What Is Toxic Mold Syndrome
Toxic mold based illness is a very prevalent and under diagnosed condition that can manifest in many different ways, including with symptoms that are exclusively psychiatric, such as depression, anxiety, attentional problems, brain fog and insomnia.
Implied Warranty Of Habitability
Your landlord is legally obligated to deal with the mold infestation under their duty to provide you with a habitable living space, which is implied in your lease agreement. It means that you are entitled to live free from health and safety hazards. Obviously, keeping your unit free of a mold infestation would be covered under this warranty. If you have black mold and you tell your landlord, but they don’t resolve the issue, this would be considered a breach of their duties.
Some States And Cities Have Passed Mold Laws
A handful of states have passed laws to establish acceptable levels of indoor mold spores. Certain cities, including New York City and San Francisco, have included mold in their list of nuisances and department of health guidelines. If you live in these areas, your landlord has an increased responsibility for mold. You might be able to make a claim against the landlord for violating these specific laws, regulations, and guidelines.
State and local laws might also require landlords to disclose information about mold to tenants. Check your states required landlord disclosures laws to ensure your lease or rental agreement is in compliance.
Also Check: Black Mold On Ceiling In Bathroom
How Do I Get My Landlord To Fix A Mold Problem
The landlord may be insured against mold, but if not, he or she is ultimately responsible for keeping the rental property in habitable condition which means, he or she is responsible for fixing water leaks and remediating the resulting mold.
Mold Problems in New Jersey Rental Properties
In NJ, there is no specific law requiring landlords to disclose the presence of mold in the rental property, but there is a statute requiring them to notify tenants if the property is in a flood zone .
In NJ, landlords are responsible for maintaining their rental properties in habitable condition. If you feel the landlord has been negligent in maintaining the property, you can report unrepaired leaks to your local building code official, which you can find by clicking here. You also may be entitled to self-help such as rent withholding or leaving the property without negative consequences and with the return of your full security deposit.
Mold Problems in Pennsylvania Rental Properties
Just as in NJ, there are no statutes or regulations that require landlords to disclose the presence of mold to tenants in PA. Can you withhold rent for mold in PA? Yes, a tenant may have the right to withhold rent due to mold or to leave the property without financial consequences.
Whether you live in NJ or PA, contact us to find out whether these remedies are available to you and whether you should sue your landlord.
When A Landlord Does Nothing
When a landlord takes no action to combat the black mold, the tenant may have no option other than move. This is done purely to ensure the safety of the tenant and their family.
But this will incur additional costs. The tenant may not be able to find suitable living spaces on short notice and may have to rent something short term at higher rates. They may even be forced to choose a hotel, further increasing their costs. But it was the landlord that put the tenant in this position, and it is the landlord that should reimburse the tenant for these additional costs.
Moving out may seem like an extreme option. For many families, it is the only option that guarantees their safety. Black mold is not a problem to take lightly. If tenants are forced to move because their landlord ignores the mold problem, there is some comfort in knowing that the tenant has legal options to hold the landlord accountable.
Recommended Reading: How To Remove Mold Off Bathroom Ceiling
Does Bleach Kill Black Mold
The EPA does not recommend using bleach to kill or remove mold, except in special circumstances. In fact, recognizing the bleach as a threat, the mold will grow back even stronger. When bleach is used on porous surfaces like drywall or wood, mold membranes will move deeper into the surface to avoid the chemical.
Who We Represent Types Of Mold Claims We Handle
Tenants who live, or used to live, in residential housing. The injuries should be severe .
Homeowners of condominiums with claims against their association, claims against a contractor or developer, claims against other unit owners, or claims against contractors.
Commercial Tenants tenants who lease commercial buildings, office buildings, industrial warehouse, or the like
Workplace Claims employees or other persons who spend considerable time at a workplace location.
Update: We are not accepting mold cases because of the high burdens needed to prove causation. However, we strongly advise anyone living in a residential building with mold that they believe to be making him or her sick, to immediately move out after giving the required notices. Many people feel better and breathe easier within days of leaving.
Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration laws apply to certain landlords in all states.
OSHAs asbestos rules apply to every building constructed before 1981, even if theres no plan to remodel or otherwise disturb the structure. . The rules also apply to newer structures known to contain asbestos.
Landlords who manage buildings built before 1981 must follow OSHAs regulations if they:
- hire any outside contractors for repairs or maintenance, regardless of how many rental units they oversee, or
- employ more than ten people.
Also Check: How To Clean Mold From Boat Seats
Don’t Miss: How To Clean Mold From Basement Walls
Mold Danger And Your Home
Living in a home that has toxic or black mold can adversely affect your health.
Certain types of mold can make you sick and can exacerbate other underlying health conditions like allergies or sleep conditions.
Generally, mold exposure might irritate your skin, eyes, nose, lungs, and throat.
