Landlord Responsibilities for Mold Problems
Mold is a common problem in the wet, humid Louisiana climate. It can destroy your belongings, cause serious health problems, and give off an unpleasant odor. Mold shouldn’t be taken lightly because it’s more than a nuisance or a cosmetic problem; it’s a severe health hazard.
If you’re experiencing mold problems in your rented accommodation, it needs to be fixed before it wreaks havoc on your health and spreads throughout your home. Depending on your lease, level of damage, and the cause of the problem, your landlord might be responsible for fixing the damage. At Clear Restoration, we want to help keep you informed about landlord responsibilities for mold so you can take the right steps toward creating a healthy mold-free living space.
Check Your Lease for a Mold Clause
A lease is a binding legal contract between you and your landlord. You should always have a copy of your lease handy, but if you don’t, you may have to obtain a copy from your landlord. Search your lease for any language that mentions landlord responsibilities for mold. Some landlords include a mold clause in the lease that protects them from any liability resulting from mold in a unit.
If you find that your lease does include a mold clause relieving your landlord from liability, it is unlikely your landlord will pay to remedy the mold problem. However, in rare cases, courts have refused to enforce mold clauses, deeming them contrary to public policy.
Landlords are Responsible for Maintaining a Habitable Premise
Landlords are required by law to maintain a habitable premise. Because of this, the extent of the mold growth and the problems it has caused you are big factors in determining your landlord’s responsibilities for mold damage.
For instance, mold growth that is causing health issues for tenants can make a unit uninhabitable. An unsightly speck of mold that is not causing any immediate health issues to tenants does not make a premise uninhabitable. However, failure to stop the mold growth can result in a massive outbreak that could cause major health issues. Therefore, it is in the landlord’s best interest to tackle any mold growth head-on and stop it before it spirals out of control, causing costly repairs and serious health issues.
Mold exposure can cause the following health issues:
- Nasal and sinus congestion, runny nose
- Respiratory problems, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing, chest tightness
- Throat irritation
- Sneezing / Sneezing fits
- Fungal infections in immunocompromised individuals
Was the Mold Caused by Landlord Negligence or Tenant Behavior?
Your landlord’s responsibilities for mold damage repair may depend on the cause of the growth. Mold growth, at times, is caused by negligence on the landlord’s part. Landlords are required to maintain their rental properties. This includes fixing leaky roofs, broken windows, and leaky pipes. If damages like these are left unattended, then moisture can build up in the unit and result in a mold outbreak. In this case, you may be able to hold a landlord responsible if the mold outbreak has caused negative consequences, such as health problems or destroyed property.
However, if the mold is caused by a lack of cleanliness and upkeep on the tenant’s part, then the landlord is most likely not responsible for the damage. Potential actions on your part that could cause mold include not ventilating your apartment, allowing moisture to build up, and not cleaning properly. To avoid these problems, keep your unit dry, well ventilated, and clean.
If you’re experiencing mold problems, talk to your landlord immediately to try and establish a plan for remediation. Remind your landlord that neglecting the problem will lead to a larger mold infestation that will be more difficult and expensive to deal with. Make sure to make your landlord aware of any related health problems you may be experiencing, as well as any potential entryways for moisture, such as a leaky roof, broken window, or cracked pipe.
If you need an expert mold remediation company in Baton Rouge, call CLEAR Restoration. We have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to stop the mold in its tracks and repair your unit to its previous condition.