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What are my tenant rights when there is mold in my apartment?

Newport Beach, CA |

I started having headaches and then noticed this odd smell in my apartment and I found mold growing under my bathroom/bedroom sink. I reported to the apartment complex who initially dismissed it. I kept after them and it was discovered a broken/leaking pipe between the above apt's floor and my ceiling. they called plumbers used dehumidifier and dryers but then the vendors just covered it up with new kickboard and did not get rid of the mold. My first report was 10/18/12 it is now 10/28/12 and I am still dealing with mold and waiting for the apt complex to rectify the matter. Do I have any other alternatives?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

Under Ca Civ. Code 1941.1, where certain conditions render your rental unit uninhabitable, you may hire a licensed professional for repairs and deduct your expenses from your monthly rent. You should consult with a landlord/tenant attorney in order to determine whether mold falls in this category.

Hope this helps.

Armen Taslakian. 818. 937.3590. www.TaslakianLaw.com. Note: Armen Taslakian is an attorney licensed in the State of California. The answer is provided for informational use only. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. No attorney/client relationship is created unless an Agreement is signed by the attorney and the client.

Posted

Please see the following guide for California Landlords and Tenants. This guide outlines the rights and responsibilities for both the landlord and the tenant.

http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/catenant.pdf

As the other attorney noted, the repair and deduct remedy is an option for the tenant. However, I always would advise you as the tenant to first contact your landlord and notify him/her of the defect. Hopefully the LL will repair the defect at no cost to you. If you have provided notice and the LL has failed to take any remedial action after more than enough time to do so has passed, then the repair and deduct remedy may be a more forceful and appropriate option to take.

If you do proceed with the deduct and repair remedy you should anticipate an eviction proceeding initiated against you by the LL for failure to pay your full rent. With this in mind it is a good idea for you to document all your communication in writing with the LL, to keep any and all estimates for repair and any and all receipts that can show what the repair work cost. Do not deduct from your rent more than what it cost to repair the defect. This will then be used by you to prove your case should there be a trial on the matter.

This response does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and I. I am not your lawyer and I am not representing you in the underlying issue stated in your question. The response I have offered is not intended to be relied upon, you should seek out an attorney to assist in this matter.

Asker

Posted

It is now 11/4/12 and the mold remains and now the carpet is wet again under the vanity it remains an ongoing issue of shoddy workmanship, vendors don't show up as scheduled, etc. and the mold continues to cause me frequent headaches, my son has allergy induced asthma, my elderly dog has allergy issues. I have everything in writing, I have pictures and have requested that the apt landlord get a professional mold inspector in. what else can I do? I have paid my rent.

Asker

Posted

I have asked if we can be moved to a hospitality suite on the complex or at least my son who has allergy induced asthma and I was told "it is reserved on weekends and then only allowed for use in extreme circumstances"

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