The Landlord and Mold
Whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, mold is something that can cause major tension in your relationship because mold isn’t just an inconvenience – it can become a serious safety and health issue in addition to the financial headaches of coordinating and paying for a proper mold remediation service. So when it comes to the landlord and mold, here are some things that both tenants and landlords should consider as you navigate this potentially difficult process:
- FOR BOTH PARTIES. Before you initiate a conversation with the other party about mold, it might be helpful to verify that mold is indeed the problem, or the potential problem. For example, a water spill probably won’t end up leading to mold if it’s discovered right away and thoroughly dried and cleaned to prevent toxic spores from developing. Likewise, a nasty smell doesn’t necessarily mean mold. However, if you notice a musty smell and you can’t seem to find the source, or if you’ve noticed discolored spots on surfaces like walls, ceilings or floors, then it’s probably time to get an expert set of eyes on the situation to verify whether it’s mold. If the inspector confirms the presence of a moldy substance, then both sides should ideally work together to come to a mutual resolution that will keep the matter out of court. In the event of any disagreement about who should pay for what, then it’s best to consult an attorney to verify your state and local laws about who bears the ultimate responsibility for your particular situation. Generally speaking, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide a safe and clean environment at the time of the lease, and after that it’s the tenant’s responsibility to properly maintain a basic level of cleanliness, but if there is any finger-pointing at all, then your local laws should govern the conversation.
- FOR TENANTS. Before you sign a lease, make sure to inspect the rental property for any signs of water damage or other issues that might lead to mold or be indicators of current mold problems. It’s best to hold your landlord accountable in writing for any mold remediation that is required in order to protect yourself from later being accused of causing the mold. Take pictures and keep copies of any documentation to protect yourself throughout the process. If you’re already in the lease and mold has developed, or if there is any sort of water spill, leak or other water damage, then you should immediately notify your landlord of the problem. Take pictures and keep a log of both your actions and communications, as well as a record of your landlord’s responses. Ideally, you won’t have to contact an attorney and pursue legal action, but if it comes to that worst-case scenario, you’ll have evidence to bolster your case. This may be hard, but it’s usually best to not threaten legal action right away. Give your landlord a chance to fix the mold! Even if you don’t have an issue now, remember that the best policy as a tenant is to keep the property where you’re living and working in a clean, dry and healthy state by performing regular cleaning and maintenance.
- FOR LANDLORDS. From the outset of the lease, consider requiring your tenant to carry renter’s insurance so that if mold or water damage occurs, the tenant can make a claim to their insurer for any property that was damaged. If you’re already into the lease and a mold situation develops, then you may be responsible by law for fixing the problem, and you may not. Obviously, if your tenant’s negligence led to a mold breakout, then you’re justified in wanting to explore not having to pay for their failure to maintain the property in accordance with the lease. Consult your attorney for advice on what you are legally required to do, but take into consideration that in an ambiguous situation, it could be best to err on the side of fixing something for your tenant in order to avoid any legal battles while also preserving the reputation of your property rental business. Your brand is important, and while it can sting in the short term to pay to correct the problem, consider whether your tenant is going to be willing or able to hire the very best company to have the mold actually remediated properly. If you trust a substandard mold removal company with your property, you might be kicking the can down the road and have to pay for a mold remediation all over again later.
So whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, if you’ve discovered a spot in your rental property which could be mold and need a professional mold inspection service, contact your local AdvantaClean service provider today. Our mold removal specialists are equipped with the most advanced mold testing and mold remediation equipment. We’re also certified by the National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors (NORMI) which means we have the best training in the business. You deserve to live and work in the cleanest, safest and healthiest environments possible, so let us show you how it’s not truly clean until it’s AdvantaClean. Our teams are standing by to serve you now!
Call (877) 800-2382 for the best commercial mold removal with AdvantaClean today!
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