Mold in the home can cause respiratory issues in sensitive individuals, especially when a person suffers from a mold allergy. When it comes to mold in rental properties, there is often confusion as to whose responsibility it is to address the matter. The fact is, both tenants and landlords are obligated to perform mold cleanup depending on the specific situation. Landlordology.com offers the following explanation.
There are two types of mold that are associated with more serious health effects. Mold from the Aspergillus family thrives in damp, dark environments, such as basements and inside walls. Due to its light texture, it can very easily be dispersed around the home and breathed in by the inhabitants. Toxic black mold, which is formally known as Stachybotrys chartarum, grows in the same conditions as Aspergillus. Both types are known to cause a range of symptoms, including headaches, worsening asthma, and airway irritation.
The cause of mold growth usually determines who is responsible for cleanup. For example, if a tenant complains about a leaking roof and it remains unaddressed, the subsequent water damage and mold growth could be his responsibility. The same can be said of mold caused by leaking pipes or water seepage through the walls. In cases where the landlord bears responsibility, a tenant could reasonably file a lawsuit if the problem isn’t taken care of and health issues occur as a result.
There are also situations where the tenant would be considered responsible for mold growth. Mold on bathroom tile is one example since it’s up to the tenant to ensure the home is kept clean. Mold caused by wet laundry is another tenant-centered issue, which means the landlord couldn’t be held responsible for any resulting damage. Not all situations are this cut and dry, however, which is why tenants are encouraged to consult with an attorney if they believe their landlords aren’t fulfilling their half of the rental contract.