What are my rights concerning mold?

And the landlord stating they cannot afford to fix the underlying problem.

Asked on January 16, 2013 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

All residential leases contain what is referred to as an "implied warranty of habitability". Basically, this is a kind of guarantee provides that as a tenant, you are legally required to be given a safe and sanitary place in which to live. If you are not, then your landlord has breached your lease (either written or oral).

Mold can be a serious health issue. What you need to do now is to call the department of health and see if they will send an inspector to check it out. Then, you have 1 of 3 options available to you:

  1. Repair the problem and deduct the cost from your rent;
  2. Withhold your rent until the landlord repairs the problem; or
  3. Break your lease.

However, before attempting any of these remedies, you need to be more fully apprised of your rights in your specific situation and under specific state law. Accordingly, you should consult directly with a local attorney who handles landlord-tenant cases. You could also try and contact a tenant's rights organization in your area.

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