While mold spores are commonly found in the air we breathe, certain mold spores, and those found at high levels, can be toxic to our health.
Long-term adverse health effects of mold include allergies and respiratory symptoms.
Individuals with certain conditions are more susceptible to feeling the effects of mold as well, especially those with a respiratory condition like asthma, emphysema, or allergies, or those with a compromised immune system, like an individual with HIV/AIDS, organ transplant patients, and patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Symptoms of mold exposure might include nasal and sinus congestions, eye irritation , wheezing and difficulty breathing, throat irritation, skin irritation, rash, and cough.
If you think that your home is infested with mold, you will want to immediately remove yourself from the premises and seek a mold mitigation company.
A mold mitigation company will be able to tell you if the mold is toxic, assess other risk factors, and convey the next steps to get rid of it.
They will also be the ones who are able to safely remove mold without causing it to spread or dispersing the irritants that make you sick.
Also Check: How To Fix Mold On Bathroom Ceiling
Suing Your Landlord For Black Mold
If push comes to shove, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit against your landlord. Depending on the extent of your mold-related illness and/or property losses, and your jurisdiction’s dollar amount limits on claims, you may be able to resolve the issue in small claims court. Small claims courts generally require the parties to represent themselves and have claim limits in the $3,000 to $10,000 range, but are regulated at the state level.
If the dollar amount is higher than your state’s small claims limit, which may be the case if your illness requires extensive treatment , you may need to consider working with an attorney to file a more formal injury claim.
Every case is different, but damages for black mold contamination may include the following:
- Medical expenses related to the mold exposure this may include future expenses as well, if you are able to prove the need for ongoing medical care.
- Lost wages as a result of the illness, time spent removing mold from the rental property, or other mold-related causes.
- Destruction of property related to mold contamination.
- Loss of earning capacity as a result of injuries.
- Pain and suffering.
Also Check: Clean Mold Off Basement Walls
What Should I Do If I Find Black Mold In My Rental Unit
First step: dont panic. It might not even be black mold.
The second step is to figure out what type of mold it is. If youve been suffering from unexplained health issues, this becomes even more imperative. Contact your landlord as soon as you discover mold, and do so via letter so theres a written record. You might need to refer to that later, should the situation progress to litigation.
Even if you havent fallen ill, toxic black mold is a violation of the implied warranty of habitability. As such, your landlord is responsible for rectifying the problem.
Of course, your landlord may choose to fight you. They might say its up to you to test the air and pay for an inspection. Many landlords take it upon themselves to pay for inspection, but sometimes you have to do it yourself and show them a professional report that clearly says, TOXIC BLACK MOLD FOUND HERE.
If a landlord refuses to pay for a mold inspection, it opens them up to additional liability down the road.
Who Has Liability For Toxic Mold Sickness
If youre made sick by toxic mold, determining who may have liability can be challenging. Defective building materials, substandard construction work, a defective structural design, or the negligence of the owner or a former owner could all be important factors in determining liability.
If you buy a house or some other property or structure in or near the Chicago area, speak directly with the seller as well as with your realtor regarding toxic mold. Make sure that a home inspector has checked thoroughly for toxic mold before you buy any home.
If you rent your home and you get sick from toxic mold, your landlord may have liability if he or she was or should have been aware of the toxic mold and did nothing about removing it.
Recommended Reading: How To Clean Bathroom Ceiling Mildew
Toxic Mold Lawyers At Calandro Law
Calandro Law provides legal representation for those dealing with toxic mold in their homes, condominiums, or apartments. For more information, contact us anytime. As an injury law firm specializing in toxic mold issues, were fully prepared to assist you. You can trust that our legal team will stand by your side throughout the whole process to ensure you receive the settlement you deserve.
Schedule a free consultation today by calling us at 563-6463 or filling out the form on the right side of the page.
Mold Poses Several Risks To Landlords And Tenants Alike
- Mold can cause serious health issues, including respiratory damage, allergic reactions, internal bleeding, nausea, vomiting, and chronic fatigue.
- Prolonged mold damage can lead to thousands of dollars in repair and cleanup bills.
- If your tenants become ill due to a mold problem you knew about, you could face a personal injury lawsuit or costly insurance claim.
- Your property reputation can decrease if potential tenants find out there is mold in your building.
- Your tenants can move out if they find mold in the building, causing you to lose significant revenue streams.
Black mold is a significant health and safety risk to your rental property. It is in your best interest to eradicate the problem as soon as you are aware of it.
Also Check: How To Stop Mold On Bathroom Ceiling
Where Mold Is Found
Mold comes in various colors and shapes. The villainswith names like stachybotrys, penicillium, aspergilus, paecilomyces, and fusariumare black, white, green, or gray. Some are powdery, others shiny. Some molds look and smell disgusting others are barely seenhidden between walls, under floors and ceilings, or in less accessible spots, such as basements and attics.
