Approximately twice per month, I receive a call from a tenant informing me of mold in the home or apartment they are renting.
My first question is always the same – have you told the landlord?
The majority of the time the answer is in the affirmative.
The next question I ask – what did the landlord say or do?
The answers are always mixed. Therefore I am letting you know the options I recommend.
Pursue the landlord with clear statements such as:
- I see black mold in such and such location(s).
- I see moisture stains in such and such location(s).
- I see a water leak(s) in such and such location.
If the landlord is unresponsive, then at that point I recommend you contact the local Department of Health.
Many times a call to them will start the ball rolling with the landlord. The last thing a landlord wants is a government agency involved in their rental property(s). This is bad for business and therefore they might respond.
Please refer to the links below for Departments of Health in both the State of Idaho and State of Washington.
You will note that the State of Idaho specifically states they will not be involved in landlord tenant disputes. Then they provide links for legal advice for incidents of this nature.
The State of Washington does address the mold issue directly and spells out what the tenant must say to get action from their agency. Read the details in the link above and follow the procedures prescribed.
If all else fails, then I will be happy to perform the necessary inspections and testing needed to confirm if a mold problem does exist. Once a problem is identified, I will provide a letter that makes clear:
- the extent of the mold problem,
- the source of the mold problem,
- and the corrective actions needed by the landlord.
To date, every letter of this nature has had immediate response by the landlord.
Remember this is an expensive process, but your health is worth the expense.
Finally, although some readers of this site might think it is strange that I believe every tenant should exercise due diligence to prevent a mold event, I can tell you that many of the mold problems I have seen in rental properties were created by the tenant.
If there is a water leak of any nature, it must be immediately be reported to the landlord. A little water goes a long way in creating a mold event.
Also, if a family member does you the “favor” of renting you their moldy home, trailer home, apartment, etc, by all means decline the “favor”.
This exact event occurred recently and the tenant and his pets were very sick on the day I inspected the mold infested property.
If you have questions about mold, please feel free to use the general contact form on the home page of our website.
If you would like to schedule an appointment for a professional mold inspection please complete our appointment form and we’ll respond quickly to ask any questions and schedule a time and date.