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Who Is Responsible for Black Mold in an Apartment?

Toxic molds can cause numerous health risks if left unattended in an apartment. It requires a joint effort from the tenant and landlord to curb this environmentally hazardous situation. However, landlords can leave tenants to carry on the slack alone once notified.

If you have a reason to believe that your apartment is contaminated with toxic black molds and has caused some health effects, you can sue your landlord to get compensated. First it’s a good idea to contact a mold restoration company and have them do a visual inspection and airborne mold test.

This article debunks who’s legally responsible when black molds in a rental apartment have injured you.


Are Black Molds Dangerous?

Black molds, also known as Stachybotrys Chartarums, can cause serious health problems when exposed to them for an extended period. The black molds thrive in dark places; therefore, they can grow unseen until it’s too late. When the apartment has leaky pipes or poor ventilation, it can foster mold growth.

A tenant living in an apartment with molds lurking and seeping in corners can experience health problems like mental impairment, chronic fatigue, nausea, respiratory issues, and internal damage.

Are Landlords Responsible for Black Molds?

Landlords are required by law to provide a safe place to live for tenants, which is stipulated in the implied warranty of hospitality. The general standard for hospitality is the minimum required by your local jurisdiction building code, which is usually more concerned about the safety and wellbeing of tenants. However, there are minor problems like dippy faucets that are not considered in hospitality, but black molds certainly are. Black mold removal can be inexpensive, or tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the damage and the need for professional remediation and mitigation service.

The landlord-tenant relationship is legally bound by a contract -the lease agreement. Therefore, contractual provisions like fixing plumbing and ventilation problems, which are a breeding ground for black mold growth, are pretty much enforceable. If the contract states that your landlord is responsible for fixing plumbing issues quickly, but he fails to do so on time, leading to the growth of black molds due to leaky pipes, then it’s a breach of contract on the part of the landlord for failing to fix defective pipes on time.


Black Molds in My Apartment

Once you discover you have black molds on your apartment, the first step is to contact your landlord, preferably in writing to have a record of it. The landlord is legally responsible for removing the mold, plus reimbursing you for any other cost incurred. Even if you didn’t suffer any health risks, your landlord is still liable as he failed to provide a mold-free environment, which violates the warranty of hospitality.

You can still claim damages after the landlord removes the molds in your apartment, but you may later realize that you’re having health problems due to the previous mold exposure. Moreover, landlords are known to refute tenant claims of black mold presence in a rental apartment. If you’re in such a scenario, you can easily pay for an inspection together with testing to show the presence of molds. Landlords who refuse to acknowledge mold presence usually open a can of worms as they may be susceptible to increased liability.

Sue Your Landlord for Black Molds

If the situation can’t be resolved out of court, you can sue your landlord. Depending on the gravity of the extent of the damage, your jurisdiction will limit the amount on the claim – with some being taken to small dispute courts. The cases that go on there have a limit claim of $3000-$10,000 but are regulated at the state level.

If you require more money than the state’s small claim limit due to extended illness, you must hire a personal injury attorney.

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