On September 10, 2018, our firm filed a lawsuit against three defendants (the home owner/landlord, the property management company, and the property management company’s agent) related to our client contracting mold disease at a townhome in Santa Monica.
A landlord is required by law to ensure that the residence is safe and habitable, and various conditions can result in the home being rendered uninhabitable. Mold is now specifically recognized by California law as one of those very conditions that can render a residence uninhabitable. Pursuant to California Health & Safety Code Section 17920.3, visible mold and dampness can render a housing unit to be substandard, which means the landlord must take reasonable and prompt actions to prevent such conditions from occurring.
The lawsuit filed by our firm alleges that our client and her roommates put the defendants on written notice of multiple leaks and floods, but the defendants failed to take reasonable and prompt action to fix the leaks. The defendants clearly knew this residence was prone to mold growth, because they included a mold addendum to the lease that specifically advised the tenants of such a condition.
Furthermore, even a plumber even notified the defendants that the wood where the leak occurred would need refurbished and dehumidified, which should have prompted the defendants to take immediate action to prevent mold growth. Unfortunately, however, the defendants’ lack of prompt action resulted in one leak going unrepaired for 3 days, while another leak went unrepaired for almost 2 months. The tenants were also left to attempt to clean up the flooded water on their own without any professional services being hired by defendants.
Eventually, mold grew and festered in multiple areas, which resulted in our client getting sick and suffering multiple issues related to mold disease. A copy of our complaint can be found by clicking HERE.
It is very important to know that mold disease is very serious and dangerous. Anytime you suspect mold is growing in your residence, notify your landlord immediately. Likewise, if there are any water leaks from any pipes or windows, you must promptly notify your landlord and insist that they fix the leak right away. All notifications should be done in writing, which means email is the best method to deliver such notices. In doing so, you are not only ensuring that your rights are protected, but also your health.