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Can I Refuse to Pay Rent if There is Mold

Recently the mold problem is rising crazily and therefore, a large number of tenants are failing to pay rent or breaching the tenancy contracts because their health and safety is at risk due to the toxic spores of mold

Mold by the way, is not a super dangerous thing but exposure to mold for a long time can result in severe health issues for sure like asthma, breathing problems, inhaling issues, nose bleed, nausea, headache, or sometimes itchy or irritating skin.

Therefore, tenants are always doubtful about the mold issue that whether they should terminate the agreement or refuse the payment when landlord takes a long time to handle the mold problem or relocate totally due to mold.

Can I Refuse to Pay Rent if There is Mold

Can i Refuse to pay rent if there is mold

As a tenant, you are obliged to refuse to pay rent if there is mold but only when the mold becomes severe and makes the dwelling inhabiltable/unsafe to live. Before you stop paying rent, make sure you were quick enough to sent written notice about the mold issue to the landlord for fixing the issue. So, after not receiving any response from the landlord, you can get rid of the toxic mold rental property because the landlord is uncooperative or fails to address mold growth.

So, tenants do have a right to deny the payment of rent because when the premises is not habitable due to toxic mold around the walls, ceilings, floor tiles, due to pipe leaks or any other reason.

In case you are not rightful for not paying rent then the landlord can take action against you in different situations like:

  • Written notice by landlord to pay rent within given period
  • Request for dispute resolution via conciliation, agreeable way
  • Landlord can go to authority or tribunal to order you for paying rent
  • Getting you kicked out with the help of tribunal
  • Seek an order to terminate the tenancy
  • Sue you for unpaid rent

Landlord should remediate?

The duty of a landlord is to remediate the rental unit or property according to law to make it habitable or livable again. Morally, it’s not ethical for a landlord to not maintain the property for tenants as well. So, if landlord takes a long time to remediate the residential building or doesn’t bothers to handle it, then you can take necessary actions.

But, do make sure to verify that you are not the reason behind the mold growth like sometimes we forget to turn off the tap, keep the apartment shut all the time, forget to turn on the fan or don’t pay attention to humidity or misture inside the home and that can cause mold and in this case, the landlord can take action against you.

This way, you will be the one paying for the damage to the property because the mold exposure is caused by you not by the natural reasons.

Suppose it’s not caused by you and now you want the landlord to remediate the mold problem then you have to give notice to the landlord and at least wait for 2 weeks and then take further action.

By the way, the landlord can take maximum 30 days to do the remediation with you displacing temporarily and giving you an alternate place to live that is habitable at no extra cost to you. But you will also be liable to pay the rent according to the rental agreement. 

Paying rent money for mold remediation

If landlord is not responding to your alerts about the mold then you can write a letter to ask for the permission to remediate the mold yourself and cut that money from the rental payment.

Breaking lease because of mold

Many tenants think that they can easily terminate the lease agreement if mold starts growing in the rental unit.

This isn’t how it works, the termination of the lease only happens when the apartment has become inhabitable but if the apartment is habitable and you pretend that you are getting exposed to the mold and try to breach the tenancy contract, you can get sued by the landlord for sure.

What can I do if my landlord won’t fix the mold problem

As discussed earlier, you should first let the landlord know about the mold problmem and tell them to fix it and if after few notofications the landlord seems unresponsive then you can try to remove the mold yourself it the mold site is not that big and then you can cut the amount from the rent later on.

But if the landlord is not paying for the mold fixture then you can approach tribunal for handling the dispute or you can simply go to court to seek compensation for property damage.

Suing Landlord for Mold problems

As a tenant, you hold the right to sue the landlord when you try to inform the landlord for the mold growth and if the the landlord becomes uncooperative after repititive notices then you can get help from relevant authority by hiring a legal professional.

Can a House With Mold be Sold ?

A house with mold can be sold for sure but it’s mendatory to let the buyer know about the presence of mold because selling without declaring the peroperty affected with mold can turn into a nightmare for you and buyer can sue you for compensation.

Can Mold make you sick?

Mold can make you sick when you start experiencing the symptoms associated with mold like inhaling problems, breathing problems, skin irritation, and sometimes it can turn into a serious problems due to the mycotoxins released by mold.

Staying in a house with mold?

Staying in a rental unit where there is a mold exposure cannot be life threatening but can affect your health for sure and therefore, it becomes mandatory to remove and kill the mold ASAP to prevent allergic reactions.

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About the author

Robert Smith

Robert Smith is a technology lover and loves to write about laptops, monitors, printers, tablets, Apple products and anything that's related to computers and games. He is passionate enough that he maintains this blog regarding tech updates on a daily basis.