Real Estate Law
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Can you tell me what your basis is in asking for a full year's rent as damages?
Has the mold problem existed that long?
Have you or your children suffered any health or medical problems?
Ok, I thought you might have been looking at the retaliation laws which make the landlord liable for up to 3 month's rent and attorney fees.
The problem I see here if you go to court on this is that you notified her about the problem, but then you continued to live there for a year and a half more until you took formal action. The judge is going to ask you if the property was uninhabitable, then why did you stay for 1.5 years before finally moving.
So your response will have to be that you had no idea that the mold was that dangerous to your health and as soon as you found out, you did take action to move as quickly as possible.
With that said, if the property has been uninhabitable for 1.5 years and you are just asking for 1 year's rent as compensation, that is likely a cheap deal for the landlord. If you got a personal injury attorney and sued her for negligetnce for subjecting you and your children to those conditions, you could end up with quite a bit more because after a certain point, her negligence turns into gross negligence and increases your potential damages because it shows a careless disregard for your and your children's health and safety..
I think you might mention to her that your final offer is 10K and you have an appointment next week to meet with a couple personal injury attorneys so your offer to settle won't go down once you talk to them and decide on an attorney..
That should scare the bejeesus out of her and get her to settle so you don't have to hire an attorney to sue her... This isn't a slam dunk of a case so a personal injury attorney might not agree to take the case on a contingency fee basis and may want a retainer up front..