As a tenant, what are my rights regarding black mold?

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As a tenant, what are my rights regarding black mold?

I like in an apartment, the people above us have a leaking pipe that caused a cave in over our bathtub along with amounts of black mold. It has been 4 weeks since the office was notified and has not fixed it yet. This is causing migraines and other health issues due to the exposure of black mold. What are my legal rights to get out of the lease?

Asked on October 10, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You should contact your local health department and report this situation. Under the circumstances, you may be able to terminate your lease. If the mold condition is severe enough, you may be able to make a claim for "constructive eviction". For example, if the mold is causing you health issues so that you must move out.
 
Addtionally, you can at least make a claim for the breach of "warranty of habitability", which is a guarantee that is implied in every residential lease. This warranty dictates that a tenant must be given a sanitary and safe premises in which to live. For such a breach, there are several options avaialble to you. For one thing, you can terminate your lease and get the return of your security deposit, or you could withhold rent until the repair is made, or you can make the repair yourself and the deduct the cost from your rent.
You should be aware that if you attempt any of the above remedies be certain of your legal rights under your state's state law, as there can be costly consequences if you fail to do so. At this point, you can consult directly with a local attorney who handles landlord-tenant cases.


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