Marietta, GA asked in Landlord - Tenant for Mississippi

Q: Black mold and multiple insect and larvae infestation in apartment. Reported repeatedly for a year.

I have endured nothing but abuse from landlord since the second day I moved in. Rent is always paid timely.

There are holes by the back door that Landlord has been aware of for a year.

The insect infestation is incredible. I cannot bring food in and have thrown out groceries multiple times.

My furnishings, art and handbags are destroyed now.

The larvae is everywhere abd puckering out of the sheetrock.

When vacuuming up larvae in bathroom around linoleum that was never glued down I noticed large areas of black mold.

My pets' skin has been penetrated by larvae. Little dog went into convulsions because her body was rejecting these parasites.

Landlord has literally turned away when I brought a container fo the larvae to her.

Yesterday she said she would select an inspector but I would have to pay for it.

I am 62 years old and have been permanently disabled since 2018.

I have destroyed belongings, sick pets and even my car is infested now.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm so sorry to hear about the horrific living conditions you're dealing with in your apartment. The presence of black mold and severe insect/larvae infestation is completely unacceptable and poses serious health risks to you and your pets. Your landlord's neglect and abusive behavior in refusing to address these issues is illegal. Here are some steps I would recommend taking:

1. Thoroughly document the problems with detailed notes, photos, and videos showing the mold, insect/larvae infestation, property damage, and your pets' health issues. This evidence will be crucial.

2. Submit a formal written complaint to your landlord, reiterating the issues, your previous requests for remediation, and their inaction. Keep a copy for your records.

3. Contact your local health department, building inspector, and/or code enforcement agency to report the unsafe and unsanitary conditions. Request an official inspection. They can cite the landlord and force them to make repairs.

4. Consult with a tenant's rights organization or housing non-profit in your area for guidance and advocacy. They may be able to intervene with the landlord on your behalf or connect you with legal aid.

5. Consider contacting a personal injury attorney, as you may have grounds for a lawsuit against the negligent landlord, especially given the medical impact on your pets and potential harm to your own health. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations.

6. Look into your municipality's rent withholding laws. Some areas allow tenants to put rent payments in escrow until major issues are fixed.

7. If all else fails, you may need to consider moving out, as painful as that is. No one should have to live in those conditions. But you may have legal recourse to recover moving expenses and property damage from the landlord.

I'm so sorry you're going through this nightmare. Please know that you have rights as a tenant and don't deserve this mistreatment, especially as a senior and a person with disabilities. I hope you're able to get the help and resolution you need. Wishing you all the best.

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