What can I do if I have been to the ER 4 times now due to mold in my apartment?

I was told by the ER doctor to move out of the moldy apartment. I am allergic to mold; I cannot even take penicillin. We did a mold test and sent it out to a lab; the results show there is Penicillum anc Aspergillus mold in our air. I have turned blue from low oxygen each time and was admitted to the hospital. The doctors advised me to get a lawyer. I need to be somewhere that is not a health risk to me. A report was made to poison control and the CDC. I need help, I do not know what to do.

Asked on September 19, 2014 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You should get an attorney, because from what you write, you may have two different legal remedies. All leases, written or oral (unwritten), have added to them by law what's called the "implied covenant of habitability." This is the obligation that the landlord must provide rental premises that are fit for their intended purpose--e.g. safe to live in. If a landlord violates this covenant by providing an apartment *not* safe to live in, then--

1)  The tenant may be entitled to treat the lease as terminated due to the landlord's material breach of the covenant, and therefore move out without being responsible for the remainder of the rent; and/or

2) The tenant may be entitled to monetary compensation for the time he or she has been living with unsafe conditions.

There are some necessary procedural steps or requirements in utilizing these remedies, such as first making sure the landlord was provided proper notice of the condition and a reasonable chance to abate, or correct it--the landlord must have the opportunity to fix things, before the tenant is entitled to legal remedies. A lawyer can help you do this and, more generally, vindicate your legal rights.


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