What are my right if I found out there there is black mold in my rental and the landlord refuses to fix it the right away?

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What are my right if I found out there there is black mold in my rental and the landlord refuses to fix it the right away?

What can Ido as a tenant when we have found black mold in the laundry room and it is effecting the air. I told the landlord and she told me to scrub it down with bleach but its in the drywall. My son and significant other had to stop staying there due to health impacts on my son. She says she doesn’t want anyone inspecting it because she is afraid of the repair bills. I can’t continue to stay there because its beginning to effect me as well.

Asked on February 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Kansas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In every lease there is an implied warranty of habitability which requires the landlord to maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with local and state housing codes.  When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, the tenant notifies the landlord as you have done and the landlord is required to respond within a reasonable time and make the necessary repairs.  When the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time and make the necessary repairs, the tenant has the following options:  The tenant can make the repairs and deduct the cost from the rent or the tenant can move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant stays on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction.  Another alternative is for the tenant to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  The mold is a health issue which constitutes a breach of the implied warranty of habitability.  A housing code inspector should require the landlord to get rid of the mold since it is a health issue and a breach of the implied warranty of habitability. 


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