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Landlord tenant dispute in pa over black mold

Meadville, PA |

basement floods with each rainstorm have asked landlord for over a yr to fix ..he keeps saying someone will be there in a few wks,,, we pay rent on time without fail..now there is black mold through out our home even growing on our dressers..just had mold inspector here in ..several of us are sick from the mold and have medical documents to back it up stating its the mold..we can not find a single lawyer who is willing to take our case here in pa we have no place to go.. there are 7 of us the youngest being 17months old with chronic lung infections as well as myself ..others say it hurts to breath headaches nausea aches pains ..we need help do not no where to turn if we send a letter of demand we will be evicted we are desperate for help

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Let me try to kindly tell you why there is not a line of lawyers at your door, begging to take your case.
    1. You are still living in the house. You cannot claim the house is damaging you medically, and at the same time say you refuse to move.
    2. You have a mold test, but I'll bet it only identifies the genus of the mold. The cost to identify the genus and species is significant. Species is important as the Japanese know all too well. Example: Most mold experts will tell you that aspergillus is a dangerous mold. This is not always so. A species of aspergillus is used to break down rice into a simple sugar so that it can be fermented to yield Sake. In the same sense many cheeses need a species of penicilium to convert from milk to cheese. ( check out how they make camembert or roquefort)
    3. You are going to have to run this expensive mold test at other locations to rule them out (church, school, day care, car etc.)
    4. You are going to need a doctor who can testify, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty that you were harmed by the specific mold in the house. Without genus and species, any doctor so willing to opine, will be eaten alive by a mildly competent lawyer during cross examination.

    I could go on, but you need to know mold cases are not like car crash cases. Forget the lawyer based solution. Notify the LL that you have been constructively evicted and get out. You health, and that of your children, is worth more than a lawsuit. I know it is not easy for a family of 7 to move, but you must do it because the mold may actually be one of the bad molds that could permanently damage a child.

    DISCLAIMER The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Responses are based solely on Pennsylvania law unless stated otherwise. When answering questions on AVVO, attorneys are prohibited from directly soliciting business. Don't take this as an indication of lack of interest. Follow my answers to other questions on Twitter @LandLawyer James S. Tupitza 212 West Gay Street West Chester, PA 19380 610-696-2600


  2. Most municipalities have an agency that issues certificates of occupancy for rental properties. Take photos of the mold and take them to that office and see if you can get help there. Also, if it is HUD housing, contact HUD.

    The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.


  3. If your family is as sick as you say sick from the mold, you need to protect your family by moving out of the house, This is what is called a "constructive eviction", meaning that the house is so dangerous to your health and safety that the landlord cannot require you to live there any more. You should send a letter to the landlord telling him you have had the house inspected for mold and including lots of photos of the mold in the house (keep copies of the photos and the report). If the landlord tries to sue you for rent, you will have a good defense. Also, see if you can get letters from doctors giving their opinion that the illnesses your family is suffering from is caused by the mold. If you have a local health department. report the health problem to them and have them document (write a report) about the mold they found. The most important things is to protect your family.