Mold is one of the main things on the mind of a renter when searching for an apartment. What happens if you move into an apartment after signing a lease, only to find out that your new living space has a mold problem? You can’t break the lease without a penalty but you also can’t live in an environment that’s going to make you sick. Is your landlord responsible for the mold problem? What are the real risks associated with mold?
Do I Have Mold?
Mold can be a lot of different colors and shapes, so it’s not always easy to tell if what you’re looking at is, in fact, mold. Most people think of green mold, but mold can also be gray, white or black. Some types of mold are shiny while others are powdery. Certain types of mold have a strong smell while others are barely noticeable. The best way to figure out if what you have is mold is to have a professional look at it and test it.
Where Does Mold Grow?
Mold commonly grows in areas that are water-soaked. This includes the panels on your walls, fabric, paint and tiles. Mold can also grow on cardboard boxes and newspapers, which means you could have a mold problem in your home’s storage area. People who live in areas of the world that are humid for most of the year are prone to having mold in their home. However, mold can grow in dry climates, too, if moisture is there.
How Mold Affects Your Health
While there’s a lot of debate in the medical and scientific worlds about mold and just how hazardous it is to your health, people who have had a reaction to mold know that it can become a serious problem.
Signs and symptoms of health problems due to mold exposure vary greatly from person to person. Everything from minor allergic reactions to serious illnesses, like cancer, may be due to mold. People who are the most sensitive to mold are ones with asthma or other lung conditions, problems with their immune system or pre-existing diseases or illnesses.
It’s important to note that not every type of mold is toxic. For example, the mold that you may find in your bathroom on the tiles isn’t going to be detrimental to your health.
Responsibilities of Your Landlord
Unfortunately, the landlord’s responsibility regarding mold isn’t always clearly outlined in your building’s code, ordinances, regulations or even state laws. While there aren’t any federal laws concerning landlords and mold, some cities and states have laws addressing the issue. In some areas, like big cities, landlords have to keep indoor air quality high, which includes ridding the apartment of mold. In other cities, mold is actually a nuisance in the legal sense, which makes landlords responsible for it. Your best bet is to have an expert thoroughly check an apartment before you sign a lease. Also, make sure that you know what your landlord will take responsibility for and get all negotiations in writing.
Christopher Steven is an avid blogger and is passionate about encouraging safety for all communities while working with the Gorospe & Smith Tulsa Personal Injury Lawyer Firm to educate and promote safety and accident prevention.
Photos By- carlpenergy