I have had a leak/hole in my bathroom ceiling for 7 months (9/2/13 until now) and always paid my rent in full. I told the landlord I wasn't paying anymore money until a inspectors comes ( I believe black mold is growing on the wall I have pictures/videos) and the hole/leak is fixed. She tells me if I want the hole fixed I need to pay the rent for this month.I recently found out I am 6 wks pregnant and my 11 year old room is right next to the bathroom, What should I do?
I am sorry to hear this. You still have to pay rent, even if you are in a disagreement. You still have possession of the property. You have rights though. You should contact city hall to report the leak/hole. They will send an inspector and take the proper next steps, which could include requiring the landlord to fix the hole and remove any mold. Did you already report to the city? Hiring an attorney would give him the impression that you are taking this seriously.
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In most states, either the courts or the legislature have established what is known as the “Implied Warranty of Habitability.” What this means is that even if the lease has no terms regarding the Landlord’s responsibility for maintenance, it is implied that maintenance will be to a level that will allow the property to be safely occupied. It does not mean the property will be aesthetically pleasing, only safe to live in.
Generally speaking, a breach of the Warranty of Habitability claim has three elements: 1) a defect that rises to the level of rendering the apartment uninhabitable, 2) notice give to the Landlord or the condition with a reasonable opportunity to fix or cure the problem, and 3) the failure of the landlord to act within a reasonable time.
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. James S. Tupitza
You waited six months longer than you should have, if you truly believe black mold is present. Your documentation will be evidence in an action to mitigate the rent, should you bring one in district court. The BI's report will be crucial.
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Landlord tenant, implied warranty of habitability, breach of contract:
Hello, based upon the limited facts you have provided please consider the following:
In Massachusetts, all residential leases, whether oral or written, contain an implied warranty of habitability. This warranty requires every landlord to provide its tenants with a living space that is suitable for human dwelling.
Mold is a known hazard and breathing mold sores can be fatal. Reasonable minds would agree that a landlord's failure to immediately remedy the mold growth indeed violates the implied warranty of habitability which is a breach of contract and accordingly, the duty to pay rent pursuant to the contract has ceased. Note that the landlord has the right to cure/remedy the breach within a reasonable amount of time.
Moreover, if you continue living at the apartment you may create an at-will tenancy which would likely render you responsible for rent as a tenant-at-will rather than under the terms of the contract. When a living space becomes contaminated with mold its best to temporaily leave the premises and stay with friends, family, or at a hotel while the mold is being removed. The landlord would be liable for any reasonable expenses incurred as a result of the mold e.g. hotel costs.
Please note that the above analysis is not legal advice nor a recommendation to you as to how to proceed; it’s merely an example of general principles of law applied to a hypothetical situation. Please consult with a local licensed attorney directly before taking any action that could have legal consequences. This response to your question/s does not create an attorney-client relationship and is being provided for general informational purposes only. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
I agree with my colleagues answers. Based upon the facts stated it may be in your best interest to consult an Attorney. I would be willing to discuss the particular facts of your situation with you during a free consultation if you are interested. I can be reached at 978-479-6262.
Disclaimer- The information you obtain through postings on such sites as this is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for specific advice regarding your individual situation. Any response given here 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 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 may change appropriately
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