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Can I ask for rent reimbursement due to mold?

Chicago, IL |

On March 18 I notified my apartment building manager of a possible mold problem; as it turns out I was right and there is mold eating through the paint on one wall.

The building ignored the issue until May 2, 2011 when I went in person to talk with them. They tried to tell me it was nail heads, then I caught them treating the affected area with concrobium spray. They offered to paint over the wall or let me move to another apt in the building, but I said I cannot be sure this prob isn't elsewhere (especially since my neighbor's apartment flooded and management did nothing about it) and it is severely affecting my health.

I asked for reimbursement for rent since I first notified them of the issue as well as moving costs since I need to leave immediately for health reasons. Advice/help?

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Attorney answers 2


Dear Tenant with Mold Problem: Please take the time to locate the Chicago Landlord Tenant Ordinance which should provide you with much help. It is located at:

Section 5-12-110(d) allows you to withhold rent if the problem is not repaired after 14 days written notice to the Landlord. That section states in part: "If there is material noncompliance by the landlord with the rental agreement ... the tenant may notify the landlord in writing of the tenant's intention to withhold from the monthly rent an amount which reasonably reflects the reduced value of the premises ... If the landlord fails to correct the condition within 14 days ...the tenant may,... deduct from the rent the stated amount."

Section 5-12-110(g) deals with the situation of Casualty Damage. "If the dwelling unit or common area is damaged an extent that the dwelling unit is in material noncompliance with the rental agreement or with Section 5-12-070", the tenant may vacate the unit or reduce the rent.

This ordinance is very Tenant friendly so you should see if these sections or others can provide you with the help you need. Also, there is no harm in asking the Landlord to reimburse you for your moving expenses once you locate a new apartment. Your Landlord might be happy to do that to smooth things over.

Hope this helps. Good Luck.

This is not legal advice and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The post is only an opinion. You should speak to an attorney for further information. The poster is licensed only in IL. Please visit for more information about our services. If this post is useful to you, please remember to vote it up. Thank you.


In Illinois there is a right for each tenant called the implied warranty of habitablity. If the value of your unit was less than the contract rent due to the mold then you have a right to reduce the rent for the reduction of value. However, you need to write a 14 day letter either under the Illinois Statute or the ordinance in Chicago or Evanston if you live in either of those cities.
If you do not write the 14 day letter, you can move out and sue the landlord for your damages including any causaly connected damages such as medical illnesses or an exascberation of such illnesses (ie, aesthma).
This is a complicated area of law, and it would behoove you not to consult a lawyer before you take serious action.
There are certain statutes of limitations.