Landlord responsible for relocation costs during repairs?

By summer88

Is my landlord responsible to pay all or part of my hotel costs if I am unable to live in my rental during repairs?   The repairs, which rendered the kitchen and both bathrooms inaccessible, were necessary to remediate mold and fix water damage.  We were told to leave our home immediately, and we had to stay in a hotel for 17 days while the house was repaired. We also had medical expenses.  I was diagnosed with restrictive airway disease and bronchitis for the first time in my adult life and I suspect it is related to the confirmed presence toxic black mold.  Luckily, my 2 year old daughter was okay. 

I first noticed the mold a few days after the washing machine that is included with our rental broke and flooded the kitchen. The water punched holes in the drywall ceiling of the garage below the kitchen and drained into the garage, which is a common area shared by 5 individually owned townhouse units.  We notified our landlord immediately; however, he refused to hire water damage specialists – he said it was too expensive (he was uninsured).  We dried the floors and walls and ran fans, but mold formed on the drywall ceiling of the garage below the washing machine. The landlord claimed the mold had been there for years and was not caused by the recent washing machine malfunction; therefore, the HOA was responsible for clean-up costs. The HOA conducted a full mold inspection of our unit to determine the cause and extent of the mold.  The inspector took surface and air samples and used a specialized instrument that detected residual moisture in the floors and walls of our kitchen.  They also found unrelated moisture in the walls and floors of both bathrooms and suspected leaky toilets.  The samples confirmed the presence of toxic black mold in the garage below our home, as well as in the air inside our house (they said the mold was probably growing under the laminate flooring in the kitchen).   Is the landlord legally responsible for any of our temporary relocation costs under these circumstances?  AAA told me that even though I have a loss of use component in my rental insurance policy, my claim for hotel expenses will probably be denied. 

Edited on: Thursday, February 17th, 2011 6:28 pm

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