Can I break my lease if there are black mold in my apartment?


Black mold is a very dangerous type of mold that can cause severe respiratory diseases and eventually, death. Having them growing on your apartment is not acceptable. If you do find one growing in your apartment, it is not necessary for you to move out immediately.  Here are some suggestions on what actions to take when finding black mold:

  • Make sure that it is black mold. Do not touch the mold. Just take pictures and show them to some experts for verification.
  • Report immediately to your landlord.  Make sure you put everything on paper. And do your best effort to communicate with him on the actions to take, paying for treatment, etc.
  • Isolate the area. Make sure no one touches or goes near the area with the mold. If you can seal the entire room, do so.
  • Hire an expert. Regardless on the agreement you had with the landlord on payment for the treatment, you still should hire an expert for the treatment.

So, when is it time to move out and break lease? When you already reported to your landlord about the mold and don’t take action, you can file a complaint about him with one of the mediation companies like the RPA. Why file the complaint? Aside from your landlord getting a bad record, you can use that complaint to present as evidence in court. Black mold problem is a pretty big issue in some states and when you do report that to court with all the evidence you have, pictures, complaint forms, etc. You have a very strong case. And the court can rule in favour of you and you can now break your lease and possibly get some kind of compensation for the damages. Doing the suggestions above is case to case basis though, and will depend on the lease agreement you signed. If the agreement states that you should pay for treatment, then you should go ahead and do so.

Edited on: Saturday, March 9th, 2013 12:09 am

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