Should we be obligated to pay this month’s rent with mold present in our house and renovations are still not complete?

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Should we be obligated to pay this month’s rent with mold present in our house and renovations are still not complete?

We are renting a house that had extensive rain damage from a recent hurricane. We notified the landlord the next day and he came over and inspected things himself. At this point mold was coming through the ceiling in one area. We were told that his insurance man would be out here within a week to look at everything. We didn’t see the insurance adjuster for about 2 weeks. A day later the landlord called wanting to know where his rent money was. We have 2 toddlers. We cannot afford to pay rent and a motel while renovations are being made.

Asked on September 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to follow up your last meeting with the landlord with a telephone call and a written letter (keeping a copy for future need) advising him that the water intrusion resulting from the recent hurricane has caused significant damages to the rental resulting is safety and habitability issues needing immediate repairs.

Your letter should mention that the fair monthly rental of the unit in its current condition is not what is stated in the written lease and inquire about a significant reduction in the monthly rent pending repairs. Hopefully the landlord will realize that he needs to get repairs started and that your monthly rental needs to be reduced.

Good luck.


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