How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36165
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
19958803
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Tenant has pre-existing sensitivity to mold. Mold was found

Customer Question

Tenant has pre-existing sensitivity to mold. Mold was found on premises and tested + for "black mold". Tenant will be moving out half way through lease. What are my rights as to rent paid on a month-to month lease. BTW, i am an attorney (Intel. Prop.)
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon. Can you please clarify what you mean in regard to your rights on a month to month lease with the tenant? Are you asking if you can rent this out month to month after? Are you going to remedy the mold issue?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I put tenant up in hotel 8-4 to 8-8. We have agreed to terminate his lease early, but he can't be out until 23rd and says I owe him the whole prepaid rent back for the month of august. Mold is in process of being abated but with his pre-existing condition (prior to moving into m unit), I would like him out asap. He is out but had to store property on the site until he can get help moving it out as he doesn't want any additional exposure.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
i'm and atty so cites to ca law would be helpful
Expert:  RealEstateAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Sorry for the delay. I am being called away to handle another matter and do not want you to wait any longer, so I am going to opt out and another Expert can assist.

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello, new expert here..

.

If there is substantial mold contamination, it would violate the implied warranty of habitability inherent in the lease as well as CA Civil Code 1941.1 under the weather/water proofing clause. Further, according to the CA Dept of Consumer Affairs:

.

"An authoritative reference book suggests two additional ways in which the implied warranty of habitability may be violated. The first is the presence of mold conditions in the rental unit that affect the livability of the unit or the health and safety of tenants. The second follows from a new law that imposes obligations on a property owner who is notified by a local health officer that the property is contaminated by methamphetamine. This reference book suggests that a tenant who is damaged by this kind of documented contamination may be able to claim a breach of the implied warranty of habitability (Moskovitz et al., California Landlord-Tenant Practice, Section 3.11B (Cal. Cont. Ed. Bar 2009); see Health and Safety Code Sections 25***-**-****0.46, effective January 1, 2006.)

.

With all that said, it has been pretty conclusively established that substantial mold contamination makes a property legally uninhabitable and as such, if the tenant has paid the rent, then the landlord has a legal duty to provide alternate accommodations or work out an agreement to refund the rent. But there is no duty to do both.

.

So if you are paying for a hotel until repairs are made, then you don't have to refund any rent. The tenant is getting what they contracted for...a habitable dwelling.

.

If you have agreed with the tenant to terminate their lease, then your obligation to provide a habitable dwelling would end on the date that you have agreed for their lease to terminate.

.

As an aside, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Related Real Estate Law Questions