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Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX my fiance and I believe our apartment

Customer Question
has mold. One day in...
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX my fiance and I believe our apartment has mold. One day in early August (2010) it rained, and near the top of our windows where our blinds met the ceiling a heavy amount of water began to pour through the ceiling, down our windows onto our apartment floor. The water that leaked into our apartment was brown and stained everything (i'm assuming it was water that had been sitting in the gutter for quite some time). Nate and I bought a $2,000 couch, and the entire back of the couch was stained with this brown water. We let out land lord know, he said he would rent a lift and look at the problem. The owner had a lift rented and they were great about trying to find the source of the water, but no one could figure out where the leak was coming from. The owner replaced out windows and blinds, but surely enough, the next time it rained, it ruined our new blinds that were just replaced. The source of our problem was not fixed. We contacted our land lord yet another time, he said he would take $500 off our rent of $755.00 and have someone come and look at our windows again. Well it is now going into December, and that has not happened. Last night, Nate took our blinds down, and he saw that there were several large puddles of mold and stain surrounding our windows, so we decided to call a city health official to come and inspect our apartment for toxic mold. Since living there, Nate has been diagnosed with acute asthma, and he only appears to have a problem when he's in the apartment breathing, the same goes for me. I get constant head aches (I never used to get heah aches in the past) and my joints hurt. I understand there are several differen't kids of mold and not all mold is harmful. How would you suggest we go about this situation? We would like to get out of our lease and be paid back for the 6 months of rent we have been paying since the problem arose along with possibly sueing for the cost of our new couch.
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 29 minutes by:
12/1/2010
Real Estate Lawyer: Jack R., Lawyer replied 7 years ago
Jack R.
Jack R., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6,147
Experience: Mediator, part of the Ohio Save the Dream Foreclosure project
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The best way to handle mold issues is to have a professional mold inspection. A professional will be able to better ascertain the problem and the types of mold. You are obligated to give the landlord time to fix the problem. If the problem cannot be fixed in a reasonable time frame then you may be able to seek rent abatement, or in some cases get out of your lease entirely. Calling the inspector / department of health is a proper action to take. They will also require the landlord to make repairs if mold is found.

 

It is difficult to successfully sue a landlord for personal injury unless the landlord was aware of the problem. Timeliness and time frames become important in a personal injury lawsuit. Your success will depend on which State you live in. Some States are very landlord friendly when it comes to personal injury claims.

 

In addition since you lived in the apartment getting back all prior rent paid will be very difficult. You had use of the apartment and compensation for use is due the landlord.

 

 

This communication is not intended as legal advice. A local attorney should always be consulted for legal advice. No client/attorney relationship is intended or created by this communication.

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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

That really didn't help me? Can you tell me what is considered "reasonable time". I would think 4 months is a long enought time to fix a leak so that mold does NOT grow. You didn't tell me anything I didn't know. I'm already having an inspector come to the apartment, I thought I would get more "legal" help, in regards XXXXX XXXXX EPA, etc... Can you tell me anything else? What does a judge need to see in order for me to get reimbursed for the past 4 months of rent. Having to live with garbage bags over our windows, couch moved into the middle of our living room, yellow stains all over our walls, musky smells, having to deal with maintenance on a monthly basis? What can I do legally to get out of my lease early? How long after an inspector tells the land lord we do in FACT have mold do they have to clear up the issue?

Real Estate Lawyer: Jack R., Lawyer replied 7 years ago

Reasonable time is less than 1 month max. Notice to the landlord must be in writing for the clock to run. Whether or not you can get out of your lease is state dependent. Some states allow termination of the lease some do not.

 

Most inspectors will provide in their assessment the time allotted to repair the condition. It could be any where form 10 days to a month depending on the hazard.

 

In order to get any reimbursement you will need to prove that the apartment was not habitable. You will need to show the condition prevented your full use and enjoyment of the leased space.

 

 

This communication is not intended as legal advice. A local attorney should always be consulted for legal advice. No client/attorney relationship is intended or created by this communication.

 

 

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