Answered 3 years ago|
In every lease there is an implied warranty of habitability which requires the landlord to maintain the premises in a habitable condition by complying with state and local housing codes. The mold and roof leaking are health and safety hazards which constitute breaches of the implied warranty of habitability. When there is a breach of the implied warranty of habitability, the tenant notifies the landlord as you have done and the landlord is required to respond within a reasonable time by making the necessary repairs. When the landlord fails to respond within a reasonable time, the tenant has the following options: The tenant can make the repairs (call someone to make the repairs) and deduct the cost from the rent or the tenant can move out and terminate the obligation to pay rent for the balance of the term of the lease or if the tenant stays on the premises, the tenant can withhold rent and defend against eviction. Another alternative is to sue the landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability. You can also contact your local housing code inspector, who can bring an enforcement action against the landlord for housing code violations. You cannot be evicted for complaining about these problems to the landlord. If you were evicted, you could sue the landlord for retaliatory eviction. Retaliatory eviction means the landlord is retaliating against you for something that is not a breach of the lease. You can also recover damages (monetary compensation) for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and wage loss. Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement. Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills. The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury from exposure to the mold and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering. Compensation for wage loss due to illness from the mold exposure is straight reimbursement. Your son's personal injury claim for mold exposure is separate from yours. You will need to be appointed guardian ad litem to file a lawsuit on behalf of your son if he is a minor because a minor cannot file a lawsuit himself.
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