Soldiersgirl, Renter in South Milwaukee, WI

Landlord did not disclose flood/mold issues - Covered it with paint & paneling. After five months of living here, I've had repeated

Asked by Soldiersgirl, South Milwaukee, WI Mon Jul 26, 2010

seepage/leakage in every room - green mold appeared under my newborn's crib, black mold has cropped up on a bathroom wall, blue mold took over rocking chair - mold is suddenly popping up everywhere! I've had to throw away about half of my belongings so far - personal property - landlord smugly told me it's my fault for not having renter's insurance - renter's wouldn't have helped me here - not with flood. The landlord's maintenance man has tried sealing foundation cracks with tar, but says that the actual repair would require some very costly foundation/structural work that the landlord has no intention of correcting, so he'll just continue to lose good tenants. Multiple neighbors advised that the previous tenant had these same issues and is willing to attest to what she experienced. I have a building inspector coming to take a look tomorrow. I'm worried that the home is untenable. Can I sue the landlord for fraud?

Help the community by answering this question:

Answers

3
I'm not a lawyer, so this isn't legal advice. For that you need a lawyer. However . . .

It's likely the landlord is in breach of the lease. Your lease probably says something about the landlord maintaining a safe and habitable property. From your description, yours isn't. So--with a lawyer's guidance--you should be able to break your lease and get out of there.

As for the property damage the mold and moisture has caused, I'm not sure if renter's insurance would have covered it. (Side note: In any case, though, you should always have renter's insurance. In future properties, make sure you do.) However, I'd take the landlord to small claims court for the damages you've incurred.

I don't know the property but, from your description, it sounds as if the maintenance man probably is correct.

Good moving getting a building inspector out there. If the property is condemned, for instance, the landlord may discover that--as expensive as it may be--it's cheaper to fix the problem than lose the property.

As for suing the landlord for fraud: Check with a lawyer, but probably that isn't your best course of action. Anybody can sue anyone for anything, but the real question is whether you can win. And if so, is there anything to collect?

One of my favorite sayings is "Follow the money." In this case, follow the money. The money's coming in to the landlord from tenants such as yourself. Cut off the money--not just in your case by legally terminating the lease but in taking action (such as through the building inspector) to cut off any prospect for the landlord to generate income.

And again, see a lawyer.

Hope that helps.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 27, 2010
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
MVP'08
Contact
what is the address of this property?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 18, 2012
This is mine 3911 139th street, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729 with the same problem
Flag Sat Sep 13, 2014
Here's the answer! Yes, you can sue the landlord. It's probably fraud for not disclosing material facts to you. Get an attorney or sue him in small claims court yourself. See if a neighbor or two will come to court with you to testify on your behalf. Judges are always sympathetic when you can show them proof in tests, photos, inspections, etc.

GOOD LUCK!

Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 27, 2010
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer