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insearchoftheanswer, Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 53679
Experience:  Lawyer; developer/owner of RE developments.
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I am renting a house in hampton va. for teh past 7 mo. The

Customer Question

i am renting a house in hampton va. for teh past 7 mo. The bathroom floor is rotted so that now the toilet sits unlevel and the floor springs up and down. the landlord came and looked at it and the plumbers pumped 4 - 55 gal drums of brown sludge from under neath. on the other side of the house they found black mold under the floor in my childs bedroom. if i have to move out til its fixed does the landlord pay for my accommodations. if its not repairable for a long time will he be responsible for my relocation expenses.?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  insearchoftheanswer replied 2 months ago.

Good morning Frank. My name is ***** ***** I will be helping you today! It will take me just a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!

Expert:  insearchoftheanswer replied 2 months ago.

Yes, you absolutely have recourse here and have both these entitlements that you reference. You do have rights here. With every rental comes the implied warranty of habitability, which includes the tenant's right to the safe, healthy, peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the rented premises. Where you have a situation with mold which directly puts your health in peril, a tenant would clearly not be afforded such enjoyment of the premises....and therefore the landlord would be in breach of the implied warranty of habitability. This puts the landlord in default. This gives you the right to terminate the lease and sue for damages, including the cost of moving plus include reimbursement of a portion of all prior rent to date to compensate for the reduced value of the rental property due to the reduced benefit of your rental bargain due to the inhabitability. Furthermore, although you have the right to terminate the lease due to the breach, you are not required to do so. Rather, you can file a claim against the landlord for damages due to this breach. Damages would include reimbursement of a portion of all prior rent to date to compensate for the reduced value of the rental property due to the problems, and to either reduce the rent going forward or pay you for temporary living expenses, at your option, until the problem is fully remediated.

These rules are specifically incorporated into the Virginia landlord tenant statute. Specifically § 55-248.13 and § 55-248.21 . You can find these provisions at the following link along with the entire VA landlord tenant statute:

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as Good or Excellent (hopefully Excellent). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
richard, thank you . i was hoping for something a little more concrete . I already have the va landlord statute and am aware of the two that you referenced . i need more help along the lines of approaching the landlord or going to the city or the magistrate.
Expert:  insearchoftheanswer replied 2 months ago.

You're very welcome. I would call the city to have them issue a citation which will force the landlord's hands. I will be happy to draft a template of a letter to your landlord for you. Under the JustAnswer guidelines, I can do that for you through the Premium Services option offered by JustAnswer. If that would be helpful, let me know and I'll extend that offer and you can then decide whether or not to accept.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
no thanks . I was hoping for something more than i had already found online myself. Thank you for your input,
Expert:  insearchoftheanswer replied 2 months ago.

No worries. I totally understand. I never really know what my customer knows and doesn't know. As you can see, the landlord obligations and your rights as a tenant are set forth pretty specifically in the statute. Most of my customers are not as astute as you and need my assistance to locate these statutory provisions and outline their rights. Within the confines of the JustAnswer framework, that's about all I'm able to do...i.e., provide and summarize the statutory information. I do understand this falls short of actually representing you in this dispute. As I'm not in your state, I'm not able to communicate on your behalf with either the landlord or the city. I'm sorry! I hope you have a blessed day and I wish you the best with all this. I will certainly keep you in my prayers!

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