Old 09-05-12, 07:12 PM
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Morton's fork, serious apartment trouble.

I've got big trouble here.

I bought a house and now I want to break my lease. Problem: My landlord wants me to pay a lot of money, keep paying rent, and find a new tenant, which I guess is fair, except I don't want to.

More importantly, the building is falling apart and can't be fixed with me here.

There's a plumbing issue. There is damage from an exterior wall leak due to the weather and neighbor's lack of building maintenance. Fixing these would require me to move out. The plumbing issue is knocking this place easily out of code.

Okay, so easy solution, right? Call the city inspector, have them come out, declare the apartment untenable, break the lease. I move, then the damage can be fixed. It can't be fixed while I'm here: there will be no bathroom for weeks, and that is unsanitary and not acceptable living conditions. Hence my lease is annulled.


The pluming issue was found due to the downstairs neighbor reporting a leak into their bathroom. This happened after multiple plumbing repairs in both bathrooms. Either the repairs were inadequate or incorrect or the issue was never noticed during repair.

I inspected the downstairs apartment.

I am not qualified to do this in any way.

I found two types of mold.

The downstairs neighbor goes on vacation a lot. The downstairs neighbor gets sick when here, and gets better when away for several weeks or a few months. The mold is making the downstairs neighbor sick, mold does that. I mean, maybe not, but something here is doing it and we know mold does that, this is a reasonable conclusion. More importantly, it could make them sick and it could cause long-term health issues.

The landlord cut that chunk of ceiling out and patched it with new drywall. This doesn't fix the issue. There is still a leak. There is still mold. It's now hidden.

Understand: these issues can cause severe health problems. If I call the city inspector, it'll be great for me: my lease will probably get broken, no penalty to me, though this will severely hurt my landlord. Moreover, the apartments affected or possibly the whole building could be condemned. The tenants may be forced to vacate, and the building may be declared unlivable until such time as proper repairs are made. This could make these buildings unprofitable to my landlord entirely and he may be forced to drop them.

If I don't call, people could unknowingly move into a moldy apartment and develop long-term health issues. Also not good.

Morton's fork. What do I do? One of these is a good cut-and-run strategy for me, both have negative impacts for others.
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