Is your Mold and/or Water Damage Problem a Violation of your Tenant Rights?
Mold and Poor Indoor Air Quality Can Breach the Warranty of Habitability of a Residential Lease
In a landlord-tenant relationship, every tenant has a right to a habitable home. In California, Civil Code Section 1941 sets forth specific requirements for habitability, including functioning plumbing, weatherproofing, heat, etc. In January 2016, the State of California added mold as one of the per se habitability violations for a rental property. This is a big victory for tenants, as there is now no question that the presence of mold constitute a habitability violation. Additionally, case law indicates that the warranty of habitability goes beyond the specific items enumerated in the Civil Code in that tenants are entitled to an indoor environment which does not make them sick. LaFave Law has successfully won numerous lawsuits, including trial victories based upon a breach of the implied warranty of habitability because of water damage, mold growth, or other environmental poisons which made the occupants sick.
The courts in California have deemed the warranty of habitability to be so fundamental that it is implied in every lease agreement, even if it is not actually written into the lease agreement, or even in the absence of a written lease agreement. Whether or not the right to habitability has been breached in a particular situation depends on the facts of the case, and LaFave Law are experts at determining whether a habitability violation exists, and if so, proving it. Problems resulting in mold, water damage, or chemical exposures oftentimes involve a breach of the statutory warranty of habitability, both because it makes occupants sick and/or because the causes of the indoor air quality problems (such as leaky plumbing or improper weatherproofing) are themselves violations of the habitability requirements imposed on landlords.
Do you have a breach of habitability of your lease due to mold or water damage?
If you think you may have a tenant’s rights issue involving a breach of habitability due to water damage, mold growth or some other environmental problem, please contact us so that we can evaluate your case.