What is a landlord’s liability if a tenant gets ill from mold in the rental premises?

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What is a landlord’s liability if a tenant gets ill from mold in the rental premises?

My husband and I rented this house in February and in May I became sick. I went to the hospital once and my doctor several times and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong. My neighbor told me that there was a major water leak with the last tenant. So my husband and I did an at-home mold test on the vent system and the open air. The results showed 6 different types of mold present (chaetomium, cladosporium, fusarium, penicillium, aspergillus, and a non-sporulating fungi). We have moved out due to mold in the house and that I have over $5000 in doctor bills from it?

Asked on September 20, 2010 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It would be worth it to consult with an attorney--you may have a claim. The key issue will be whether the landlord was negligent in some way. That is, did he or she have any notice of mold and failed to do anything about it? Or even if no notice of mold per se, did the landlord fail to correct conditions (like chronic water leaks and dampness, from roof, windows, pipes, etc.) that he was or should have been aware of and which could cause mold? If the landlord was careless, negligent, or willfully did not take care of the premises, you may be able to sue him or her for your damages. An attorney can help you understand if you do in fact have a claim under the facts of your case. (BTW, many lawyers will provide a free initial consultation and/or take a case like this on contingency.) Good luck.


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