Beaverton, OR asked in Consumer Law and Landlord - Tenant for Oregon

Q: I have damage and mold from a burst pipe and the landlord won't fix it or anything in the house what rights do i have?

2 years ago when we had record rains in Dec out house we rent shifted and raised the flooring in the kitchen like the beam is pushing up. my husband noticed the kitchen floor was getting wet. he looked under the sink and saw the brand new garbage disposal was leaking he was cleaning it up and barely touched the water valve and pipe burst. I thought we had a leak somewhere our water bill jumped $100 a billing cycle and has stayed there. We have been verbally asking for repairs and thought we after this pipe burst they would start fixing things but we were just told no. My husband was diagnosed last year with an asbestos related disease and I have testing for the same issue. we are from libby montana where WRgrace ran a mine that had asbestos through it and made out town sick. So we can not have mold or mass dust. I have asked every year to clean the vents and they tell me I can have that done but I have to pay for it. Same with servicing the furnace and AC unit.

1 Lawyer Answer
Gregory Andrews Cade
Gregory Andrews Cade
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Birmingham, AL

A: While there is no law which clearly concerns mold exposure in rental buildings, the landlord is responsible with providing tenants with adequate living conditions under the warranty of habitability, which includes taking care of mold contamination. You should not have to pay for having this issue attended to. I advise you to ask your landlord once again to fix the problem, this time in writing, and if they still refuse to do so, you have two options – either withhold rent until they solve the problem or pay a licensed company to have it fixed yourself and subsequently withdraw the cost of the repair from your rent. Both options are perfectly legal and the landlord cannot break the lease if you choose to proceed this way.

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