I just recently rented an apartment. Come winter, the walls got covered with mold. Now, I know that mold is unhealthy and is certainly very unsightly. I called the owner up and told him to bring someone to clean off the mold, but he never did. I cleaned it off myself and had to breath all the bleach, get my hands dirty and waste a lot of time. I kept asking him throughout the winter to the mold cleaned (after I cleaned it once, it all grew right back), but he ignored me and I didn’t want to be a nag. I did want to stay in good relations with him.
Can I deduct a sum of money from the rent because of the mold problem?
You most certainly can deduct the difference between the rent of an apartment with mold and one without. Please consult with a local real-estate agent as to the prices in your area.
The owner of an apartment must correct the source of mold in his apartment. If it needs to be painted, the owner is responsible; if it needs only cleaning – it is the responsibility of the renter. See “Alon Hamishpat” 27 page 5.
According to Rabbi Naftali Nussbaum, if the owner did not do his duty and fix the apartment, he must compensate his renter according to the pleasure that he was supposed to provide his renter with, and did not provide.