what ar my options?
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what ar my options?
I lived in a home that had mold. I am currently sick because of it. I had tested the mold and gave the results to the conservator of the home who did nothing about it. I recently came across the painters who painted the home a month or so before I moved in and they told me that a wall was supposto be knocked down and a new one was to be put up and instead of doing that, they were told just to paint over the wall. Not to even spray or treat it first, just paint over it. I am sick now. What are my options?
Asked on July 9, 2016 under Real Estate Law, California
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 6 years ago | Contributor
Potentially, you could do one or more of the following:
1) Withhold rent until the problem is corrected, though if the landlord tries to evict you for not paying, you'd have to prove in court that the mold was so bad as to make the premises effectively uninhabitable.
2) Terminate the lease on the theory that you were "constructively evicted" due to lack of habitability--again, if the landlord tried to hold you to the lease, you'd have to prove that the situation was so unsafe that you had to leave.
3) Sue the landlord for your medical costs, lost wages, and *possibly* some amount for "pain and suffering" for being sickened by mold--you'd have to prove that the landlord caused or contributed the mold condition, or allowed it to continued, and it caused your illness.
You therefore have some options, but are strongly advised to consult with a landlord-tenant attoreny before pursuing any: the lawyer can evaluate the strength of your claim, advise you as to the documentation or evidence you'd need, also advise you as to the cost of taking legal action and odds of winning, and, if you decide to go forward, help you vindicate your rights.
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