What are renter's rights? Another tenant faces mold concerns with Team Realty

Mold continues to be a problem for some renters in Terre Haute. News 10 first brought you the story last week. A woman who was living with what she says is severe mold and mildew covering her basement.

Posted: Jul 23, 2018 6:25 PM
Updated: Jul 24, 2018 3:07 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- Mold continues to be a problem for some renters in Terre Haute. News 10 first brought you the story last week. A woman who was living with what she says is severe mold and mildew covering her basement.

Now, another man is speaking up. He claims he's been living with similar issues under the same property manager. 

John Rushing is currently in the process of moving out. "This place is not fit to live," Rushing said. He has been living in a rental in Terre Haute for only a couple of months.

"It's gross and disgusting," Rushing said. He says mold and mildew are all over.

"She {his landlord} said 'if you don't like it, leave,'" Rushing said. "She has someone else to throw in here {the rental home}."

LINK | 'HE SAID IT'S NOTHING A FEW GALLONS OF BLEACH CAN'T HANDLE...' MOLD ISSUES SHOCK TERRE HAUTE RENTER AS SHE SAYS SHE HAS WAITED YEARS FOR A FIX

Rushing says he has had multiple conversations with his landlord, Lisa Reed with Team Realty. Rushing says he has given up.

"Okay, the slumlord wins," he said. "I have to just take what there is. I have to just live with it."

Rushing says he refused to pay rent after the first sight of damages and mold contamination.

"I am paying for a decent place to live and she is suing me for damages to the house," he said.

Reed appeared in court Monday. She is evicting Rushing and also suing him. According to law, you cannot withhold rent in the state of Indiana. Tenants are still required to pay rent, even if damages have not yet been fixed.

Rushing says maintenance did show up. "They {maintenance} brought a container and filled it with bleach. They watered down the bleach and sprayed the ceiling with it," he said. 

Reed did not want to comment on the case. A local attorney tells News 10 there are certain duties landlords must have. But, it is legal to neglect a property. This makes it hard for tenants like Rushing and Natosha Porter. Both are locked into a lease and are required to pay damage repairs out of their own pockets. 

Rushing plans to move into an apartment. An attorney tells News 10 the problem with the landlord, tenant system is often tenants do not have enough money to hire an attorney. A tenant may have pictures and documented emails, but there is nothing a tenant can do if they do not pay the rent. 

This is a story News 10 will continue to follow. 

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