I am living in an apartment building that was damaged in a hurricane. it is falling down around us and leaks so it now has that black mold growing inside. Everyone in the building has been getting sick including me. What makes it even worse is I am a high risk pregnancy and am sick, I am scared and need to know what mt rights are. "The landlord is aware of the problems and have done nothing to fix it.
What will govern is Chapter 59.18 RCW Residential landlord-tenant act- In particular RCW 59.18.070
Landlord – Failure to perform duties – Notice from tenant – Contents – Time limits for landlord's remedial action.
If at any time during the tenancy the landlord fails to carry out the duties required by RCW 59.18.060 or by the rental agreement, the tenant may, in addition to pursuit of remedies otherwise provided him by law, deliver written notice to the person designated in *RCW 59.18.060(11), or to the person who collects the rent, which notice shall specify the premises involved, the name of the owner, if known, and the nature of the defective condition. The landlord shall commence remedial action after receipt of such notice by the tenant as soon as possible but not later than the following time periods, except where circumstances are beyond the landlord's control:
(1) Not more than twenty-four hours, where the defective condition deprives the tenant of hot or cold water, heat, or electricity, or is imminently hazardous to life;
(2) Not more than seventy-two hours, where the defective condition deprives the tenant of the use of a refrigerator, range and oven, or a major plumbing fixture supplied by the landlord; and
(3) Not more than ten days in all other cases.
In each instance the burden shall be on the landlord to see that remedial work under this section is completed promptly. If completion is delayed due to circumstances beyond the landlord's control, including the unavailability of financing, the landlord shall remedy the defective condition as soon as possible.
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Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
The first thing you need to do is give your landlord formal written notice of the problem. Nothing happens unless and until you can prove that you wrote to your landlord and advised them of the issues with the building. Even if they have actual notice, do it again in writing. This is a prerequisite to asking for any other relief.
Then go read RCW 59 18 085 and RCW 59 18 110. Give your landlord at least four days to respond. Then, pursuant to RCW 59 18 085, take a copy of the letter and proof of mailing to your County's Building Department, and demand (nicely but firmly) that they schedule and execute an inspection within five days as required by the RLTA. This is a state law, and it applies in each and every county. They are not exempt even if they have never heard of it.
Your landlord has premises liability insurance. it will compensate your landlord when you make a claim. Then you need to find a local attorney who does premises liability - mold claims. I don't know anybody to refer you to in Aberdeen for this. A premises liability claim is the kind where you don't have to pay anything until your lawyer gets you a settlement or an award.You'll need samples for expert analysis.
I'm sorry about what you have been through. If you had asked right after the storm, you may not have been eligible for any assistance, but it has been six weeks and your landlord should have this cleaned up by now. Hope this helps. Elizabeth Powell