Dear Customer,I am sorry to learn of this situation.Dealing with mold conditions in a rental unit is a difficult matter, as both whether or not mold is considered a "habitability" issue is still unsettled in California, and the extent of the problem is subjective (meaning what one person considers to be noxious, another may consider to be an annoyance, while some others may require evaluation by an expert witness).However, there is support for using the "habitability" remedies, see: http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/problems.shtmlThese are detailed here: http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/problems.shtml(In short: you can "repair and deduct" (make the repairs yourself, and deduct the costs from your rent); exercise "rent withholding" (stop paying rent until the problem is fixed); or terminate the lease).Be aware, the rent withholding remedies are higher risk - if you withhold rent, the landlord may try sending a 3 day notice to pay or quit, then file an unlawful detainer, at which point you are going to have to convince the court regarding the habitability issue. Short of filing a lawsuit, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact your local bar association
and request referrals to mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation.You can also try contacting your local (county) health department and reporting the problem. If the department issues a notice to the landlord to repair the issue, this can insulate you from an unlawful detainer (under the principle of "retaliatory eviction
" defenses) for up to 6 months).