Can the landlord keep our security deposit under uninhabitable conditons?

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Can the landlord keep our security deposit under uninhabitable conditons?

There is mold and mildew growing in the bathroom.Other tenant called multiple times over a week to notify the landlord and he never responded until I talked to him.He sent over a handyman to look at the problem,but it wasnt fixed. There are a few roaches in the cupboards and there has been for 3 months. There is silverfish in the other tenant’s room. We are finding replacement tenants for both of our rooms as we are on a 1 year lease. The landlord also put an ad up looking for other tenants. We mailed him letters informing him of all the conditions we were unhappy with via certified mail.

Asked on June 24, 2009 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I think you really need to talk to a lawyer in your area who is familiar with landlord-tenant cases.  You have rights here which depend on California's laws, and I don't practice in your state; there are certainly more facts that might be important.  One place to find an attorney who can help you, if you don't qualify for legal aid, is our website, http://attorneypages.com

No matter what the lease says, your landlord has a duty to keep the place habitable, and that includes exterminating.  Whether the landlord also has to deal with the mold and mildew may depend on the details.  If the landlord doesn't keep up his end of the deal, you can do something about that.


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