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Old 05-20-2009, 02:06 PM
 
24 posts, read 229,874 times
Reputation: 32

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our family(two children under 5 and hubby and i) moved into our current home last August. due to some extreme time restrictions we were not able to shop around much for a rental. we basically had to take this house or live in a hotel. when we moved in i could tell right away that the house had moisture issues. the bathroom ceiling was covered in mildew and the shower had to be re-chauked because it was black. there was water damage and mildew on the ceiling in two rooms and around the single pane windows.

the house was re-painted two days after we moved in and all signs of water damage covered up. since then i've noticed many more spots of mold/mildew/water damage. i suspect this house has a pretty severe problem. we had the land lord come out for our dishwasher and i showed him the odd spots on the ceiling in our kids room. he said he would have a contractor contact me to check it out. that was two weeks ago and haven't heard from anyone since.

today i went to rearrange my children room and lifted up a newly purchased mattress that was laying in the floor(for the 2 year old). i found mildew under the mattress in the wood floor. the closet in this room also has a awful odor in it. i suspect lots of moisture issues in this room and fear for my children's health.

i'm not sure how to do about this. i plan on mentioning the LL that i haven't heard from the contractor. i don't want to sound like a crazy, paranoid mother but i do want to get the point across that this issues are not normal and are a sign of a bigger issues. i really would like to find out what's wrong with the house ASAP so we can give our 30 notice not to renew our lease. any tips on how to calmly deal with LL about these issues? i'm in GA and renting through a broker with a major real estate company.
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:13 PM
 
26,704 posts, read 53,348,033 times
Reputation: 20706
Moisture is required for common mildew to thrive...

Eliminate the moisture and kill or remove the existing spores and 99% of the time the problem is cured.

Areas with high humidity are problematic and may require a dehumidifier.

How soon can you move? I'm not sure living there during construction is wise... especially if walls are opened. I take it the lease is through August?

Good idea to let the Landlord know you have not heard from the contractor... I would drop him a note.

Do you have a place to move to... maybe the owner will agree to an early move-out?
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara
1,474 posts, read 2,667,404 times
Reputation: 951
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Meg~ View Post
our family(two children under 5 and hubby and i) moved into our current home last August. due to some extreme time restrictions we were not able to shop around much for a rental. we basically had to take this house or live in a hotel. when we moved in i could tell right away that the house had moisture issues. the bathroom ceiling was covered in mildew and the shower had to be re-chauked because it was black. there was water damage and mildew on the ceiling in two rooms and around the single pane windows.

the house was re-painted two days after we moved in and all signs of water damage covered up. since then i've noticed many more spots of mold/mildew/water damage. i suspect this house has a pretty severe problem. we had the land lord come out for our dishwasher and i showed him the odd spots on the ceiling in our kids room. he said he would have a contractor contact me to check it out. that was two weeks ago and haven't heard from anyone since.

today i went to rearrange my children room and lifted up a newly purchased mattress that was laying in the floor(for the 2 year old). i found mildew under the mattress in the wood floor. the closet in this room also has a awful odor in it. i suspect lots of moisture issues in this room and fear for my children's health.

i'm not sure how to do about this. i plan on mentioning the LL that i haven't heard from the contractor. i don't want to sound like a crazy, paranoid mother but i do want to get the point across that this issues are not normal and are a sign of a bigger issues. i really would like to find out what's wrong with the house ASAP so we can give our 30 notice not to renew our lease. any tips on how to calmly deal with LL about these issues? i'm in GA and renting through a broker with a major real estate company.
You need to mention it to your landlord in writing (if you deal with a broker and the owner, give both a copy of the letter, send it certified/return receipt). If there is a mold problem that you can see, it is possible it is bad where it isn't visible (in the walls). It may be something that can just be cleaned. It also may be something that has to be handled by professionals with experience in mold remediation. But this isn't for you or your landlord to decide, it is for professionals.

I lived in an apartment that had a heinous mold issue. The landlord never fixed it. I lived there for far too long. Once I started having health issues this is what was looked at. After having the apartment tested (samples and air), it was found that the levels of the toxic mold were really high. The landlord never fixed it (just painted it over) and I moved out. Once I moved, many of my chronic health issues were better (immediately better).

People get freaked out by mold. Sometimes it isn't warranted and sometimes it is. Now that you see it and the landlord knows but hasn't done anything, make sure you notify them again in writing. There are laws protecting renters but you need to learn them, keep accurate records of all correspondence, and if you need to, move. I know, easier said then done.
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:27 PM
 
Location: 39 20' 59"N / 75 30' 53"W
16,085 posts, read 24,305,312 times
Reputation: 18029
I agree with the last post, they have to be notified in writing and mailed certified. If after 30 days you get no response, contact your local Code Enforcement, where they'll be given a certain time frame to remedy the issue. CE will follow up, in addition they'll be issued fines. If your want to break your lease, at that point you would certainly have good reason, but I cannot say for certain you wouldn't lose your security deposit. The house would be unrentable for them untill the mold issue is resolved.
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,742 posts, read 41,744,462 times
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Contact a professional environmental testing company to test the house for mold. You might be able to get assistance with this from your County Health Department. This will provide you with proof positive if there is or is not a problem. If there is then you will be entitled to break your lease because it is a health hazard.

