Tenant Rights with Mold?

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By an edhat reader

I'm renting an apartment downtown and recently discovered black mold in the bathroom. The landlord is supposed to be fixing it but in the meantime, I've been trying not to stay in my apartment. The landlord has not offered to house me anywhere else. What are my rights in this situation?

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Jeanmiller Aug 30, 2019 11:25 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Many homeowners mostly avoid destruction as due to continuously happening storms like disasters and to renovate a home on a regular basis. Fixing the water damage problem is one of the most important things as if you avoid it for more days it will eventually lead to issues like mold and rot. If you are faced with this type of property damages like water damages, Flood damages, Wind damages or many more. You should first talk with the administrator who will track the number of an insurance company will contact them for the further process. If it was an earthquake damage, then it comes under the government property and should get handled by them only, but if your house roof has got damaged then your home insurance company should cover this damage. Remember a few days ago one of my friends faced wind damage in Los Angeles and this caused the rooftop got damaged fully. He already had an insurance agreement for such disaster and without wasting any time snapped photos contacted to the insurance company for policy claim. But due to some issues in the agreement paper insurance company was denying the policy and thus he had to call public adjusters like https://www.alliancepublicadjusters.com/public-adjuster-anaheim for taking the process ahead. Public adjusters collected all the papers and talked to the insurance company on my friend's behalf, he finally got the maximum coverage amount of the damage.

a-1571790724 Jul 11, 2019 06:57 AM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

If you haven't lived there long, then you are not going to get much besides your prorated rent for the month and likely your security deposit in full. Instead of wasting time here, get crackin on finding an inhabitable place - and renter's insurance.

a-1571790724 Jul 11, 2019 06:56 AM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

A lawyer? For what! You need a moving company. Best to spend your money there, rather than a lawyer. If its uninhabitable you have to leave, period. Why don't you have renter's insurance, to mitigate your risk? A court will ask you that. If you are prepaid through the end of the month, you will get back your prorated rent but that is it. OP - between not having renter's insurance, and seemingly unable to perform Google searches, you seem to be someone who leans/relies on others then sues them for money. Your LL is probably relieved.

a-1571790724 Jul 10, 2019 01:58 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

OP HERE - Landlord just confirmed the apt is "uninhabitable" and I have to move all of my things out by 7/24. Any advice on how to proceed? Do I need a lawyer?

a-1571790724 Jul 11, 2019 01:11 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

A 14-day notice to quit is perfectly legal in certain circumstances, but is usually used against a tenant who has breached the lease in some way (not paid rent, etc). I would definitely get some legal advice on this, especially if you did nothing wrong.

PitMix Jul 11, 2019 01:08 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

The law gives you the right to leave if the dwelling is uninhabitable. If you incur unreasonable costs because you have to leave right away for your health, you can probably get some back in small claims court. I cannot find anything that says your landlord can give you a 2 wk notice to force you out. If you did leave in 2 wks I think you can sue him in small claims for breach of contract. At minimum they would have to give you a 30 days notice. The experts advise that you treat this moveout like any other, clean the place so that it shows well in pictures, and then take plenty of pictures and videos of the place and mold. Document all of your communications in writing and keep copies. You should definitely get all of your security deposit if you haven't damaged the place.

a-1571790724 Jul 10, 2019 02:21 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

I haven't lived there very long at all. It seems to have been there for quite a long time.

a-1571790724 Jul 10, 2019 02:03 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

OP - was the mold caused by the landlord's failure to address a situation (such as a leak)? If it wasn't caused by any failure/neglect on his/her part, you may have to leave since they've given you 2 week notice. Check out the Legal Resource Center at the SB Courthouse. They should be able to help you.

