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I have black mold in the bathroom of my apartment. What should I do?

The following is an actual conversation between an Uprise RI user and our Helping Hand chat assistant. The most helpful conversations, as determined by our editors, will be showcased on our homepage, with personally identifying details removed when applicable.

Posted April 10, 2024

User: I have black mold in the bathroom of my apartment. What should I do?

The Helping Hand: If you’ve discovered black mold in the bathroom of your apartment, it’s important to notify your landlord in writing immediately, as they are responsible for maintaining habitable living conditions, including addressing mold issues that can impact health and safety. Document the mold with photos and keep a record of all communications with your landlord. If your landlord fails to address the problem, you can contact the Rhode Island Department of Health at (401) 222-5960 for guidance on mold issues and reporting. Would you like assistance with drafting a letter to your landlord or additional information on tenant rights and resources in Rhode Island?

User: Yes

The Helping Hand: To draft a letter to your landlord about the mold issue, you’ll want to include:

1. Your name, address, and apartment number.
2. The date of the letter.
3. A detailed description of the mold problem and its location.
4. Any previous verbal communications or attempts to have the issue addressed.
5. A reasonable timeframe for the landlord to respond and address the issue.
6. Mention that if the problem is not resolved, you may be forced to seek legal advice or contact health inspectors.

Remember to keep a copy of the letter for your records. Send the letter via certified mail or another method that provides proof of delivery.

For additional tenant rights and resources, you can reach out to Rhode Island Legal Services at (401) 274-2652 or visit their website at They offer assistance to tenants in various housing issues, including those related to health and safety.

Would you like more information on how to protect your rights as a tenant or the next steps if the landlord does not respond?

User: Yes

The Helping Hand: If the landlord does not respond to your written notice or fails to take action to remedy the mold issue, you have several options:

1. Contact Local Health Department: Report the issue to the Rhode Island Department of Health by calling (401) 222-5960. They can provide guidance and may inspect your apartment for health code violations.

2. Seek Legal Help: Contact Rhode Island Legal Services at (401) 274-2652 for advice on your rights and possible legal actions. They can assist with issues like requesting a rent abatement or taking your landlord to court if necessary.

3. Repair and Deduct: In some cases, you might be able to have the mold removed yourself and deduct the cost from your rent. However, this should be done cautiously and typically only after seeking legal advice, as it can have legal implications.

4. Withhold Rent: This is a more drastic measure and should only be considered with legal advice, as it could lead to eviction proceedings. If you choose this route, the withheld rent should be placed in an escrow account to show you are willing to pay once the issue is resolved.

5. Terminate Lease: If the living conditions are unbearable and your health is at risk, you might have grounds to terminate your lease without penalty. Legal advice is strongly recommended before taking this step.

It’s important to know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, as well as the proper procedures to follow under Rhode Island law.

The Helping Hand is a free service provided by Uprise RI for Rhode Islanders. It uses state-of-the-art artificial intelligence technology and vast training on RI landlord/tenant law and consumer protection to provide helpful tips and resources specific to the user's needs, at no charge. Help support The Helping Hand with a donation of any kind.