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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
A man says there is mold growing in his South Charlotte apartment and it's making him and his family sick.
The man, who only wants to be known as Bobby, showed WBTV pictures of black spots around the bedroom wall.
He says despite several complaints, it took his complex months to rip out the carpet and replace the floors.
The complex did replace the carpet with wood floors but the tenant feels the problem was not properly cleaned up.
"Every time it rains that's where it's coming from..this whole wall right here. We can't even sleep in here..we sleep in the living room," Bobby said.
Attorney Eric Levine who does not represent this couple, says it's often hard to prove mold is making someone sick. But for problems like this he recommends first calling the code inspector.
"When they do the inspection, they will send a list of results to the tenant and the owner whose address is listed on the tax listing," Levine said.
The pair pays $500 a month in rent but are reluctant to keep paying until something more is done.
The Attorney General's office does not advise a renter to withhold rent, unless it's in writing from the landlord that says it's okay to do so. North Carolina unlike other states does not have a special escrow account where tenants can put the money until repairs are made.
Levine says under certain circumstance though, a renter probably could withhold rent and not get in trouble. The state calls them "imminently dangerous conditions." Those conditions include things like no smoke detector, dangerous wiring, or no plumbing or heat. These things, Levine points out, could be found during a move-in inspection.
"If there's anything wrong that they note it in the beginning," Levine said.
A tenant also has a right to file a small claims suit. Bobby says it's is something he has considered. But Levine says by alerting the city of a potential problem may be all it takes.
"Once you call the code inspector a process starts so no they don't have to necessarily go to magistrate court to get things fixed," Levine said.
WBTV tried to reach out to the owners of the complex. A woman at the leasing office said the owner lives in Canada and he would be in contact immediately. One man told WBTV by phone he owned the Charlotte property and said a man by the name of Manuele would call back. By Tuesday evening, WBTV had not heard back.