PitMix Jul 10, 2019 08:41 AM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

7 Downvotes on the result of a Google Search, can anyone explain that? "Googled California Tenant Rights Mold - Your rental home should be safe and habitable. In California, if you report mold issues to your landlord and they do not make efforts to repair the mold, you may have the right to: Withhold paying rent until the mold is properly repaired or remediated by your landlord; Apply one month’s of rent towards hiring a repair person to fix the mold and damp conditions that cause the mold to grow; Report the mold to health code officials; and File a lawsuit against the landlord for damages. "

oceandrew Jul 10, 2019 09:36 AM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Saying it again doesn't make it right. Shouting it wouldn't have helped either. With minimal information you assumed the worst and suggested the most aggressive response possible. Generally, over sensationalizing sets people up to make costly mistakes and misinformation can get people killed. You're a "hothead" and often display a shoot first ask questions later disposition. That is why I was tempted to give your comment a downvote (but didn't) or agreed with the downvotes you got.

a-1571790724 Jul 10, 2019 09:03 AM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Because Google searches are not always correct - what is the source of this? Is it a knowledgeable and trusted source? Or just someone's opinion. That's why it's downvoted. There's enough misleading, wrong and bad information out there let's not add to the delusion confusion.

a-1571790724 Jul 09, 2019 02:33 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

I love how the first question is "what are my rights" as in, how can I get someone to pay for this. Instead of, how can I take care of myself without being a burden on others (especially if you caused it b/c of nonhygenic habits). Ever heard of renter's insurance? They will pay to house you in these situations. OP - what was the cause of the mold? You, or your LL?

sea dog Jul 09, 2019 11:44 AM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

You can get a simple mold test kit at a hardware store for $10. it is just a plastic container with a medium mold can grow on. They want you to send in what grows to be analyzed, but black mold is easy to spot - It looks black and scary !

Flicka Jul 09, 2019 08:57 AM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Big difference between black mold and mildew, both look the same. Black mold is toxic, mildew a pain in the neck but easy to clean up. What you have should be tested.

sea dog Jul 09, 2019 08:35 AM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

I became black mold sensitive in SB when my neighbor in my mobile home park let their floors rot out and give me VFIB. Don't use bleach to clean mold as it will come back if black mold. Use Home Armor or RMR-86 Mold and Mildew stain remover. if you do get sick from black mold (only 25% of people do) you will not be able to clean the place that made you sick well enough to live there. Mold releases a chemical that gives mold sensitive people problems. It is invisible and has a half life of around 25 years and can't be cleaned off many surfaces. Take black mold serious as I had to move out of town to find a more mold free environment.

a-1571790724 Jul 08, 2019 10:03 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

First off: how much do you value your health? You really should just get the Hell out of there. Black mold can cause you health problems you don't even want to know about. If you're determined to stay in place, do not go the bleach route. Inhaling that stuff is really bad for you. Use white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Both work really well when combating black mold/mildew.

therealbebe Jul 08, 2019 08:40 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

If you want your landlord to pay for accommodations, you need to prove that this is indeed "black mold" that is pervasive and toxic - not just mildew or mold that looks black, which is a result of your not cleaning or ventilating thoroughly. You will also need to prove that it is making you ill. Be sure what you are dealing with, before you accuse your landlord of negligence and manage to get yourself evicted. A little elbow grease goes a long way.

Factotum Jul 08, 2019 06:14 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Difference between mold and mildew: Mildew can be described as a specific type of mold. Mold is a fungus that contains multiple identical nuclei and grows in the form of black or green patches which penetrate beneath the surface of the affected material. Mildew, on the other hand, has flat growth that remains on the surface where it can be easily removed. While mold usually grows on food or inside permanent structures, such as walls and crawl spaces, mildew is to be found on damp surfaces, paper, fabrics, and various organic materials in your home.

a-1571790724 Jul 08, 2019 05:36 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Yea, black mold (mildew that looks black) usually can be cleaned with a little bleach and is usually a housekeeping issue. Just found a big patch in one of our bathrooms because some people weren't opening the window after showering. Easy enough to take care of on our own without involving the landlord. Hard to find good rentals in this town, don't take it for granted, clean the stinkin bathroom ceiling once in a while!

a-1571790724 Jul 09, 2019 09:16 AM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Sounded like the OP is looking for a way to get her landlord to pay for her to move. She’s an example of the reason I stopped renting units choosing to leave them vacant. How to determine the reasonable, responsible tenant applicant is a skill-set.

a-1571790724 Jul 09, 2019 06:09 AM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

It wasn't truly mold, it was mildew and wiped off easily. The OP should have tried to wipe it off before pitching a fit! Google things before you decide a problem is worse than it is and creating drama with your landlord.

