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Renters' rights when exposed to toxic mold

Many people living in New York rent homes or apartments, and many times, complications with landlords can make living situations difficult. As a renter, it is particularly important for you to be aware of your rights and how to protect them in the event that you need to confront the inappropriate actions or negligence of your landlord. 

Landlords are responsible for problems with the building that could cause renters harm. Whether that is structural damage or exposure to things that could make them sick, tenants do not have to live in unsafe conditions. One of the things that your landlord must address is toxic mold.

How do I know if mold is a problem?

There are many reasons why toxic mold may grow in a New York apartment. Due to an overabundance of moisture and other factors, mold could grow in places in your apartment that could place you and your family at risk. You may not know there is a moisture problem in your apartment until you start seeing warning signs of mold or water damage. These include the following: 

  • Water stains on the internal walls or ceilings
  • Discoloration in the walls or on the ceiling
  • Water stains or discoloration on external walls
  • An musty odor in your apartment
  • Standing water or condensation on your floors, under windows or other places

These are all signs that you could have a significant problem. Water damage often leads to mold infestation, which is why it is important to treat the water issue and the threat of mold at the same time.

If you are living in an apartment with obvious signs of water damage, you have the right to know if your landlord addressed the issue and paid for mold mitigation. If you notice musty smells or you see signs of mold, you would be prudent to contact your landlord immediately, and then take steps to protect your legal interests

What if my landlord does not do anything?

Unfortunately, some landlords do not do what they are supposed to do. Your landlord may not act appropriately, refuse to make repairs or take the steps necessary to treat a mold problem. You do not have to live in hazardous or dangerous conditions.

Many tenants find it necessary to seek legal guidance regarding their rights as renters and the obligations of their landlords. These matters are complex, and you may find it beneficial to take quick action to protect yourself as soon as you learn of a problem.

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