Can You Sue Your Landlord For Mold
Yes. However, a tenant will have to prove there is a mold problem. When it comes to mold in a rental the tenant typically needs to prove 4 things:
This is where a consultation with an attorney well versed in mold laws comes into play. You dont want to tackle a mold lawsuit on your own.
What To Do If You Think Your Apartment Has Mold
If there is mold in your apartment, you need to notify your landlord immediately. You might also consider asking your landlord to bring in a professional mold inspector. Mold usually grows in difficult to see places, like behind walls or appliances, and the professionals will have equipment to detect it.
Is It A Violation For There To Be Mold In My Apartment
The citys housing department will record mold growths as C class, or immediately hazardous violations. However, many tenants find the enforcement of laws by the citys health and housing departments to be insufficient when dealing with a landlord who is resistant to spending the money to cure the problem. If your landlord is not responsive, you may need to take futher action such as taking your landlord to court
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Responsibilities As A Tenant If You Have Mold In A Rental
There are many situations where a landlord or property manager can be blamed for mold problems in a rental property.
However, there are many situations where the tenant is actually to blame for a mold problem. So lets go ahead and look at the responsibility of a tenant as it relates to mold.
Your landlord is not a mind reader. If you do not let them know of any problems, how can it possibly be handled?
It is your responsibility to disclose any kind of leaks, small or large. You should report any water damage both verbally and in writing . That way it is on the record and there can be no dispute with he said, she said.
Time is of an essence when it comes to water damage. That is why it is so important if a leak occurs, you do the best you can to clean up as much of the water as possible.
I am not saying if a pipe bursts that you have to clean and dry everything up by yourself. Do what you can. If you can clean up the standing water with some towels it can greatly help. If you happen to have any heavy duty fans go ahead and set those up. Be careful to ensure none of the electric sockets got wet before plugging in the fan.
You should notify your landlord or property manager right away to have a Property Damage Restoration Company come to dry out the water damaged areas. Allowing these companies access into your home is essential. A tenant is expected to comply to preserve the habitability of a home.
Air Conditioning Unit
How To Tell If Your Apartment Has Mold And What To Do About It
Learn how to tell if you have mold in your apartmentand what steps to take if you do.
Whether youre about to sign a lease or already in an apartment, you should know the telltale signs of mold. Mold can lead to property damage as well as an array of health problems, so youll want to take care of any mold problems as soon as you discover them. By learning the signs and symptoms of apartment mold, youll know when you need to take action.
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Mold Caused By A Landlord’s Failure To Fix Leaks
Landlords in all states but Arkansas are responsible for maintaining fit and habitable housing and repairing rental property, and this extends to fixing leaking pipes, windows, and roofsthe causes of most mold. If the landlord doesn’t take care of leaks and mold grows as a result, you might be able to hold the landlord responsible if you can convince a judge or jury that the mold has caused a health problem.
How Do I Check For Mold In My Apartment
There are several ways to do a quick check, both physically of the apartment, and of your own body, to see if you potentially have a mold problem.
The first and most common sign is if there is a smell. Like a strong, musty smell as if your apartment smells more like a swimming pool that has just been drained than a clean place to live. Smell is going to be a primary way to determine if you have mold in your apartment or not. In fact, many of the professional restoration services will trust their nose first and foremost when they walk into a new job simply because they have been around the mold so much, they know what it smells like straight away.
The next thing to look for is any discoloration on your walls or floor. You are looking for spots that either look like they currently have mold, which would show as black or brown or green spots, or it may just look like a bad water stain on the floor or wall. This is going to be the telltale sign that there had been significant water present in the past and mold could be hiding behind wherever you see the discoloration.
If there is mold behind the wall or ceiling and all they do is patch the hole, that mold is going to stay present in your apartment, continue to grow, and spread the spores airborne to other parts of your unit. Basically, just patching the weak or discolored spot isnt going to take care of the problem, you need to have them treat your apartment for mold.
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What Your Landlord Needs To Do
Your landlord may choose to hire a handyman or might clean it up on their own. Oftentimes, preventing further water from leaking or spilling, properly sealing barriers, and either removing, replacing, or bleaching the affected area will take care of the problem.
If there is mold growing on your personal property, you will have to talk to your landlord about that damage. Be prepared, though, that you may be responsible for replacing any personal items per your apartment rental agreement. If the item is expensive, you may send it a claim to your renters insurance company.
If there is black mold, your landlord will need to hire a professional mold removal service as it is extremely dangerous and must be handled in a specific way to prevent it from spreading.
Is It The Landlords Responsibility To Check For Mold
Do you have reason to think that your apartment has mold in it? If so, the first thing you want to do is tell your landlord. You want to do this so that the mold doesnt spread throughout the building any more than it already has. From there you can figure out a solution.
Many people are going to be wondering if the landlord is responsible for the testing and removal of the mold. Your landlord is first and foremost responsible to the tenant to providing them with a habitable rental property. This doesnt mean they are responsible for cleaning up the water damage that you caused while you were living there, but it does mean that they are responsible for making sure your apartment unit was good to go from the beginning of your stay. If it wasnt, they would be on the hook for testing and cleanup.
Lets look at a couple of different scenarios.