MountainMan4865 Jul 08, 2019 07:50 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Bleach isn't effective in getting rid of mold. https://www.rhinohide.com/blog/never-use-bleach-to-clean-mold "Bleach labels will warn you that chlorine bleach will only be effective on a “hard, non-porous surface.’’ This basically means that chlorine bleach is not made to “soak in.” Therefore, its disinfecting properties are limited to a hard surface like tile or glass"

SantaBarbaraObserver Jul 08, 2019 04:05 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Order a Stachybotrys test kit online and if its positive, move out immediately. You and you alone are responsible for your health and well being. But know that a large number of homes and apartments in SB have Stachybotrys present. Mold thrives in the high humidity and moderate temps of coastal SoCal and is very likely present in any older building in town. If you live on the Mesa or in Summerland or Carp, get your home tested. Chances are its in your home too.

a-1571790724 Jul 08, 2019 03:47 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Mold or mildew? Just a little in the crook of the wall and shower pan/tub or a couple of sq. yds or more of wall surface? Yes, size matters. You could easily have caused this yourself so go easy on holding your landlord and others responsible. I hope for everyone's sake it's minor and easily abated with future conscious maintenance to prevent further outbreaks. Good luck.

OAITW Jul 08, 2019 03:34 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Black mold is what happens when you don’t clean your bathroom.

MountainMan4865 Jul 08, 2019 07:52 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Or if a window or plumbing is leaking into the walls and soaking the drywall or flooring from inside, unseen.

Factotum Jul 08, 2019 03:07 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Big difference between mildew and mold. Be sure you know which one you are dealing with first.

PitMix Jul 08, 2019 02:12 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Googled California Tenant Rights Mold - Your rental home should be safe and habitable. In California, if you report mold issues to your landlord and they do not make efforts to repair the mold, you may have the right to: Withhold paying rent until the mold is properly repaired or remediated by your landlord; Apply one month’s of rent towards hiring a repair person to fix the mold and damp conditions that cause the mold to grow; Report the mold to health code officials; and File a lawsuit against the landlord for damages.

a-1571790724 Jul 08, 2019 05:10 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

VERY key word here: you ***may*** have the right. If you go this route, prepare to have your landlord refuse to renew your lease or file for your eviction.

a-1571790724 Jul 08, 2019 02:10 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Light mold is very common due to humidity and not a huge concern. CHANNELFOG has your solution, combine that with maintaining air flow in your residence, especially after showering. Unless it is extreme, your landlord is not required to provide other accommodations.

a-1571790724 Jul 08, 2019 01:22 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

I think it depends on the extent of the mold, if it was there before you moved in - that is, if the landlord knew or should have known of it and if you have a written statement, which both tenant and landlord signed, from the Landlord saying he knew of the mold. The landlord has a duty to remediate the situation, but only a lawyer can give you legal advice as to whether in California there's a duty to rehouse you. You might want to check with Legal Aid.

Channelfog Jul 08, 2019 01:08 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Immediate/temporary treatment is to scrub with bleach, water and dish soap. First spray this solution from a bottle sprayer and let sit 15 minutes before jumping in to scrub. The dish soap is imperative as many mold spores are hydrophobic and easily spread from wetness to the air. The wetting power of the dish soap traps the spores for clean up. A mask is a good idea too. A second pass with a Tea Tree oil solution will further confound the mold9there is info online) Keep your bath as dry, cool and ventilated as possible. AC (or dehumidifiers) can be very useful or reducing mold producing moisture. Remember: Dry, Cold, Ventilated. As for the law... we now live in Uruguay which is way humid and moldy. Liability lawyers are virtually non-existent here, a huge breath of fresh air in spite of ubiquitous mold. Freedom takes many forms.

a-1571790724 Jul 08, 2019 01:02 PM
Tenant Rights with Mold?

Even if you don't see it, there is some mold in every house. Mold will grow if you don't clean your bathroom, never use the vent or open windows, etc.. If there is a leaking pipe ask your landlord to fix the source of the problem (the leak) not its symptom (mold). If you see a bit of mold spray it with bleach or bathroom cleaner...that's what your landlord or his cleaner will do.

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