How to Tell Your Landlord About Mold

December 2, 2020 10:23 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Mold is a health hazard, and when you notice it forming in your rental property, you need to let your landlord know right away. Landlords have a responsibility to provide safe, habitable homes for their tenants, which means that mold problems in Portland, OR are usually their problem to fix.

If left unaddressed, mold can spread throughout your home, damage its structural integrity and cause numerous health problems like dizziness, nausea, fatigue, rashes and more. It’s crucial that you get the problem addressed right away. Here’s how to talk to your landlord about mold in Portland, OR.

Identifying mold

Mold grows where there’s moisture. For example, it’s commonly found in bathrooms without adequate ventilation, especially if you’re a fan of long showers. It can be black, brown, green or gray, shiny or powdery, smell awful or have no scent at all. It’s often found in hidden spots, such as in cabinets or in crawl spaces. If you see odd spots or stains forming in your rental, look for images of mold to see if you can identify it. Then call your landlord and let them know about the situation.

What caused the problem?

Most of the time, your landlord will be liable for fixing mold problems. For example, if the mold was caused by a leaky pipe, that’s their responsibility. If, however, you’re the cause of the mold—like not using functional ventilation in your bathroom, or keeping your home tightly closed at all times—you might be on the hook for repairs, depending on city and state laws.

Does your area have statutes regarding mold?

Check your local and state laws to see whether there’s any current legislation regarding rentals and mold infestations. Cities like New York and San Francisco have specific mold-related statutes, but many states and municipalities do not. You should also check your lease to see if there’s a mold clause included.

In the absence of specific statutes, mold often falls under a landlord’s duty to provide safe, habitable premises or the duty to make repairs (such as addressing leaky pipes). If your landlord is resistant to fixing the problem, you can usually withhold rent until the problem is solved. Check with your local tenants’ association for more guidance—they’ll be able to provide specific statutes or case law precedent that can help.

How to talk to your landlord about mold

Informing your landlord about a mold problem doesn’t have to be a scary ordeal (depending on your landlord, of course). First, let them know that you’ve spotted a potential mold problem. If there’s an obvious cause, like a burst pipe, let them know that too. Ask them how they’d like to handle it.

If they refuse to fix the problem, then you can move on to more serious measures, like contacting the tenants’ association for help. In extreme health-related cases, you can bring lawsuits against your landlord.

Knowing how to talk to your Portland, OR landlord about mold can be stressful and confusing, but the process of removing the mold doesn’t have to be. For mold remediation and abatement, call Active Mold Control LLC today.

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