Asked in Landlord - Tenant

Q: We rented a house with mold and roach infestation.can we get rent and deposit back even though we signed a lease

He promised it would be clean, but it is filthy with mold and roaches. We have small children

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: The landlord has the obligation to notify prospective tenants with regard to any issues present on the rental property which might pose a danger to their health, including mold contamination and pest infestation, prior to signing the lease. Accordingly, if your landlord wittingly omitted to disclose these problems, they can be held accountable for failing to comply with the warranty of habitability. You can either withhold rent until they properly attend to the mold contamination and pest infestation in the house, have these issues personally taken care of by hiring a mold removal company and, respectively, a pest control company, and subsequently subtracting the cost of their services from the rent, or end the lease on the basis of failure to comply with the warranty of habitability. Withholding payment and subtracting the cost of professional services from the rent is reasonable and also perfectly legal in this case, since your landlord had been aware of the state of the property before you officially became a tenant.

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