Say your landlord rented you your apartment and didnt realize there was mold growing in it. Either behind the walls or in the ceiling due to a leak in the apartment above the year before. In this case, the landlord would be responsible for taking care of the testing and removal of the mold.
More than likely, they would call in a professional restoration company that is experienced in mold and have them do some testing, then fumigation, then treatment of any and all areas that need it.
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Mold In Apartment Symptoms And What To Do Moldbuster
- Whether you own your apartment or rent one, there are a few steps you can take to prevent mold problems in your unit. First, make a point of repairing leaky fixtures, including pipes that run underneath sinks. If you’re a renter, that’s a job your landlord is responsible for
- These are produced by toxic strains of mold and can cause serious health problems. Symptoms include dizziness, headaches, short attention span, memory loss and trouble concentrating. As with the allergy symptoms caused by non-toxic molds, if your symptoms are worse in your apartment than other places that’s an indicator mold may be present
- Wear rubber cleaning gloves, protective goggles and a dust mask to protect yourself from spores, and stop if you develop nausea or headaches. Make sure the area is well ventilated post-cleanup, or the mold will return. Dealing with a larger mold problem, recurring mold, or a very damp apartment is best handled by a professional
- If you discover mold in your apartment, your first action should be to send a written notice to your landlord of the mold. It is important that the contact is in writing for documentation purposes. Your landlord has a duty to address the issue within a reasonable amount of time, however, remember that the landlord is responsible for structural.
How To Get Your Landlord To Fix A Mold Problem
This article was co-authored by Mike Kapur. Mike Kapur is a home inspector and the owner of Sonic Home Inspections, a home inspection company in Westchester, New York. With over 15 years of experience in pre-inspecting properties, Mike specializes in mold, radon, asbestos, lead, water, and air quality testing as well as hazardous materials, pest, infrared, and general home inspections. Prior to founding Sonic Home Inspections, Mike worked pre-inspecting apartments. Mike holds a BS in Accounting from Queens College and is a Certified Mold Assessor in the state of New York.There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 48,340 times.
Mold is a dangerous health hazard that can reduce your quality of life. If you find mold in your apartment, you should document the extent of the mold and ask your landlord to clean it up. Your landlord should also fix the underlying cause, such as a leaky roof or pipes. If your landlord won’t fix the problem, you should consider your options, which may include suing your landlord in court. Because lawsuits are complicated, you should probably consult with an attorney.
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Black Mold And Your Landlord’s Responsibilities
Landlords are required by law to provide proper living conditions for their tenants, free from health or safety hazards, often referred to as an “implied warranty of habitability.” The standard for habitability is generally defined as the minimum required by your local jurisdiction’s building code, which addresses the health and safety concerns of tenants. While certain minor problems such as drippy faucets are not considered crucial to habitability, toxic mold certainly is.
Since the landlord-tenant relationship is legally defined through contract , contractual provisions addressing things like plumbing or ventilation defects — which may contribute to mold growth — would be enforceable. So if the contract states that the landlord is responsible for promptly fixing all plumbing problems, but a leaky pipe eventually leads to black mold growth, failure to fix the problem could lead to a breach of contract lawsuit.
Mold Caused By Tenant Behavior
The liability picture changes when mold grows as the result of your own behavior, such as keeping the apartment tightly shut, creating high humidity, or failing to maintain necessary cleanliness. Tenants have some duties to maintain their rental unit, so when a tenant’s own negligence is the sole cause of injury, the landlord is not liable. To avoid causing any mold problems, practice good housekeeping, such as ventilating your apartment.
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Mold In Rentals: Landlord Liability Responsibility And
What Should You Do If You Discover Apartment Mold
If you find mold in your apartment, inform your landlord right away. Dealing with mold promptly limits the damage to your apartment and reduces the risk to your health. Let your landlord know where in the apartment youve seen mold and encourage him or her to come inspect the situation in person.
If your landlord doesnt address the mold problem in a timely manner, we suggest putting your request in writing. You can see a sample letter to a landlord requesting mold removal. If your landlord has not visited your apartment to view the mold, it may help to enclose a few photos.
Contact the nearest office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or your local health department to learn about the laws regarding mold and landlord/tenant responsibilities in your area. The local health department may be able to assist you in dealing with your landlord, as well.
The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development may be able to assist you, as well, particularly if you live in rent-subsidized housing or if you are a senior citizen or disabled. Here is a list of Local HUD Offices.
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Can Mold In Apartment Make You Sick
In some cases, mold in your home can make you sick, especially if you have allergies or asthma. Whether or not you re allergic to molds, mold exposure can irritate your eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs. Heres what you can do to combat mold problems, and take care of yourself and your home.
Can You Sue Your Landlord For Mold Issues
Yes, There are several circumstances under which you may be able to be compensated for mold.
You can sue your landlord for mold:
- If you notified your landlord that there is a water leak or that there is visible mold in the rental property, but your landlord has neglected to fix or remediate it
- If you have any uninsured/unreimbursed past and future medical expenses due to mold exposure
- If you have lost wages and will lose wages in the future due to your condition
- If youve 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.
The attorneys at Saffren & Weinberg focus on toxic mold lawsuits. We have successfully sued landlords for mold-related damages to tenants health and personal property, and we can help you get compensation for your health problems and property loss.
Give us a call to schedule your free consultation if youve suffered health or property damage due to mold. You are likely entitled to compensation.
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