Reseda, CA asked in Personal Injury and Landlord - Tenant for California

Q: Can I deduct the money I spend on mold & asbestos testing from the rent? Landlord will not pay. My daughter is sick

My daughter's bedroom ceiling is coming off. It leaked when raining. Yellow stains on ceiling. She has allergies,digestive issues,bad insomnia. Apartment manager said we have to pay for mold and asbestos testing. Also, took my daughter to the dr.Their has been asbestos in other units. The Dr. took blood work, but their isn't really a mold specific test, and to have an air mold test done. It will cost us around $600.00 for the mold & asbestos testing. Can I deduct that from next month's rent? Also, the city inspector told me they aren't supposed to start work on ceiling without asbestos survey since asbestos in other units,but the manager didn't care. She still told me I have to pay for my own inspection and testing.

2 Lawyer Answers
Theodore Allan Greene
Theodore Allan Greene
Answered
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You should immediately sit down with a Landlord Tenant attorney and/or a personal injury lawyer who handle mold cases. A lot of attorneys don't handle mold cases so you might have to contact a few until you find one. If you find an attorney who can help with both that would be best.

Dan Rowan Cortright
Dan Rowan Cortright
Answered
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Rohnert Park, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: No, you should not have to pay anything out of pocket to test for asbestos when there is asbestos in other units. That's the property owner's obligation, as is the mold testing (unless it can be shown without a doubt that your actions caused the mold growth, e.g. you keep it very warm/humid in there on purpose). Yes, you can also deduct the testing costs from your rent, as habitability issues are the responsibility of the landlord, and if they don't handle it you are entitled to deduct the cost from your rent.

Please contact me, as I handle landlord/tenant and personal injury/mold cases.

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