Is my landlord responsible for mold damages?

My wife and I just recently moved and are now renting a house that was in last years flood and my landlord said that there was no mold in the basement so we put boxes down there. I was moving the boxes out a month later and find everything ruined by the mold.

Asked on July 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Idaho

Answers:

Mark Petersen / Snake River Law PLLC

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You landlord is responsible to maintain the property including the proper cleaning and removal of any mold. If the mold appeared on boxes but no where else in the home its questionable whether or not it would be the landlord's responsiblity.

If the mold is affecting your ability to have peaceful and quiet enjoyment of the property (i.e. causing issues with health, damaging personal property, etc.) you have the right to notify the landlord and request that the mold issue be repaired. If they do not repair the mold issue or if the work required to repair the mold issue will be too extensive to live there during the work, you have a right to break the lease and move from the property. I would contact the landlord immediately and give them a written notice of the problem, what needs to be cleaned/repaired, and provide them a reasonable deadline to repair the problem.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The liability of a landoord is not clearly spelled out with regard to mold as say bed bugs. Some states and cities have enacted laws and ordinances that deal with the issue (New York, for example).  No federal law exists on the issue. It could come under the Warranty of Habitability if a landlord failed to fix say a leak that cased the damage.  Discuss the matter with your landlord.  Here you are claiming an outright misrepresentation.  Good luck.


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