If you're subjected to any type of mold exposure, you should be concerned. When toxic black mold is involved you should be even more alarmed, due to its reputation for causing illness. If you have mold in your apartment, you will want to know whether you can sue your landlord for any harm you've suffered.
Mold, a microscopic fungus that grows in very damp settings, has been identified under Article 11, section 581 of the San Francisco Health Code as a "health nuisance." Like all forms of mold, black mold ("stachybotrys") has many health problems associated with it, including the following:
Your landlord is legally obligated to deal with the mold infestation under their duty to provide you with a habitable living space, which is implied in your lease agreement. It means that you are entitled to live free from health and safety hazards. Obviously, keeping your unit free of a mold infestation would be covered under this warranty. If you have black mold and you tell your landlord, but they don't resolve the issue, this would be considered a breach of their duties.
A landlord owes you a duty to make necessary repairs. This duty and any provisions from your lease could apply to your landlord's accountability. For instance, there was a leak in your unit and your landlord didn't fix it in a timely fashion, or at all. Next thing you know, there is a black mold outbreak, which can be connected to the leak. Your landlord's inaction would be a breach of their duties, as long as they had notice about the leak; as a tenant, you have a duty to inform them. That's why you should notify them (in writing) of repair needs and of any signs of mold immediately.
California law compels landlords to make certain disclosures. Under California's written disclosure law on mold, a verbal warning isn't enough; the landlord must make the disclosure in writing. This law applies to the following:
In general, the landlord is responsible for the costs of removing the mold and should reimburse the tenant for any costs incurred due to the mold. However, if it is found that the tenant ignored the problem, or caused the problem that lead to the mold, then they can be found responsible.
If your landlord takes full responsibility of the mold problem and you contract health problems later that are likely caused by the black mold exposure, you still may be able to claim damages. That is why it is pivotal to see your physician right away because you will likely have to use your medical records to show the harm that the exposure caused. Depending on the specific details, you may also be able to sue for breach of contract, negligence, and nuisance.
If you've been exposed to black mold, you're no doubt concerned with how this will affect your home and health. It can be a complicated situation, especially if your landlord isn't cooperating. That's when you can turn to an experienced lawyer. At Wolford Wayne, we are the team of talented tenant's rights attorneys who specialize in tenants' rights. If you are dealing with mold issues, contact us today for help—we want to fight for your rights.
Recovered on behalf of a group of 30 tenants living in an SRO in San Francisco who were living with horrendous conditions in their rent controlled apartments, including rodents, bedbugs, mold, water leaks and harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of three families living in a building in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood who were forced to live with substandard conditions for years as a result of their landlord’s negligence, including issues with lack of heat, lack of hot water and cockroach/rat infestations.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a couple living in a rent-controlled home in the outer Sunset neighborhood. Our clients were forced to vacate after the landlord served them with an Owner Move-In Eviction Notice. After the landlords failed to move into the property, our clients filed suit for wrongful eviction.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco tenant in Russian Hill. Tenant was forced to vacate her illegal apartment in retaliation for reporting unlawful rent increases to the San Francisco Rent Board.Read More
Recovered for a single long-term tenant in San Francisco. Our client was forced to move out of his apartment as a result of extreme landlord harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of three long-term tenants in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood who were constructively evicted due to noise and nuisance conditions created by their downstairs neighbors, which the owner refused to address.Read More
Recovered on behalf of elderly, disabled tenant who was forced to move out of her rent-controlled San Francisco apartment of 50 years after landlord/owner failed to resolve numerous building code violations that remained outstanding for over a decade.Read More
Recovered on behalf of seven tenants living in a makeshift boarding house in East Palo Alto.Read More
Recovered on behalf of two former San Francisco tenants who were evicted via an Owner Move-In Eviction and owner failed to occupy the unit as her primary place of residence.Read More
Recovered on behalf of an elderly long-term tenant who was forced to vacate her long San Francisco apartment as a result of her landlord’s refusal to address longstanding defective conditions, including lack of heat, mold, rodent infestations, and defective plumbing. Read More
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco tenant who was forced to vacate his home as a result of ongoing, disruptive construction and the owners’ refusal to provide him with alternative housing. Read More
Recovered on behalf of a San Francisco family that was constructively evicted from their home in the Richmond District as a result of unlawful rent increases, defective conditions and tenant harassment.Read More
Recovered on behalf of a tenant living in an illegal “in-law” unit. In this case, a new owner purchased the building and then demolished our client’s unit without permits while she was displaced for seismic retrofitting.Read More
Recovered on behalf of two long term San Francisco tenants who were fraudulently evicted from their home of over twenty years under the pretext of an owner move-in eviction.Read More
Recovered for tenant who was injured when their stairway railing collapsed at the tenant’s Mission District apartment building.Read More
Recovered in action for a group of tenants forced to vacate their San Francisco apartment house due to severe habitability defects including mold and water leaks.Read More
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For more information or to discuss your legal situation, call us today at (415) 649-6203 for a phone consultation or submit an inquiry below. Please note our firm can only assist tenants residing in San Francisco, Oakland & Berkeley.