Mold is no stranger to Florida. And it can be quite the problem to eradicate, but, the alternative can lead to a multitude of health effects. A very real problem with finding mold is that what you see may only be the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. If you find mold in your apartment or rental home, you need to act and act quickly.
How Do I Know If There’s a Problem?
Well, that can be the first problem – figuring out if you have a mold problem. If you are keeping a best practice of cleaning areas where water or moisture can occur often (like tubs, showers, around sinks, etc.), you shouldn’t normally notice visible signs of mold. If you do, there could be a bigger problem. Even small leaks can lead to big problems. So, if you notice a leak and don’t see visible mold, report it to your landlord immediately in writing. However, unfortunately, the only real way to know if you have a mold problem is to have it professionally tested (not the home kits, actual professionals). Some health departments have the capability to test, so you may want to start there. The problem is that these professionals can cost a couple hundred dollars or more… but the information can be invaluable.
I don’t know if its mold or not, but I’ve been sick a lot?
Again, making an immediate connection isn’t the easiest thing to do since mold can cause a variety of issues and effects people differently. That said, if you’re feeling ill, mold or no mold, see your physician. If visible mold or leaks or other potential causes of which you have notified your landlord have not been corrected, you may need to consider leaving… and you’ll want to take the proper steps to protect yourself. The main point is that if mold is present and the landlord is unwilling to remediate it properly, you need to protect your health.
What are my rights if my landlord denies there’s mold or refuses to fix the problem?
First and foremost, you have a right to live in a habitable environment where you won’t get sick from the place itself. If you notice something is wrong, like a leaking roof, A/C, etc., you need to inform your landlord in writing. Your landlord has a reasonable amount of time to fix the problem or you can withhold rent. If the problem remains unresolved, you may be able to terminate your lease by providing written notice. This is generally where you will see an attorney – to determine your rights or get help resolving the problem. Your attorney should be able to discuss the steps you have taken and your situation and explain what steps need to be taken to properly protect you as a tenant. From there, it comes down to whether mold is present. If you believe mold is present, your attorney will likely want to have a mold test performed to determine whether mold is present and to what extent. As mentioned previously, if you have felt ill, you already should be seeing a physician and you should make sure the physician is aware mold could be present. After knowing whether mold was present and the injuries faced, your attorney will need to assess whether there is a link between the mold and any injuries or damages incurred. Once you and your attorney have all of the necessary information, your attorney should be able to map out your options to address your particular situation.
If you think you may be dealing with mold, call Carpenter Gandhi for a free consultation!