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how long does my landlord have to fix mold

How Long Does a Landlord Have To Fix Mold Growing in Your Rental?

Microscopic mold spores can linger in your house or apartment without you realizing it. In most cases, small amounts of mold don’t cause structural damage or health problems. Unfortunately, the right environmental conditions can cause large mold colonies to form, leading to increased health concerns and other issues. If you find yourself dealing with a mold problem, seeking professional assistance for mold remediation in St. Louis is crucial to effectively address and eliminate the issue.

As a renter, you might wonder, “How long does my landlord have to fix mold growing in my home?” Some landlords might ask similar questions regarding their responsibilities. The guide below will provide a better understanding of landlord and tenant responsibilities in addressing mold growth in rental properties.

What Causes Black Mold in Rental Houses?

Black mold is a dark-colored fungus that quickly grows on materials containing cellulose, like wood, paper, and drywall. A rental home could develop a black mold problem for many reasons. The main culprit is moisture. 

Mold thrives in damp, warm conditions. If your residence has excessive humidity due to a flood, slow plumbing leak, or poor ventilation, the extra moisture in the air can cause mold spores to multiply quickly and settle onto any surface. Soon, mold colonies could spread on your walls, ceilings, flooring, and personal items. 

Poor housekeeping and clutter can also trigger mold colonies to form and grow unchecked. Leaving lots of dust, food crumbs, dirt, and other debris around the home can attract microbes like mold spores. Black mold needs nutrients to grow and thrive, which dirt and debris provide.

How Long Does My Landlord Have To Fix a Mold Problem?

Landlords should act quickly to remove mold, but you must give them a reasonable time to fix the problem with your rental unit.

For most states, a report of mold from a tenant will require landlords to assess the issue within 14 days of the first complaint. If the residence has a mold issue, the landlord will then have 30 days from the same mold complaint date to resolve the problem. 

Is Mold Dangerous?

So is mold considered uninhabitable living conditions? Since mold can cause health complications for young, sensitive, and vulnerable populations, living in a home with fast-growing fungal colonies could be dangerous. 

Black mold exposure could cause:

  • Asthma attacks
  • Skin irritation
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation

What Are Tenants’ Responsibilities for Reporting Mold?

If you’re a tenant and suspect your home has a mold problem, you are responsible for alerting the landlord. Before contacting them, take pictures or videos of the problem areas. Be sure to include evidence of water damage if any is present, like a leaky pipe or soggy, soft flooring from a flood. 

After documenting the problem, draft a letter to the landlord explaining your concern about a possible toxic black mold situation in your unit. Relevant information to include in the formal complaint include:

  • Your name
  • The date
  • Your contact information
  • The pictures of the mold and water damage

If possible, deliver the letter by hand to ensure the landlord receives it on time. If you must mail it, send the letter with a signature request to confirm receipt. The mold remediation timeline for landlords depends on the date of the initial tenant complaint, so you want to make sure they get the notice on time. 

Can You Withhold Rent for Mold?

Rent withholding is a common tactic tenants use to force landlords to take immediate action to remedy problems. Unfortunately, you must abide by the contents of your lease agreement, which includes making timely rental payments. The landlord could take legal action against you if you don’t pay the rent. Unless the courts verify the mold and support the withholding of rent payments, you need to pay your rent on time.

If the landlord fails to investigate your claim and remedy the mold problem, you should contact a building inspector. They can assess the situation and issue building code violations against the landlord if necessary. However, you may be liable for mold removal and remediation if the mold problem stems from water damage due to your actions or inactions. 

Seek Professional Mold Remediation in St. Louis Today

With the answer to “How long does my landlord have to fix mold?” you now know to take immediate action to rectify the problem. At Pride Cleaning & Restoration, we offer comprehensive mold removal and water damage restoration in St. Louis, Missouri. As a BBB-accredited company with IICRC certification, we have the skills, tools, and qualified technicians to keep properties safe and habitable. 

Our team has decades of experience restoring water damage and uncontrolled mold growth in St. Louis properties. We’re available 24/7 for emergency restoration, so call (314) 668-1223 to request help from our Pride Cleaning & Restoration crew.

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