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Toxic building is literally killing me while condo board dances on my grave

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by smc635, Oct 7, 2022.

  1. smc635

    smc635 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hey Everyone,

    I live in an older condo in Miami Beach and the building is infested with mold. I know this both by anecdotal evidence and the fact that I had my condo tested by a court-certified and licensed mold inspector. I also had my blood tested and am positive for a mold infection. I am very sick and getting sicker. I realize the obvious answer is to move out yesterday but that would basically entail me leaving the city and I do not want to do that. I told my landlord the unit is infested and her reaction was to begin the eviction process. She is claiming that because I live a cluttered life with a few t-shirts on my desk that this is causing the mold. This is BS as the building has been mold infested for decades. Can I prove this? I am not an attorney so am not sure how to even start. I do want to take them to court to at least have them pay for my mounting medical expenses and moving expenses if I can find anything. The condo board is in denial and lying their teeth off. Many residents have filed complaints with the city but the city has not done anything. In just a few days I was able to get a dozen residents to agree to talk to an attorney I have found. i also have about a dozen current and former employees that I believe would testify. The attorneys are moving very slowly and I want to speed this up as my life is at risk. Any advice, should I contact the condo board that will cover it up? Should I contact their insurance company? They are trying to sell the building as it is a tear down on a very large and valuable lot on the bay, one of a very few even remotely available. I really am tempted to contact the insurance company as the condo board is committing a fraud against them by denying the condition of the building. I am afraid that would be shooting myself in the foot though. People should go to jail over this
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    It must be a great view.
    Right until you keel over.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Contacting living human beings in or near the place you call home is likely to be more productive than contacting internet bots, Russian trolls, or Chi Commie hackers.

    That said, have you contacted your local city and/or county officials??????


    It’s important to know that, in Florida, residential landlords are responsible for preventing the development of mold in their apartments. When you first notice the development of mold, it’s very important that you report it to your landlord right away.

    If they do not take care of it, and you or someone in the apartment becomes ill, they can be held liable for those damages. This can result in claims for rent repayment, rent reduction, the cleaning or replacing of the tenant’s property if it was affected by mold, and the remediation of the mold.

    All that said, it’s important to note that it’s the tenant’s responsibility to report the discover of mold as soon as possible. If the tenant withholds that information, and later files a personal injury claim against the property owner, the landlord can use the tenant’s procrastination to defend themselves against the claim.

    This can make mold-related insurance claims a bit dicey. If the mold has existed for a long period of time, a landlord could claim that you knew of the mold and were withholding information, even if you hadn’t noticed it until recently. In circumstances like these, an insurance claim lawyer may be able to help.

    When discovering mold in apartments tenants rights in Florida dictate that the landlord is responsible for remediating the problem. If your landlord claims your response was not prompt, even if the message was delivered ASAP, or if you’ve gotten sick from mold due to your landlord’s negligence, then you need legal help.

    For Mold in Apartments Tenants Rights Exist to Protect You
    ...

    Renters Have Rights When Exposed to Mold in Miami Apartments
    ...

    The Minimum Housing Code is a Miami-Dade County law that requires all houses and apartments to be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition and to contain certain basic equipment.

    The Code applies throughout all of unincorporated Miami-Dade County. It covers owner-occupied homes as well as rented homes, apartments, and rooming houses with four units and less. Violators of the Code, whether owner or tenant, may be prosecuted in Civil or Criminal Court.

    The Neighborhood Regulations Division of the Miami-Dade County Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources is responsible for enforcing the Minimum Housing Code. The office is located at 11805 SW 26 Street, Suite 230 (786-315-2552). Trained staff are available from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, to answer questions, provide information and assist you in the investigation of violations of the minimum housing standards.

    Minimum Housing Standards - Miami-Dade County
    ...

    Complaints and Inspections
    If you have a complaint about conditions in your rented dwelling, you should first notify the owner, manager or rent collector.

    Should the problem not be corrected within a reasonable time, telephone the 311 Call Center and tell them about the problem. When you call, be sure to tell them when someone will be home to let the Neighborhood Compliance Officer in.

    The Officer will determine what action is necessary to correct the problem. Often, the officer's phone call to the owner or landlord is all that is necessary, but a complete inspection of the entire building may be required.

    If necessary, the owner will be notified of the Minimum Housing Code Violations that he must correct. You as the tenant may also be notified of any violations that are your responsibility to correct.



    Minimum Housing Standards - Miami-Dade County
    ...
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Let me get this straight. You are a tenant and you rent from the owner of the condo unit?

    If that's the case you probably have no standing to litigate against the condo association.

    Your issue is with the unit owner from whom you rent.

    Section 83.51 of the Florida landlord tenant statute imposes obligations on your landlord regarding habitability of the unit.

    Section 83.56 of that statute gives you the right to terminate your tenancy and leave if the landlord did not remedy the mold issue within 7 days of written notice.

    See:

    Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes :->2022->Chapter 83->Part II : Online Sunshine (state.fl.us)

    When you discovered the mold and got your expert to verify that it was a health hazard you should have immediately availed yourself of the right to terminate if you would have given your landlord proper notice and there was no compliance.

    You didn't.

    Your recalcitrance has exacerbated your medical condition. That's unfortunate because failing to move out at the appropriate time was failure to mitigate your damages which is a legal requirement of any negligence claim.

    Condo unit owners may have a cause of action against the association, but I believe that you don't.

    Your only hope to restore your health is to get out of there. The longer you wait, the worse it will get and you aren't likely to ever see a penny for it.

    Self-preservation is nobody's business but your own.
     
  5. smc635

    smc635 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Here is a better chronology.

    Moved in May 2021
    Began feeling lousy 6 months later but had no idea why.

    April 2022 began hearing rumors from real estate agents that this building has been mold infested for years.

    July 2022. Had a blood test from a lab specializing in mold toxicity and tested positive for it.

    August 2022, had the condo tested by a certified mold testing firm and the condo came up positive for mold everywhere.

    August 2022. Told landlord and she said she would not do anything until a leak in the bathtub beneath the floor was fixed. This was not my fault.

    September 2022 Sent test results to landlord and said she was in violation of Florida law. She refused to remediate the unit saying it was my fault because there were a few clothes on the floor.

    September 2022. Landlord began threatening me with eviction as I am technically in violation of my lease by having a girl live with me.

    October 2022. Obvious question is why haven't I moved. Answer is that I want an attorney to help me with that and the fact that rents have doubled in my area in the past two years. The landlord has now been given 14 days after 7 day notice to remediate the unit but has not done it.
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Then hire one.

    With proper written notice you could have been out of there in August.

    The landlord is not responsible for anything that happened to you prior to August unless you can prove (not just say) that she knew about the hazard and failed to address. That appears to be unlikely.

    The landlord is not responsible for anything that happened to you since August because you failed to avail yourself of a legal remedy (regardless of your reasons) that was available to you.

    Then it's time to leave.
     

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