Asked in Environmental and Landlord - Tenant for Georgia

Q: Can I sue for a constructive eviction and get my rent/deposit back? Would I be awarded damages? Is it a good case?

We rent a home damaged by Hurricane Matthew. Landlord told us it was unsafe to return and attempted to clean up all evidence of flooding. He asked us not to mention to anyone that our car which was parked outside the house had flooded up to the windows. He locked our neighbors out because they threatened to tell. We tried working with him but he refused to do any repairs. In a matter of days our family had strep infections, respiratory distress, itchy rashes, sinus congestion and our dog had a seizure causing temporary blindness. When I wrote to him indicating we were ill and asked for authorization to repair he called the police and told us to leave. We called FEMA who inspected the house and found it uninhabitable due to roof damage and significant air quality issues. They approved us for rental and moving assistance to find permanent housing elsewhere. We just found out that he failed to disclose that he is aware of lead paint and asbestos in the house. Shouldn't we be able to sue

1 Lawyer Answer
Paula J. Mcgill
Paula J. Mcgill
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Marietta, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Based upon the facts you presented, you should be able to get out of your lease because the location is uninhabitable.

As far as the failure to disclose lead paint and asbestos in the house, that is a serious issue. Your children should be tested for lead in their systems.

Also, review your lease. Standard leases have sections for natural disasters. If there is a section that covers the hurricane, has the landlord complied with his duties under that section?

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