Mold and Renters - Across the Country No laws To Force Any Action

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Aug 12, 2009, 4:15:09 PM8/12/09
to Toxic Indoor Mold Central
Below is a story from Louisville. Basically, this depicts the same set
of rules across the U.S. In NJ, hopefully, my legislation will be
voted in, which will serve to save thousands from the serious health
problems and the horrors of indoor mold, caused by the neglect and/or
ignorance of landlords. Currently I have been officially charged with
designing legislation to get this done. This is something that I have
been working on for over a year now and we are getting close to the
finish line.

I hope everone will help support this effort either in spirit or by
writing and emailing letters of support for this legislation.

After the flood, what are renter's and landlord's rights and

05:35 PM EDT on Tuesday, August 11, 2009

WHAS11 coverage

(WHAS11) - For people renting their home or apartment, cleaning up
after Mother Nature may be posing difficult circumstances.

Many renters may be wondering: who's responsible for replacing damaged
carpet, ruined floors, and mold?

Piles of water soaked bags sit outside of a home on Gatewood Avenue.
And on the driveway, more things, all pulled out of a south Louisville
woman's home, which she rents.

"I'm so sorry you're going to see my basement... I'm so sorry,” she

She's a little embarrassed, and says Tuesday's flash flooding created
a mess.

"There are still puddles, sometimes we pick stuff up and it's still
soaking wet and we set it outside and it's horrible,” she said.

But she's lived here for 8 years and says she's been through hell and
high water, but each time her landlord has fixed the problem.

"They're helpful, whatever we've had to have done. We had a hot water
heater replaced, we had a fire a few years ago. Their insurance took
care of everything,” she said.

But not everyone has a landlord that's so responsive. So we asked
Stewart Pope, with the Legal Aid Society, to explain renter’s rights
and a landlord’s obligations. Turns out, the law is rather vague. He
says renters are responsible for their personal belongings - and
hopefully have renter's insurance. But the structure; the flooring,
the walls, that's all the landlord's responsibility. But how long does
a landlord have to fix the problem?

"The statute isn't specific, as far as this type of catastrophic
situation. Other than saying either party can terminate the lease,”
said The Legal Aid Society’s Stewart Pope.

And it doesn't mention rent payment or reimbursement if a tenant has
to temporarily move while the landlord fixes the problem. So, he says
tenants and landlords have to broker a deal when it comes to time
limits and paying rent if the tenant can't stay there. But landlords
can't throw tenants out and tenants can't stop paying rent. So the
statute mentions a compromise:

"The tenant could go with 14-30 notice. Landlord has 14 days to
correct problem or tenant can terminate lease in 30 days,” he said.

But, the renter WHAS11 spoke with is just happy her landlord is so

"As far as the electrical stuff and the immediate needs that we have,
they've been more than helpful with that,” she said.

For renters: If you have to terminate early, you'll likely lose your
deposit. And of course, it's up to you to find a new home.

The Legal Aid Society of Louisville says they’re there to offer anyone
advice on how to hand a tenant/landlord problem. To reach them, call

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