Mold often grows on water-soaked materials, such as wall paneling, paint, fabric, ceiling tiles, newspapers, or cardboard boxes. Humidity sets up prime growing conditions for mold. Buildings in naturally humid climates of Texas, California, and the Southern U.S. have experienced more mold problems than residences in drier climates. But whatever the climate, mold can grow as long as moisture is present.
Who Is Responsible For Mold In A Rental Apartment
When it comes to mold, there are no well-defined boundaries for individual mold tolerance. Very few states have regulations in place that define what level of mold, if any, is acceptable in homes. Visit the health departments website for your state to learn more.
Not having regulations doesnt mean you no longer have the right to live in a mold-free environment. Just by the nature of the tenant-landlord relationship, its the landlords responsibility to address and fix plumbing issues if doing so is outlined in the lease.
If you feel mold is growing because of a water leak due to a pipe that was your landlords responsibility to fix. Your landlord can be held accountable for addressing and correcting the mold problem.
You might be entitled to withhold future rent payments until the landlord fixes the issue. You might even have a legitimate legal claim against your landlord if their negligence led to the presence of the mold in the first place. Dont withhold rent, however, until after youve sought consultation from an attorney.
Don’t Miss: Clean Mold Off Ceiling Bathroom
Suing Your Landlord For Mold
If you truly feel that the existence of mold in your rented property has caused you significant damage, then you can sue your landlord for damages. Typically, you can file a lawsuit against your landlord for mold under the following circumstances:
- If you informed the property owner that there was water leakage or visible traces of mold in your house, but he/she did nothing to remedy the situation, and things have now got out of hand.
- If you have incurred significant medical expenses due to mold exposure.
- If you have incurred any cost trying to get rid of the mold yourself.
- If you have lost wages or will probably lose wages in the future due to health complications you developed after being exposed to the mold.
- If you have suffered significant pain and suffering.
Is My Landlord Responsible For Mold Removal
The law stipulates that landlords must provide their tenants with safe and secure living conditions. This means that it is the responsibility of your landlord to ensure your rental house/apartment is free of health hazards, such as mold.
Therefore, if you discover mold growth in your rented property, the first thing you should do is to contact your landlord and inform him/her about the issue.
If he/she doesnt move with speed to get rid of the mold, then they can potentially be held liable for any damages that may result from mold exposure.
Even if the landlord takes care of the problem, but you still show evidence of injuries you believe you developed after being exposed to the mold, you can still file a lawsuit against your landlord.
Also Check: How To Remove Mold From Shower Ceiling
Read Also: How To Clean Mold Off Ceiling In Bathroom
Do I Need A Texas Lawyer To Help Deal With My Mold Problem
Mold issues in Texas can be fairly complex. If you are a Texas property owner who is experiencing issues with mold, then it may be in your best interest to contact a Texas landlord tenant lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced landlord tenant lawyer can recommend the best course of action to take and can assist you with whichever legal process you choose to resolve the issue.
Remember, mold in your home can sometimes cause serious problems that affect not only your property, but your health as well. Thus, if you become sick due to mold growing in your home, a landlord tenant lawyer will be able to provide representation in court and can help you to recover damages based on the circumstances.
- No fee to present your case
- Choose from lawyers in your area
- A 100% confidential service
Can You Sue Your Landlord For Mold Exposure
You can sue your landlord for mold: If you ve incurred any costs in attempting to remediate the mold yourself For mold -related damages to your personal property, if you do not have renters insurance or your renters insurance does not cover mold For your pain and suffering caused by the health effects of mold.
Read Also: Best Way To Clean Mold Off Ceiling
Can Mold Be Removed
Yes, through a process called mold remediation, which can be costly.
The Environmental Protection Agency has published tips on how to remediate mold online. The EPA asserts that water damage must be addressed within 24-48 hours to avoid toxic mold growth. In other words, if it has been longer than that since water damage occurred to your rental property and that water damage has gone unaddressed, you will have mold growth.
The Symptoms Of Black Mold Exposure
The growth of mold is most common in moist areas, including bathrooms, around windows, near pipes, and anywhere there has been flooding. The fungus can grow on a wide range of surfaces, including cardboard, wallpaper, carpet, and drywall.
Obvious signs of mold can include black stains on the wall as well as mushrooms growing out of the carpet.Mold problems are often only discovered when people begin to experience health issues. As a result of mold exposure, you may experience:
- Nose congestion
- Feeling short of breath
Mold can trigger upper respiratory issues in people who are more sensitive to it. You are more likely to develop serious health problems if you are exposed to mold for an extended period of time, including organ damage and mental impairment.
Check your property for mold if you experience allergy-like symptoms or what feels like a persistent cold. In the event that mold is present and has caused significant damage to your health and/or your property, you may be able to sue your landlord for damages.
Recommended Reading: Does Bleach Kill Mold On Ceiling