Expert explains your rights as a renter finding mold

According to the Alabama Tenants Handbook, a renter has the right to a decent place to live.
According to the Alabama Tenants Handbook, a renter has the right to a decent place to live.(Keontranice Bester)
Published: Apr. 8, 2023 at 12:16 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - What do you do if you’re experiencing issues like mold in your apartment and management simply won’t fix it?

We don’t go a week, sometimes even a day, without getting emails or calls from tenants across Central Alabama with this exact problem.

Fortunately, renters do have rights, like the right to have a decent place to live and one free of health hazards like mold, but you must also continue paying your rent on time.

The Alabama Tenants Handbook says if you’re dealing with hazards or serious damage, you must first contact the landlord to fix the problem. They have 14 days of receiving written notice to do so.

Lila Hackett with the Fair Housing Center of Northern Alabama says another key is to document everything.

“First of all, take pictures so that management can’t say it’s not there because sometimes they’re slow about actually sending someone over to see it,” she said. “So take pictures and provide those pictures to them.”

Hackett says keeping photos and records are also good in case you need to seek legal assistance.

If the landlord doesn’t make proper repairs within those 14 days, it might be time to call a lawyer. The Tenant’s Handbook says you might be able to get out of your lease. Hackett says many times, you might need to prove it’s negatively effecting your health.

If you have any questions or need help getting pointed in the right direction, you can call the Fair Housing Center at (205) 324-0111 or email them at

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