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Renters' Rights: How to deal with a mold problem

Posted at 4:11 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-24 00:31:24-04

TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa woman dealing with a mold problem in her home is frustrated.

“Oh, come right here and you can see the mold. Here you can see mold inside of the walls, and all down and there you can see where they cut out the wall,” Rhonda Howard said.

Howard, who has been living at the rental condo for four months, said the mold issue hasn’t been fixed.

“Okay, here you can still see there's mold still on the walls here," Howard said. "The closet is nasty. I have mold on my shoes here.”

Howard’s landlord has been working on a fix but Howard wants it resolved as soon as possible.

She’s concerned about the impact the mold will have on her and her daughter’s health.

“It's very frustrating because my health, I mean I'm 50 years old, and my health is very important." Howard said. "I have to be here, healthy-wise for my daughter.”

Rhonda contacted the problem solvers because she doesn’t feel like her landlord is doing enough to fix the issue or help her move.

Eric Hallett with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma saids when it comes to issues like this your best option is to leave.

“If the landlord doesn't fix the problem, then your right is to move at that point you don't owe any more rent going forward,“ Hallett said.

Before you move, you must give the landlord written notice that if they do not fix the mold issue within 14 days that you will move.

If you want the landlord to pay for your moving expenses, you’ll likely have to get an attorney involved and take them to small claims court.

“You can then consider suing the landlord for your moving expenses, but you have to do that after you move,” Hallett said.

Another option available to renters is to make a complaint to the Tulsa Health Department.

THD can come out and inspect the home and prevent the landlord from renting it out again before the problem is fixed.

The problem solvers were able to get Howard in touch with Legal Aid and she’s now connected to a program that can help her terminate her lease, find affordable housing and potentially help her with moving expenses.

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