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  1. #1

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    mold in apt - landlord won't fix

    We moved into this apartment in April of this year in Ohio. Upon moving in, we had a few problems with the apartment, which were fixed but not in a very timely manner. We have also had our cars broken into because they let anybody live here and dont have any lighting or security.

    The big problem happened a few weeks ago. We left for a day, and when we came back, the paint on the wall in the bedroom was peeling and bubbling. It was almost a U shape, I could tell it was due to a water leak above us (the above apt was vacant until the day before this when someone moved in). There was a picture nailed to the wall above this, and when we took it off, there was fuzzy mold under it, coming out from the nail hole. Maintenace came that day and said it wasnt a water leak and he would spackle and repaint, even though I was sure there was a water leak. He came the next day to spackle, but has yet to come and paint.

    A few days later, there was a hole above the shower (on the other side of the wall that was peeling). There was water gushing out from the ceiling, as I could tell the people above is were taking a shower. When they turned the water off, the water slowly stopped leaking, meaning there is obviously a leak with their shower. We also noticed black mold in the hole. We are very allergic to mold, not to mention its downright gross and unhealthy.

    We went to the office and told them they had to rip the whole wall out to check and fix any mold, since the maintenance guy was ignorant the first time. A diferent maintenance guy came later that day, looked at it for about 5 seconds, and said he was sure it wasnt mold. I called the health dept and they said the only way to know is to test it. We want back to the office and told them they had to test for it, and they said its not their problem and we could pay for it ourselves.

    We asked if they could put us in a hotel or something until they could check it out and/or fix it. They at first said no, but then gave us a key to the "guest apartment", which we were told was just like a hotel room, kept clean everyday. We opened it up, there was trash everywhere, bed was not made, and there was pee on all of the pillows. So we have since been staying in our moldy leaky apartment, and waking up sick every morning.



    We called the property manager, a different company in Indiana, and the lady was very nice and told us they would come back and look at it again, and would do anything we neeed to cooperate. Well, they never came back, and this lady refuses to answer our calls as well.

    So the question is, is this enough evidence to get out of the lease? Actually there is a small side issue. The landlord never signed the lease in front of us, and never gave us a copy when we moved in. 2 weeks later, we asked for a signed copy and were given the same copy that we signed, but without their signature on it anywhere. we were also not given any of the adendums that were listed. So do we even have a legal lease at all since its not signed?

    Basically we just want to get out of this lease and get out deposit back withoug having to pay anything. It would be very great if they could pay or help pay for a moving company to help us move out, since we've gone through all this hassle and had to live with mold for weeks without getting it fixed. Plus we are both grad students and dont have time to move our stuff.

  2. Moderator Distinguished Scholar

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    Your largest problem regarding being able to break your lease without the risk of financial penalty is that it appears none of this contact you've provided has been in writing, correct? All of this has been verbal, correct? If so, what evidence do you have to help you break your lease?

    I've attached information on Landlord/Tenant laws in Ohio. Please review what your options are in regards to the management not addressing repair issues. There are some very specific steps you need to take:

    http://www.tenant.net/Other_Areas/Ohio/landlord.html

    While it certainly appears that there is a repair issue required, I'd focus on the leaking bathroom ceiling and not the mold issue. Unfortunately mold as an excuse to break a lease has been beaten to death by many tenants (often the mold they find in the bathroom is simply mildew). You have 1. more serious issues of a bad leak from the upstairs bathroom and 2. no documentation that any mold is the kind that causes possible health risks.

    You can also call your local Code Enforcement and report the issue of water leaking through the ceiling from the apartment above you.

    Gail

  3. #3
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    your best bet is to have the problem fixed and deduct that amount from the rent.

    your landlord will have a difficult time evicting you since these were repairs he should have made.

    verbal agreements are just as legally binding as written ones.

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