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Old 10-03-2012, 04:48 PM
 
1 posts, read 6,916 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello.

My friend and I just leased a great little apartment that we're both very happy with, aside from one thing.

My roommate has a lot of allergies, and shortly after moving in she started having allergy symptoms that got worse each day.

So we did a little investigating, and we found that one room (especially the closet inside said room) and a storage area smell strongly of mold.

There's no visible mold, however. We know the roof has leaked in the past (we're in the top floor of a 100+ year old house), and we suspect that the mold may be in the walls/ceiling.

We went out and got one of those little test kits they sell at the hardware store. We haven't mailed the results off for analysis to see what kind of mold it is, but the petri dish is full of mold now.

Our landlord, whom we haven't known for long, seems like a really nice guy. And that seems to be the reputation he has among the rest of his tenants.

But I know that mold behind the walls can be a nightmare for landlords. Even though he's a nice guy, I'd expect him to be reluctant to deal with the problem, given the potential cost involved.

At this point, my roommate is not able to occupy the apartment because of the allergic reactions she's having to it, so something must be done.

My understanding is that laws about mold vary from state to state, and even from township to township. I'm really unclear on how to proceed.

Do we have to pay out of our pocket for a mold expert to come over and test the apartment? Would we need consent to do so from the landlord if the mold expert needs to access behind the wall in the suspected area somehow?

Ideally, we'd like to work toward a solution with the landlord that isn't any bigger a pain in his rear than it has to be, and so that my roommate can begin living in the apartment she's helping pay for.

We'd really appreciate any advice anyone can offer, and any good resources we could be pointed to.

Thanks a lot in advance for your help.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:33 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 63,101,026 times
Reputation: 26597
Obviously the first thing is to have the mold you've collected tested. Not much you can do until you've completed that first step.

If you go to the first "sticky" on this forum you'll likely find a link to your state's landlord tenant laws which will fill you in on how to address these sorts of problems. One thing you do need to do is make sure you have everything in writing. It's great that you have a good relationship with your landlord but, even if you work with him on a verbal basis, at least follow up with a confirming email. It doesn't have to be stiff or "business-combative", just a brief summary of what's been agreed upon.

To answer your question, if your first test should prove positive for toxic mold (which is highly unlikely as these cases are very rare) then it's up to your LL to remedy the problem. It's more likely that your roommate is allergic simply to the type of mold and that might be a problem which will mean that you'll just have to leave. Under the circumstances and if a dehumidifier or a simple mold removal process doesn't solve her problem, your LL may allow you to break your lease without penalty if you help find him replacement tenants.

Hope it works out for you. Good luck!
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:16 AM
Status: "Retired" (set 11 days ago)
 
107 posts, read 172,892 times
Reputation: 84
Most likely, if you can smell it, it is around.

I would for now, assume that the landlord wants to keep their units in good condition and livable. Write a short letter (and keep a copy, dated) telling the landlord that you suspect mold, that your friend can't live there and asking if they can get someone in to inspect asap.

Depending on your landlord's response, depends on what the next step is.

Lawyers, Legal Forms, Law Books & Software, Free Legal Information - Nolo.com is a good source or your city/state
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