Dealing With Mold in Your Rental House – Understanding Your Responsibility
Mold is a health and environmental threat that might lead tenants to be concerned. Tenants around the state have earned multimillion-dollar lawsuits against landlords for major health problems triggered by harmful molds in their house, including chronic tiredness, rashes, nausea, bleeding, cognitive impairments, and asthma.
Mold, which is frequently caused by moisture, is a major problem that can endanger your health and cause damage to the house you live in. If you see mold or moisture in your rental property, you must move quickly to address it. If you would not, it will just get worse, causing additional harm and maybe making you extremely ill.
Mold in Maryland’s Climate
Mold is available in a variety of colors and forms. These antagonists of our happy home stories can show up as white, black, grey, or green one to annoy us. Some are dusty, while others are a bit sticky and shiny. Some molds appear and smell repulsive; others are scarcely visible, hiding within walls, underneath ceilings and floors, or areas that you cannot or usually do not reach to clean, such as attics and basements.
Mold frequently develops on wet materials like wall paneling, paint, fabric, ceiling, newspapers, or cartons. Humidity creates ideal circumstances for mold growth. Houses in Maryland’s naturally humid climates have had higher mold problems than dwellings in dry areas. Mold, however, may thrive in any environment as long as moisture is there.
Mold in Rental House
Learn what and how to check for if you suspect mold in your rental house and when the landlord can be held accountable:
1. Tell Your Landlord
There are multiple signs which later become the reason for mold growth. These signs include blocked or damaged gutters, water leakage, faulty roofs, cracks in the walls, increased humidity levels, plumbing issues, etc.
As mentioned above, any of these reasons are your landlord’s responsibility to remediate, and if you detect any of these, you should report them as quickly as possible. The landlord, just like you, doesn’t want the house to suffer from wet; therefore, they’ll be glad if you notify them as soon as possible.
Do remember that damaged and broken gutters are the responsibility of your landlord. On the other hand, you can fix blocked gutters immediately by getting help from a local window cleaner. Although you will have to pay a little extra fee, they will not refuse to clean the leaves blocking the gutter. They are already up the ladder; why not help you a little more?
2. Talk About the Expenses
Building rules, ordinances, legislation, and policies, with a few exemptions, do not specifically define landlord obligations regarding mold in a rental house. As a result, it is best to verify with your landlord regarding the legality before renting the residence. Check with your landlord or property agent to see if they’re willing to cover this expense. Your leasing agreement may state that you are liable for this, and if not, they should cover the expense. Even if your city or state lacks particular mold legislation, your landlord may still be responsible for a mold problem in your rental due to landlords’ responsibilities to provide hygienic, livable, and safe housing.
3. What if the Landlord Refuses/Delays/Fails to Fix the Issue
Based on the circumstances, state law may allow you to withhold rent if your landlord refuses, delays, or fails to repair your major mold problem. You can also file a lawsuit against the landlord regarding your mold-related health concerns. Landlords are responsible in all states except Arkansas to keep suitable and livable housing and fix rental houses, including addressing leaking windows, pipes, and roofs, which are the root causes of mold growth. If the landlord fails to repair leaks and mold grows as a consequence, you may be able to hold the landlord liable if you can convince a court or jury that the mold created a health condition.
4. Mold Remediation Laws for Landlords
Some landlords put language in their leases that pretend to release them from any liability caused by mold development. A wise landlord would attempt to avoid the conditions that encourage mold growth, and renters should collaborate with the landlord for mold remediation. This method necessitates the preservation of the property’s structural integrity, which is the landlord’s responsibility.
At least the Tennessee court has declined to execute such kinds of clauses, citing public policy concerns. It is a huge possibility that more cases of mold-related concerns will emerge as more people will become aware of the court laws. For the same reasons, some states compel landlords to communicate all the mold-related information to the renters before finalizing the deal.
5. What if the Tenant Is Responsible for Mold Growth?
It completely shifts the liability picture when mold forms due to your actions, such as having the house firmly closed, causing excessive humidity, or failure to keep sufficient cleanliness. Tenants are responsible for maintaining their rental apartment, and thus where a tenant’s carelessness is the primary cause of damage, we cannot hold the landlord accountable. Practice proper cleaning, such as ventilation in your unit, to avoid generating mold problems. So it would be best to prevent any situation that states you are guilty.
Keeping these laws and preventions in mind will help you stay alert while making the deal, handling the mold remediation issue with your landlord, and saving yourself in the entire situation. If you detect any mold growth in your house, do not take it lightly or treat it yourself, as it can be very dangerous. Call 911 Restoration of Central Maryland for mold remediation. Our experts will conceal the area to limit the mold and remove it right away, leaving your home all safe!