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

Customer Question
on premises and tested +...
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: 2 years ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
8/12/2015
Lawyer: LandlordTenantAnswer, Attorney replied 2 years ago
LandlordTenantAnswer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 28,707
Experience: Landlord-Tenant Disputes, Leases, Evictions, Foreclosures.
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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?

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Customer reply replied 2 years 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 reply replied 2 years ago
i'm and atty so cites to ca law would be helpful
Lawyer: LandlordTenantAnswer, Attorney replied 2 years 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.

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Lawyer: barristerinky, Attorney replied 2 years ago
barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 38,675
Experience: Attorney over 17 years, landlord 26 years
Verified

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

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barristerinky
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