Family Sues Landlord over Mold

Lake Grove family battles landlord over mold

BY PATRICK WHITTLE | February 21, 2008 Article tools

The mold at Jo-Elynn Vega’s rented home makes breathing so difficult that, she says, the family has to wear medical masks inside the house and her daughter began coughing up blood recently.

They have been looking for a new place to live for months. But now the Vegas’ dispute with their landlord over cleaning up the mold at the single-family Lake Grove home has left them with eight days to find a new place to live.

Jo-Elynn and her husband, Robert, moved in last June and began complaining about the mold to landlord George Rhein in July. They withheld rent from Rhein starting in December, claiming that toxic mold has been growing on the home’s walls, ceilings and carpets. The mold was deemed toxic by a company the family hired, AMBIC Building Inspection Consultants of Long Island, which said it was due to active water leaks.

Rhein brought the family to court, claiming they owed him more than $4,000 in unpaid rent and utility bills. The Vegas must move out by Feb. 29 under a settlement reached yesterday at District Court in Patchogue.

But family members said they intend to sue Rhein and will try to get the house, at 12 Hardwick Pl., condemned so no one else can live there.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s unacceptable. We’re people in here, not animals,” said Robert, 47, a building engineer.

Rhein, of Lake Grove, and his attorney,

Is this a joke?

Water leaks from what source?

Whats on the exterior for cladding?

OK, if this is true. I understand the not paying rent and going after the landlord. But why stay in the dump? They couldn’t find one single family member or a friend to take them in till they found a different place. that is just down right bad parenting. You know your children are at risk and yet they subjected them to this daily. Makes me sick. Sounds likje trying to pass the buck because they were too lazy to get out of a bad situation. Yes, the landlord did nothing, his erro, but they should have left. poor decision by parents. No wonder people grow up the way they do. Still, after all that I feel sorry for them and their children.

Until we get to see more about this I agree with you Ian

Plummer can you keep us updated on this??

Lake Grove family battles landlord over mold

The original post was missing a few paragraghs. I’m looking at the paper, it’s alomst a full page article with a pretty picture of an advanced stage of mold. (I can call it that because thats what the testing revealed) LOL

Unfortunately this doesn’t come with the picture


Cant see the pic

But thanks for the article

Okay, picture this, they are situated to the right of the picture, their wearing surgical masks while standing in the kitchen by the sink, she, dressed as a professional in an office type job, he with a suit and tie.

In the center of the picture there appear to be two windows in the kitchen, one with two potted plants, the other I can’t tell.

To the left of the picture is what appears to be (aagghh, gag, cough, wow, trow-up, and alot of face cringing) an advanced stage of what the f*ck is that.

Kind of like the scary part in the movie where the poor sap is so astonished that he leans in closer to get a better look…and BAM…he gets eaten up.

Now I’m not sure how this goes and I can’t quite figure it out, but there seems to be a BIG LEAF looking thing coming out of this stuff. Like a big green healthy leaf. Maybe it’s another plant on that second window that I can’t make out.

If you go to on the left side There’s a Living Green, click and then half way donw the next page is a video section, type in mold and there a minute video of the family.


I still say they should have moved out earlier if they knew there was a problem. Not absolving the landlord, but you have to take your personal safety, well PERSONALLY. It’s like the old saying, “Gotta look out for #1”. Yes I feel bad for them, but at a certain point you need to remove yourself from harms way.

I just hope they get the house fixed so some other sucker does not get harmed. Or raze the darn thing.