If an apartment gets condemned does the landlord have an obligation to place the tenants somewhere temporarily?

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The apartment I’m living in is a duplex town house. There are a ton of things out of code, lots of mold, bad wiring, and a rodent infestation from where the cheap landlord wouldn’t pay for pest control and allowed a sloppy neighbor move in. Now our health is at a huge risk because mice are really bad about chewing wires. The wiring is already hazardous enough so if the chew on it I’m almost certain it’ll become a house fire. Our neighbor said she is tired of seeing the sorry state this place is in and is going to call the fire department. So when they come and condemn this place will our landlord be required by law to place us somewhere until he fixes the place?

  1. Reply
    July 2, 2013 at 6:46 am

    No, you have to move to another place now that you know about these problems. You are allowed to break your lease without penalty. If the place gets condemned you wont be moving back in. Do you expect the property owner to pay for you to live somewhere else indefinitely? The landlord was required to do extermination even if he did it himself. The wiring was like that when you moved in and the landlord is not responsible for your neighbor being sloppy.

  2. Reply
    R P
    July 2, 2013 at 7:41 am

    No, he is not. It is up to you to find another place to live and pay for the move.

  3. Reply
    July 2, 2013 at 8:05 am

    My state has a $ 750/unit relocation responsibility to me as the landlord in the event of a catastrophe; fire, flood, etc. Mold may be included but I’d have to check further. There is a rider on my insurance policy that picks up this $ 750.

    Did you sign a standardized rental agreement? If yes, then there should be a line item addressing your concerns.

    From my experience with insurance companies, unless it’s a true “act of god” like lightning or a new orleans type flood, they would try to back out of paying that $ 750 by citing negligence or tenant error.

    You may be on your own and have to take the landlord to small claims if indeed the property is condemned. Even if you win in small claims, you still have to chase the LL for the money.

    You might want to start looking for a new place now if you’re convinced the situation is a grave as you say. A call to the local health department will definitley speed up the process and would trump any LL recourse for breaking the lease.

  4. Reply
    July 2, 2013 at 9:00 am

    No. You will be required to move out of the premises VERY quickly, and the landlord is not obligated to provide a different place for you to live. He will only be required to refund to you any pro-rated rents based upon days you have already paid for and will not be able to use.

    Mice CAN chew wires, but it is not that common. Get yourself some mouse traps and trap the rodents.

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