What can I do if I have black mold in the bathroom and my landlord has not done anything about it?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2011

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What can I do if I have black mold in the bathroom and my landlord has not done anything about it?

Also, I don’t recall signing an actual lease. I only filled out a simple 1page application for the apartment. I have been here for 4 years now and I have had problems with the bathroom and hallway flooding for 3 years. My landlord has done nothing about it. What can I do?

Asked on October 1, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You may be able to terminate your lease based on the presence of mold in your rental premises. If the condition is severe enough you may be able to claim "constructive eviction". If, for example, there is a mold is causing you health issues to the point that you must move out.

You can at the very least make a claim for breach of the "warranty of habitability", which is a guarantee that is implied in every residential lease. This warranty provides that a tenant must be given a sanitary and safe premises in which to live. For such a breach you have several options. You can terminate your lease and get the return of your security deposit), withhold rent until the repair is made, or make the repair yourself and the deduct the cost from your rent.

At this point, you should consult directly with an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant matters. At the very least you need to speak with a tenant's rights advocacy organization. If you attempt any of the above remedies be certain of your legal rights under applicable state law; there can be costly consequences for failing to do so.  

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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