I receive calls every week from families that have leased an apartment that turns out to contain mold. Oftentimes the landlord or property manager will remove the mold promptly, and all is well.

But what happens if the landlord or property manager will not remove the mold? Or, what if the tenant or a member of the tenant’s family develops injuries from the mold? Can the tenant force the landlord or property manager to remove the mold and pay money damages for the personal injuries? Frequently the answer is “yes.”

If you lease a residential apartment, you have rights. For example, the North Carolina General Statutes state that you are entitled to a habitable apartment that is free of “imminently dangerous conditions.” N.C. Gen. Stat. 42-42(a)(8). The statutes expressly state that “mold” is an example of a “dangerous condition” that makes an apartment uninhabitable. Therefore, if your apartment has dangerous levels of mold, the landlord has a duty to remove the mold and pay for damages caused by the mold.

Sometimes I see tenants who notify the landlord or property manager that their apartment contains mold, but the tenants do not provide written notice. It is extremely important that you provide your landlord with written notice of the existence of mold. In many circumstances, the North Carolina General Statutes require written notice.

If you find yourself in this circumstance, I would be happy to meet with you. There is no charge for the first meeting.

Matthew D. Quinn, 919-754-1600, matt@attybryanbrice.com

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