California is one of a handful of nations that strictly regulates mould development in rental properties. The presence of mould in your apartment or house can change the indoor air quality, causing you to suffer from a range of harmful health effects from the spores. When you suspect mold growth, you have several methods available to report it. When the mould is reported and verified, the landlord may take steps to eradicate it.
Dangers of Mold
Molds thrive in moist, warm surroundings and release spores into the air. Particular mold spores are toxic when inhaled, and they can cause a variety of conditions, from rashes and allergies to acute respiratory problems. While mould can affect individuals of all ages, the children and elderly are at a higher risk of infection. Some breeds are more hazardous than others, and only a certified removal specialist can remove mold entirely. As a renter, you’re entitled to rent a mold-free property.
How to Detect Mold
The obvious way to detect mold will be always to see it. Mold can appear as yellow, brown or black spots or patches. While it is more inclined to see mold growing in high moisture areas like the bathroom, kitchen or near windows, it may grow anywhere, including in the walls, carpeting and floors. You might also notice a musty odor in highly concentrated regions as well as an increase in respiratory problems. California law requires landlords to disclose the presence of mold prior to a tenant signs a lease agreement.
Inform the Landlord
When you suspect mold growth, then contact your landlord immediately and follow up in writing. Explain the issue in detail and also take photographs if necessary. If mold is growing in an area that does not have a lot of moisture or even plumbing, such as in a closet, bedroom or wall, the landlord must check for leaking pipes, windows or roofing. The landlord must to not only mend any difficulties causing the mold growth, but taking every precaution when removing it. Keep notes of conversations and copies of letters and emails in case you want to share your side of the story in a predicament.
If a landlord won’t take care of the mould issue, tenants have alternative places to report it. The local housing and code enforcement department could inspect the rental property and record any violations. The department may then put pressure on the landlord to make the repairs. A landlord can be held liable for any damages brought on by inaction or neglect, so tenants may file a lawsuit in severe instances. You may also talk to your community housing and tenants rights group for advice on managing the mold problem, such as California’s “repair and deduct” remedy or when to contact a lawyer.