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Old 11-22-2010, 06:26 PM
 
1 posts, read 9,775 times
Reputation: 13
Default Mold in rental apt

I live in a rental apt that has mold. Complained repeatedly -- still nothing from management - Do I have any legal recourse?
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
6,456 posts, read 7,009,251 times
Reputation: 2629
Do you have a lease or are you month to month? If you are month to month I would give notice, state that you believe that there is mold and that is why you are moving.
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Old 11-25-2010, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
1,657 posts, read 2,544,024 times
Reputation: 838
Micheal:

I presume you have Googled: Landlord and tenant relations and complaints, Portland OR

Here is a page from Oregon State Bar Association on Landlord Tenant relationships:
Landlord and Tenant Law

I presume also the mold you speak of is not in the Bathroom, which has naturally expected high humidity and would thus come under your (renter's) obligation for cleaning.

I hope you understand that the question you have asked is more of a legal question, which while we may offer sympathy, most of us are unqualified to offer you specific advise; well except to move to another place. We here are can only offer our personal unqualified advise; we ain't lawyers.

I do hope you can solve this issue. Mold means moisture, which may mean something is leaking like a roof, or the plumbing from an upstairs bath or kitchen. None of which is a cheap repair. And if your place is newer construction, it may be the drywall itself (imported for China drywall has a long list of Google hits) and still the replacement of the drywall (only known solution) is still not inexpensive for the landlord to willingly agree to do.

Phil
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:00 AM
 
Location: Beaverton
640 posts, read 898,304 times
Reputation: 385
Mold grows easily in the PNW. We just moved here a month ago and the landlord even had us sign something stating that the apartment is currently free of mold and any mold that occurs henceforth is not their problem. (unfortunately, I can smell the mold from under the bathroom sinks -- but when you just drove into town with a u-haul you pretty much sign whatever)

We run the bathroom fans for about half an hour after we take a shower and keep the cupboard doors open. Wipe everything out with a mild bleach solution every once in a while. Air circulation is the key. Unless you can prove that the mold was there before you moved in you are probably going to get blamed for it (assuming this is bathroom mold).

Try cleaning it off with bleach if it's not too horrible and then keep your apartment aired out as much as possible and run your fans.
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Old 11-26-2010, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Cleveland Heights OH
13,323 posts, read 9,652,579 times
Reputation: 12604
I had this happen to me. It was in the walls and someone said something about "dry rot."

If your landlord is willing to take care of it, and he should, there are things he can do. Unfortunately mine wasn't. I finally gave up and moved after being there only for three months. It wasn't worth fighting the landlord about.
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:07 PM
 
5 posts, read 12,624 times
Reputation: 10
mold is a habitability issue covered under Oregon Landlord/Tenant law. You can't be a pig and cause it. But if your neighbors are at fault, or if the building has deferred maintenance leading to a moisture problem, then the property owner is responsible. You can get mold test kits at H. Depot to tell you what kind of mold you have. Some mold is toxic, some not; some you can cause, some come only with longterm neglect. The key is document everything, including efforts to mitigate. Take pictures. A good landlord will want to take care of it, because it means cheaper maintenance down the line. A bad landlord will retaliate. Luckily for you, retaliation is illegal. DOCUMENT. EVERYTHING. Then be sweet and innocent when you share with landlord. H/er response will tell you whether to stick it out or run for the hills. FYI: Mold is also a big problem in the desert southwest. Go figure.
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:29 PM
 
474 posts, read 730,490 times
Reputation: 253
Tweetmenot is right. Mold can be either from a leakage or from lack of air circulation. We provide a move-in checklist for all of our new tenants. We don't get mold problems because we do a thorough cleaning of each apartment once they're vacated. If a tenant keeps a lot of rags, papers, etc... under their kitchen sink by the plumbing, that can encourage molds.
There are also some great products on the market for getting rid of molds.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:44 AM
 
2 posts, read 11,105 times
Reputation: 12
Default Mold Abatement

The test at H. Depot does not tell what kind of mold you may have just that it is some kind of microbial growth. Your best bet is to call a Idustrial Hygenist to properly test for mold. Only then will you know what kind it is a how to remediate it. <a rel="dofollow" href="[url=http://www.premier-stl.com/]Providing Water and Fire damage restoration, mold removal, and Storm related Emergency Services[/url]">Contact a Mold remediation Contractor</a>

Last edited by cjroth; 12-27-2010 at 08:09 AM..
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:10 AM
 
96 posts, read 24,500 times
Reputation: 25
why is the mold a problem in Portland? Is that due to the rain?
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
6,456 posts, read 7,009,251 times
Reputation: 2629
IMHO mold has become an issue in housing in general as the result of sealing up buildings in the name of energy conservation. The building code did not catch up to the fact that homes sweat from the inside as the result of bathing, food preparation and dish washing, even respiration in the bedrooms. Until recently the underlayment between the sheathing and siding did not breathe. This is an issue all over the US with homes constructed since the late 70s.

The solution is effective mechanical ventilation from the rooms that contribute significantly: kitchen and bathrooms. If you can leave the bathroom doors open when not in use and turn that fan on periodically to ventilate the bedrooms. Make sure that the vents are free of obstructions. Phil has a dehumidifier but he is a rarity (at many levels ).

Most residential kitchen and bathroom ventilation fans are appropriately sized (assuming that they are still working as designed) but if mold is appearing consult a mechanical engineer as they have the skills to calculate what you need. More is not necessarily better as you do not want them to suck air to the extent that it pulls outside air through the walls.

The other source of mold is water coming in from the outside (the building envelope). There are two common causes: builders cheating on the underlayment selection/installation - husband has even seen them scoot a piece along as they apply siding; poor flashing of windows and doors - caulking does not substitute and it lasts only a couple years at best.
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