On October 2nd, a new law went into effect that allows tenants to terminate their lease, without penalty, if a landlord does not correct any violation that adversely affects the health and safety of the tenant such as:
- rodent or insect infestation affecting 20% or more units in a building
- extensive and visible mold growth on interior walls or surfaces exposed to the occupied space
- windows that do not permit a safe means of egress
- pervasive and recurring water leaks that result in chronic dampness, mold growth, or personal property damage in more than one unit
- lack of one or more working utilities that is not shut off due to tenant non-payment
The law covers not only the tenant’s unit but also any common area available for use by the tenant. Landlords would have 30 days to correct the violation after being ordered to do so by DHCA before tenants can give notice of terminating the lease.