Mold is not only a nuisance; it can also be highly toxic, capable of causing a number of ailments such as asthma and even chronic fatigue. So it’s no surprise that mold is a growing concern for renters across the country. Though there are few states with mold-related laws in the books, your landlord may still be liable. If you’ve found your rental has a mold problem, but your landlord refuses to address it, then there are steps you can take to hold your landlord accountable.
Firstly, your landlord has a duty to maintain habitable premises whether or not your state or city has enacted mold-related laws. In nearly every state, landlords are responsible for maintaining habitable housing and repairing rental property. If your landlord has neglected to fix a leaky roof in need of repair, for example, he may be held liable for mold-related health problems in a court of law as mold generally thrives under such conditions.
If your landlord has not addressed your concerns regarding necessary repairs which are responsible or contribute to your mold problem, there are several steps you can take to effect action:
• Withhold rent until repairs are made
• Hire a professional to complete the necessary repairs and deduct costs from your rent
• Call your state, city or local health inspectors
• File a suit in small claims court for the difference between your rent and the value of the faulty premises
In some states, you may also ask the court to force the landlord to make the necessary repairs and have your rent reduced until the repairs are fully completed. In any event, taking your landlord to court often gets their attention and gets things moving so you don’t have to take your landlord’s negligence sitting down. Remember, before making any drastic moves it is always a good idea to discuss your situation with a local real estate attorney. With proper guidance and some persistence, you can have your landlord make that mold disappear in no time!
Stephen K. Hachey, a Florida real estate attorney, can help you navigate this process and make the most of a difficult situation. Contact him at 813-549-0096.
The opinions in this post are solely those of the author. The author takes full responsibility for the content. Like all blog posts, this is offered for general information purposes and does not constitute legal advice.
This post was written by Stephen Hachey. Follow Stephen on Google, Facebook, Twitter & Linkedin.