There are two sides to mold remediation in a rental, and they are the tenant and the property owner/landlord. Both parties can be responsible for a mold outbreak, so it is very important to work together on the mold removal process.
Communication is Key
When you notice mold is a problem in your rental, whether it is residential or commercial, you should let your landlord know right away. This is the first step in the communication process unless the mold infestation is very small and you can handle it yourself. This means you can identify why the mold infestation happened and safely remove the mold from the building.
The EPA recommends hiring a professional for larger mold infestations, which is why it is important to communicate mold removal efforts to your landlord. They may or may not be responsible, but that communication is key to getting it resolved without any tenancy problems.
If you or anyone regularly in the structure are suffering health consequences due to mold, this needs to be addressed first. You should not reside in the home until the mold is removed unless that part of the building can be sealed.
Health consequences of mold typically present as respiratory issues with allergy symptoms. They can range from mild to severe, and people have been hospitalized due to mold exposure. Death is rare for mold infestations, but it does happen. This is not meant to scare anyone but instead to appreciate how dangerous mold can be if not removed.
If the rental is your primary residence, it may be necessary to rent a hotel room. It is possible that your landlord may have an alternative rental for you to inhabit temporarily. Especially if the landlord is liable for damage, he or she may be willing to pay for the temporary housing.
Determine the Cause
After you ensure that everyone in the building is safe from the risk of mold complications, the tenant or landlord must determine the cause of the mold. Mold needs moisture, warmth, and air stagnancy in order to thrive. It is typically moisture and poor ventilation that fix this.
Cracks in the foundation or building/maintenance issues may fall on the fault of the property owner. However, tenants are typically responsible for damages if they failed to reasonably report the mold or failed to reasonably maintain the property. Mold does not automatically mean the landlord is liable, so the cause must be determined before further courses of action can be taken.
Communication May Prevent Lawsuits
There are many ways that landlords can protect themselves from mold lawsuits such as setting up insurance coverage and requiring periodic mold inspections for early detection. Still, some mold infestations end up in the courts. This is why communication is the key to a successful mold solution. If done properly and fairly, both parties can recover from their damages with very little harm.