I do NOT recommend you try to test for this yourself with some of the kits sold at Home Depot for the reasons described here.

http://www.forensica.com/fali/doc/mi...metestkits.pdf
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:16 PM
 
850 posts, read 4,313,523 times
Reputation: 685
Georgia is a "repair and deduct" state, so you hold all the cards. First, I'd give them a written letter, certified mail of all of the problems and a demand that they be evaluated within 7 days and repairs begun within 14 days. Notify him that if he does not provide that evaluation and repair, you are contacting code enforcement as well as an independent contractor to evaluate and repair and the costs of such will be deducted from your rent per GA Landlord Tenant law. (hang onto receipts and submit them with the discounted rent).

Mold is no joke and I don't think waiting another 30 days is healthy or reasonable in this situation. It needs to be taken care of immediately, especially if you have young children. I would also automatically go ahead and give my notice to move out at lease end anyway. It sounds like there are issues that could potentially re-occur. Why chance it. You have plenty of time to look for something more suitable. Good luck!
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,758 posts, read 12,573,863 times
Reputation: 2083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babytarheelz View Post
Georgia is a "repair and deduct" state, so you hold all the cards. First, I'd give them a written letter, certified mail of all of the problems and a demand that they be evaluated within 7 days and repairs begun within 14 days. Notify him that if he does not provide that evaluation and repair, you are contacting code enforcement as well as an independent contractor to evaluate and repair and the costs of such will be deducted from your rent per GA Landlord Tenant law. (hang onto receipts and submit them with the discounted rent).

Mold is no joke and I don't think waiting another 30 days is healthy or reasonable in this situation. It needs to be taken care of immediately, especially if you have young children. I would also automatically go ahead and give my notice to move out at lease end anyway. It sounds like there are issues that could potentially re-occur. Why chance it. You have plenty of time to look for something more suitable. Good luck!


Your children can be permanently affected by mold. You need to contact the health department in your county immediately. My children were exposed to the Straty, black mold and now, not only have MCS (multiple chemical sensitivity), they can not live in Florida due to mold in their surroundings outside of our home, which had to have the whole front of the house ripped out. This is a totally serious issue. My xhusband now has chronic fatifue due to the mold.

The easiest thing for you to do is go to Home Depot, get the mold kit which will grow spores in 24 hours and take it to the health department. You can then break your lease & get out. I wouldn't wait on this issue one more day.
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:00 PM
 
24 posts, read 229,874 times
Reputation: 32
thanks everyone. you've giving my some great advice. i sent another email off to the LL after i made the original post. the LL and contractor came out the next day. they walked through and didn't check the crawl space like i had hoped. i felt like they didn't take it seriously. the contractor is supposed to come back in the next few days to repaint the bathroom ceiling with a mildicide paint and possibility paint the bedroom ceiling. i'm not happy about this. i need to know what going on in the ceiling.

our lease is up at the end of July so i have about 6 weeks before i need to give notice. we don't have much savings and it's going to be hard to come up with deposit and rent if we have to move. i've got the health dept. site bookmarked and i think i'm going to ask for an inspection for my own peace of mind. for all i know it could be nothing but i'd like to know either way. i hate the feeling like i'll be burning bridges with the LL. he's been very pleasant and patient with us so far. i'll update if anything comes of this.
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:27 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 13,050,583 times
Reputation: 3435
Here is a little advice.
Your LL as nice as he seems is not fulfilling the landlord/tenant contract. As is mentioned, you need a paper trail to request maintenance. Read your lease carefully to make sure you are following it in regards to this matter. I would venture that he knows the problem and is possibly trying a quick fix since your lease is up in a few months. This type of renovation is best done in an unoccupied property. Anyone knows that you can not paint over mold. Prep must be done. I would not waste time testing, health dept, ect. Just calmly explain in a letter that you really have enjoyed your tenancy but you know that there are ongoing issues and you would appreciate him considering an early release from your agreement with deposits returned. He just might suprise you and say yes.
Better to save bigger guns for later if needed. Good Luck.
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:29 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 13,050,583 times
Reputation: 3435
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Moisture is required for common mildew to thrive...

Eliminate the moisture and kill or remove the existing spores and 99% of the time the problem is cured.

Areas with high humidity are problematic and may require a dehumidifier.

How soon can you move? I'm not sure living there during construction is wise... especially if walls are opened. I take it the lease is through August?

Good idea to let the Landlord know you have not heard from the contractor... I would drop him a note.

Do you have a place to move to... maybe the owner will agree to an early move-out?
Ultra you always give good advice! I should have read all of your post, did not mean to steal your thunder
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