Last week, I told you about a client who’d been badly injured when the railing at her apartment collapsed, sending her sprawling three stories to the ground below.
I was able to help her on her road to recovery but could not reverse the damage to her spine from her horrific and debilitating injuries.
Recently, I came across a news article on DC News Now – www.dcnewsnow.com/montgomery about one renter’s desperate struggle to safeguard himself, his family, and his home against the black mold and mice infestation at his apartment.
The renter reported the disgusting and unsafe conditions and asked the landlord for help multiple times, and although one attempt at addressing the problem was made, ultimately, he was ignored. He took the issue a step further, reporting the situation to the Department of Housing and Community Affairs. It took two separate inspections and the man contacting local media before anyone paid attention, and still, to this day, he’s fighting to see his rented apartment brought up to a livable standard.
Mold, mice, and roach infestations are not just bad for a building but are a serious health hazard for those occupying it. Mold can cause respiratory problems, allergic reactions, and other health issues, and mice and roaches carry diseases and allergens.
If you report concerns about mold, mice, and roach infestations, and those concerns are not properly addressed by your landlord or property management, here’s what you must do:
- Notify Your Landlord or property manager in writing about the issue. Keep copies of all communication.
- Contact your local housing authorities or code enforcement agencies to report the issue. They can conduct inspections and issue orders for compliance.
- In some states, you may have the right to “repair and deduct.” This means you can pay for necessary repairs or pest control services and deduct the cost from your rent.
- If your living conditions are seriously compromised, and your landlord fails to address them, you may be legally allowed to withhold rent. However, this should be done in accordance with your state’s laws and is a step to be taken with caution.
- Move yourself and your family out of harm’s way—even if it’s to a relative’s home or motel, your safety and that of your family must come first. If your living conditions become unsafe, leave and keep receipts for your moving and temporary living expenses; you could be reimbursed.
As a personal injury attorney I rarely have the chance to prevent an injury. My clients come to me after the damage has already been done. They come injured and in need of legal counsel. If you can prevent an injury or illness before it becomes disabling, do it. Don’t risk serious injury due to unsafe living conditions.
If you ever find yourself injured or harmed due to the negligence of a landlord or property owner, please call my office at 301-949-1515 or 703-761-4343.
Until next time, please be safe, and NEVER text while driving!
Attorney Paul Samakow
703-761-4343 or 301-949-1515.