How Do I Break an Apartment Lease Due to Mold?

Answer

Mold problems in rented homes are often the responsibility of the landlord, according to the laws of the majority of states. The “implied assurance of habitability” is a legal standard that landlords in California are required to meet. This rule is broken by landlords when the presence of mould in a rental property poses a threat to the health and safety of occupants of the unit. If you want to get out of your lease early because of a mould problem, you should follow the same procedure as you would for getting out early because of any other repair or maintenance issue.

Tip

Mold is considered a public health nuisance in San Francisco, which means that if your landlord fails to remove it, you have the legal right to sue him under the city’s nuisance legislation.

What Is a Mold Problem?

There is a possibility that mould in your house might have an effect on your health. There is a possibility that some individuals may not be impacted at all, while others could have symptoms related to their respiratory system, such as wheezing and coughing. Mold thrives in damp environments, such as those caused by leaking roofs or poorly maintained heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

Tell Your Landlord

Send your landlord a letter that you’ve written. If your landlord is unaware of the issue, she will be unable to assist you in finding a solution. Keep a copy of the letter that you write to your landlord informing her of the issue that you are experiencing and requesting that she remedy it within a reasonable length of time, which is normally thirty days. Repeat your attempts to get in touch with your landlord every two weeks, at the very least, if he or she does not answer. You will need to take further action if you do not get a response after another couple of weeks has passed.

Call Authorities

In the event that your landlord does not address the issue in response to your communication, you should contact the building inspection authority in your area. In San Francisco, a building inspector will visit your residence in order to evaluate the conditions there. Your landlord will be required to address the mould issue when the Department of Building Inspection issues the order. You should get a copy of the inspector’s report in case you wind up having to defend yourself in court against your landlord.

Leave the Rental Property

Abandon your rental unit. The legislation in California permits tenants to leave their rental property in the event that the apartment is damaged. Mold is considered to be a qualifying factor since it violates the implicit promise of habitability, which in turn makes your unit substandard and poses a risk to your health and safety. After giving your landlord sufficient time to react to your letter and resolve your issue in a timely manner, the abandonment remedy is the only option left for you to pursue. Because mould may pose a significant risk to one’s health, your landlord should handle the issue as quickly as possible, rather than waiting the customary 30 days that California permits for dealing with concerns that are considered to be less urgent. However, there is no federal statute that addresses this issue.

Use Caution

When you are ready to leave your rental apartment, proceed with care. If your landlord believes that your claim is not valid, they have the right to file a lawsuit against you for unpaid rent and any damages that were caused by your vacancy. Always save records of the communication you have with your landlord in case the matter goes to court. Compose a letter explaining why you have chosen to end the tenancy, along with the choice to do so and the reason or reasons why.