Posted by DK on August 19, 1999 at 04:01:31:
In Reply to: Can I break the lease if... posted by Marcin on August 13, 1999 at 14:11:43:
: ..there is some kind of fungus on the walls?
: Thanx in advance
The NYC Health Department has an excellent web page on mold problems.
The landlord is responsible for correcting the moisture problem that causes mold. If the
landlord ignores this responsibility, you could get a court order in housing court
to compel the necessary remedial work.
If the landlord fails to repair the condition after you have given reasonable notice,
if a reasonable person would agree that no reasonable person would put up with the
condition, then you are entitled to claim that you have been "constructively evicted" and
you can move out. I use the word "reasonable" because if the landlord sues you for the
rent for the remainder of the lease term, then you will have to convince the judge
that you provided reasonable notice of the problem and a reasonable opportunity for
the landlord to correct it before you moved out.
If you prove that you were constructively evicted, you are not only entitled to
break the lease, but the landlord is responsible for any monetary damages you incurred,
such as the cost of moving, broker fees, and any additional rent you were required
to pay for comparable space.
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