Past oil-spill may make tenants ill; what can landlord do?

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  • Past oil-spill may make tenants ill; what can landlord do?

    My tenants have just moved in. I have now just found out from my insurance firm (informally, not formally) that an oil spill which occurred 2.5 years ago and the insurance company is only now following it up (I reported it the day I discovered the spill, whilst I was living myself in the property) that it might not be safe for people to live in the property due to inhalation of vapours and that there might be damage to the wall of the property. They have said that they want to take more samples (air and soil).

    I expect that my tenants will be very dismayed and alarmed when I contact them to tell them that the insurance firm will want to undertake the samples. Also, should I tell them to move out and who would have to pay for all this (e.g. tenants moving costs, lost rent, etc.) given that the insurance company has not notified me of anything. I only found out because I wanted to know if the claim was closed as I have to renew my insurance soon and I might want to move to another insurer. How would you handle this???

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