection order will be made available by the landlord for review, upon a request of a tenant or prospective tenant. The landlord shall provide a copy of the inspection order for review by a tenant or a prospective tenant as required under this subdivision.

Subd. 2. Penalty. If the landlord, agent, or person acting under the landlord's direction or control violates this section, the tenant is entitled to remedies provided by section 8.31, subdivision 3a, and other equitable relief as determined by the court.

Subd. 3. Exception. A landlord, agent, or person acting under the landlord's direction or control is not in violation of this section if:

(1) the landlord, agent, or person acting under the landlord's direction or control has received only an initial order to repair;
(2) the time allowed to complete the repairs, including any extension of the deadline, has not yet expired, or less than 60 days has elapsed since the expiration date of repair orders and any extension or no citation has been issued; or
(3) the landlord, agent, or person acting under the landlord's direction or control completes the repairs within the time given to repair, including any extension of the deadline.

Mississippi

§ 89-8-25. Obligations of tenant

A tenant shall:

(g) Inform the landlord of any condition of which he has actual knowledge which may cause damage to the premises.

New Mexico

47-8-20. Obligations of owner

G. The owner shall provide a written rental agreement to each resident prior to the beginning of occupancy.

North Carolina

§ 42-43. Tenant to maintain dwelling unit

(b) The landlord shall notify the tenant in writing of any breaches of the tenant's obligations under this section except in emergency situations.

Washington

59.18.060. Landlord--Duties

(11)(a) Provide a written notice to all tenants disclosing fire safety and protection information. The landlord or his or her authorized agent must provide a written notice to the tenant that the dwelling unit is equipped with a smoke detection device as required in *RCW 48.48.140. The notice shall inform the tenant of the tenant's responsibility to maintain the smoke detection device in proper operating condition and of penalties for failure to comply with the provisions of *RCW 48.48.140(3). The notice must be signed by the landlord or the landlord's authorized agent and tenant with copies provided to both parties. Further, except with respect to a single-family residence, the written notice must also disclose the following:

(i) Whether the smoke detection device is hard-wired or battery operated;
(ii) Whether the building has a fire sprinkler system;
(iii) Whether the building has a fire alarm system;
(iv) Whether the building has a smoking policy, and what that policy is;
(v) Whether the building has an emergency notification plan for the occupants and, if so, provide a copy to the occupants;
(vi) Whether the building has an emergency relocation plan for the occupants and, if so, provide a copy to the occupants; and
(vii)Whether the building has an emergency evacuation plan for the occupants and, if so, provide a copy to the occupants.

(b) The information required under this subsection may be provided to a tenant in a multifamily residential building either as a written notice or as a checklist that discloses whether the building has fire safety and protection devices and systems. The checklist shall include a diagram showing the emergency evacuation routes for the occupants.

(c) The written notice or checklist must be provided to new tenants at the time the lease or rental agreement is signed, and must be provided to current tenants as soon as possible, but not later than January 1, 2004.

(12) Provide tenants with information provided or approved by the department of health about the health hazards associated with exposure to indoor mold. Information may be provided in written format individually to each tenant, or may be posted in a visible, public location at the dwelling unit property. The information must detail how tenants can control mold growth in their dwelling units to minimize the health risks associated with indoor mold. Landlords may obtain the information from the department's web site or, if requested by the landlord, the department must mail the information to the landlord in a printed format. When developing or changing the information, the department of health must include representatives of landlords in the development process. The information must be provided by the landlord to new tenants at the time the lease or rental agreement is signed, and must be provided to current tenants no later than January 1, 2006, or must be posted in a visible, public location at the dwelling unit property beginning July 24, 2005;

(13) The landlord and his or her agents and employees are immune from civil liability for failure to comply with subsection (12) of this section except where the landlord and his or her agents and employees knowingly and intentionally do not comply with subsection (12) of this section; and

(14) Designate to the tenant the name and address of the person who is the landlord by a statement on the rental agreement or by a notice conspicuously posted on the premises. The tenant shall be notified immediately of any changes by certified mail or by an updated posting. If the person designated in this section does not reside in the state where the premises are located, there shall also be designated a person who resides in the county who is authorized to act as an agent for the purposes of service of notices and process, and if no designation is made of a person to act as agent, then the person to whom rental payments are to be made shall be considered such agent.

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