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Old 11-27-2011, 10:04 AM
Status: "One of many World Reknown CD Sleuths" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Bel Air, California
23,794 posts, read 25,673,365 times
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Take lots of photos (time stamp them if possible), scrape 3 samples of the mold up and put them into separate garbage bags, move out of the house. One of those should be where your friend went through the ceiling to prove that that area was going to have to be replaced anyways.

Google an industrial/residential hygienist in your area and pay them to test your bulk samples as well as the air inside your apartment. Each could probably be done for about $100 and you will end up with a thick report that your lawyer will be able to smash your landlord over the head with.

Contact a renter's advocacy group for advice on what specific rights you are entitled to in your area. They may be able to offer a legal referral.

Don't worry about the ceiling damage.

this was the first one I found when googling for San Fran...

Services, DotsonGroup.com
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:43 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 64,842,387 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghengis View Post
... scrape 3 samples of the mold up and put them into separate garbage bags, move out of the house. One of those should be where your friend went through the ceiling to prove that that area was going to have to be replaced anyways.
GARBAGE BAGS? Surely you jest. A lab doesn't need a garbage bag full of mold to test it, no more than they need a month's worth of your poop to test it for worms when you apply for a state Health card to work in the food handling business!
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Central NJ
633 posts, read 1,835,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slaggyc View Post
We live outside of San Francisco. Our house is 750 square feet and we pay $1900 a month. He also owns a small apartment complex down the street and maybe more homes, but not sure of that. My roommate just called our landlord and asked if he could wait to have it cleaned so we could sample it. He said no, it's an emergency and he's coming in to clean it without 24 hour notice because of that. He said if we wanted to pay someone to test it later they would be able to still find mold after he cleaned it because they are good at that.

I think we are going to go stay at a friend's house about 45 minutes away just to be safe. We are nervous and not much we can do on a Sunday.

What is it you want? Sounds like he is trying to clean and respond to your request ASAP

Why are you nervous?

Do you feel sick or did you just read about mold?
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:27 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 64,842,387 times
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Originally Posted by new jersey mike View Post
Why are you nervous?

Do you feel sick or did you just read about mold?
I addressed that earlier in Post#9. The roommate going through the attic flooring through the ceiling below is one thing which I addressed at length. The mold issue is something different which I also addressed. You can lead a horse to water but ...
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,791 posts, read 44,935,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STT Resident View Post
I have no horse in this race but disagree for the reasons stated earlier. To clarify, if you rent a house which has attic access and there is no stipulation in the lease stating that you CANNOT access it for any reason, it is part of the leased premises. A landlord is required to maintain the structural integrity of his leased property. If a tenant goes up into the attic and falls through the floor and the house ceiling, this is a structural issue which is the LL's responsibility. If this is the case, the tenant is fortunate not to have fallen right through and sustained serious physical harm - and the LL likewise since the damages would be his responsibility.
This is not correct unless it is an attic room with a stair and handrails leading up to it, in which case building codes would require that the space be finished out with a floor and walls as a habitable room. Most attics are not designed to be occupied and building codes do not require that the attic structure and ceiling be designed to the same standards as a load bearing floor. The attic space is often provided with an access hatch solely for the purpose of getting to the mechanical duct work and electrical wiring for repair purposes. They are typically nothing more then the bottom chord of a roof truss with drywall attached to the bottom of the wood truss or joist. If you step on the drywall you will probably fall through the ceiling damaging it. In this instance the tenants are responsible for damaging the ceiling.

To the OP. Many stores such as Lowes and Home Depot sell mold test kits that can be used by a home owner or tenant and then mailed in for testing.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:36 PM
 
10,285 posts, read 23,053,553 times
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Originally Posted by CptnRn View Post
This is not correct unless it is an attic room with a stair and handrails leading up to it, in which case building codes would require that the space be finished out with a floor and walls as a habitable room. Most attics are not designed to be occupied and building codes do not require that the attic structure and ceiling be designed to the same standards as a load bearing floor. The attic space is often provided with an access hatch solely for the purpose of getting to the mechanical duct work and electrical wiring for repair purposes. They are typically nothing more then the bottom chord of a roof truss with drywall attached to the bottom of the wood truss or joist. If you step on the drywall you will probably fall through the ceiling damaging it. In this instance the tenants are responsible for damaging the ceiling.

To the OP. Many stores such as Lowes and Home Depot sell mold test kits that can be used by a home owner or tenant and then mailed in for testing.

this isn't correct either.

Here in Florida our attics are used as storage areas. There are pull down stairs ( usually there are stairs, but I've seen where you need to use a regular ladder) in either an inside hallway or the garage to gain access to the attic.

I've lived in Florida for over 30 yrs and have owned 4 homes in Florida. All with attics, none of them finsihed.

So, if this attic is used as a storage area, then the LL is responsible for the damage. Now, if the tenant just cut a hole in the ceiling to gain access, then yes, they are responsible.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
16,791 posts, read 44,935,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim in FL View Post
this isn't correct either.

Here in Florida our attics are used as storage areas. There are pull down stairs ( usually there are stairs, but I've seen where you need to use a regular ladder) in either an inside hallway or the garage to gain access to the attic.

I've lived in Florida for over 30 yrs and have owned 4 homes in Florida. All with attics, none of them finsihed.

So, if this attic is used as a storage area, then the LL is responsible for the damage. Now, if the tenant just cut a hole in the ceiling to gain access, then yes, they are responsible.
A pull down stair is nothing more then a fancy hatch which makes it easier to access the attic for maintenance purposes. Even with a pull down stair building codes do not require that attics have a floor surface to walk on. If the tenant went into an attic and walked on the ceiling surface and broke through it, they are still responsible for the damage.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:52 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
6 posts, read 19,109 times
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Thank you all again for your responses. My roommate and I are going to stay the night at our friend's house, although I may go back after tomorrow because it's hard to get to work. My roommate and I had both had allergies since living in the house, but hers have been worse. She said she's been tested for mold in the past (when she had bad allergies living in the central valley) and she is highly allergic. So, when she started having bad symptoms, she was suspicious. She has also read online that mold exposure can be very serious for infants so we've been nervous about that. Also, to answer another question from a previous response, there is a pull down ladder to access the attic. We have never been up there before and don't use it as storage. It's as some of you described- wooden beams and it must be drywall like you guys are saying.

I don't really want to move, but I don't want to live somewhere unsafe. I just want to feel confident that our landlord will handle this properly. I feel a bit distrustful since he would not respond to our earlier concerns we had emailed him over the last few months.
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:06 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
6 posts, read 19,109 times
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Also, I was able to email the photos of the attic to an environmental air quality specialist. He said, based on his opinion- but can't be sure without actually testing- the black appears to be lumber mold. The white may also be mold, but can't say. I had sent the attic pics before the multi-colored ones so he hasn't gotten back to me about those. Trying to decide if I should call the health department, but it seems like that would ruin relations with my landlord? What do health departments do?
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Old 11-27-2011, 06:30 PM
 
10,285 posts, read 23,053,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CptnRn View Post
A pull down stair is nothing more then a fancy hatch which makes it easier to access the attic for maintenance purposes. Even with a pull down stair building codes do not require that attics have a floor surface to walk on. If the tenant went into an attic and walked on the ceiling surface and broke through it, they are still responsible for the damage.

.......I've been in my attics many times and I never fell thru the ceiling and I didn't have a "finished" floor.

that door is there to access the attic for more than just maintenance...it's for storage as well.
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