My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Virginia
I live in an apartment building in a large complex in Virginia. There are 4 units in my building. The tenant in a unit below "left her stove on", causing a kitchen fire that has rendered her unit uninhabitable. I have documented asthma and am under the care of a specialist.
When I rushed from work to the scene, I only entered my unit (which is undamaged) a couple of times and was overcome by wheezing. The firemen stated that my unit was in the best shape re: the smoke smell, but I decided to get a hotel for the night because I was afraid I'd get sick. At the time, my unit really did NOT seem so bad compared with the rest of the building.
At the time of the fire, the firemen had to break down my door and open all my windows. I left all the windows open and a large fan in my bedroom window, all night while I was away.
When I returned the next night, I could not operate my stove. There is also no hot water. Aside from a hurried, late phone call from mgmt asking if I was ok, I have not received any sort of communication from them. I'm guessing that they had to shut the gas lines off while fighting the fire. If I had not walked in on a conversation with the maintenance guys milling around in the affected unit, I would have had no idea when or if my door would've been replaced. To their credit, they replaced it that same day.
I'm attempting to sleep now, but I can't because the smoke smell seems stronger than it was before, and my throat is raw, swollen and scratchy.
I have no idea how the tenants downstairs, across from the affected unit, are coping as the fumes down there are MUCH worse.
My question is--aren't some kind of disaster cleanup/recovery people supposed to come out and ventilate or something? I've been here for 3 years and my rent has never been late. I drove to my unit earlier today and I haven't seen anyone at all. I put in a maintenance request to have my stove addressed because I had no idea what to do. Thankfully, I'm not wheezing now, but I'm just terrified that no one will do anything else and that I'll get sicker.
Thanks for reading