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Hi, I am a tenant in California. I am reaching out for help

Hi, I am a tenant in...
Hi,
I am a tenant in California. I am reaching out for help because I just had a flood in the bedroom of my rental unit on friday. This is the second flood in a year (completely different problem then the first flood). The first flood I was very understanding and forgiving about even though it was caused by the drain to the shower in the downstairs room not being hooked up (which they didn't tell me). The first flood took an excessive two weeks for repairs to be done because the owner was too cheap to hire a professional. I understand things like this happen, so I didn't ask for any sort of reimbursement or compensation.

When the second flood happened I contacted the management company who came out to look at the problem with the HOA. Upon removing the dry wall they found a large amount of black mold. After hearing what was found, I contacted the management company to get someone out to start repairs or at least dry the moisture. Their reply to me was "well no one should be living in that room. That room was never intended as a bedroom." I understand that the property was leased as a 2 bedroom and technically, I am sleeping in the "bonus room", but it just so happens to be the largest room in the house, has 2 closets, and an attached bathroom... If it wasn't intended as a bedroom, I would be surprised. Plus, both the management company and owner knew I was living in that room from when the first flood happened. If it was a problem, they could have said something a year ago.

Anyway, it is now 3 days after I contacted them and still no one has come out. Furthermore, I called the HOA and they informed that the construction on the room isn't even permitted!

I am looking for a new place to live now and am planning on moving out at the end of the month. In the mean time I have slept on my couch for the last 3 nights as to not breath in the mold. Please advise me my options, if I am entitled to compensations, and how I should handle the management company.
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Answered in 22 minutes by:
9/17/2013
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 121,086
Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Whether or not you should be using the room as a bedroom, your lease guarantees you peaceable use and possession of the entire premises, including this room. If this room is not habitable, they have breached the warranty of habitability and they are in breach of the lease.

The first thing you can do is report this mold condition to the department of health and building inspector. Second, you need to inform the management company that as they are in breach of your lease and the premises are not habitable, they have to pay for you to reside elsewhere while they make repairs or they have to refund your rent for the time you cannot live there.

If they refuse, then you would have a legal right to sue them for breach of lease and seek all of your damages, including costs of moving and having to stay someplace safe because of the hazardous mold conditions in your premises.




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Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Legal
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Experience: JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Thank you for your reply. Do I have any right to recoup loss for damage of personal items?

Thank you for your response.

Generally, the landlord is not liable for personal property damage of the tenant unless you can prove that the landlord knew about the problem and neglected to fix it and that problem subsequently caused your damage to your personal property. This is why many landlords require tenants to have renters insurance.
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