How Long Does a Landlord Have To Fix a Mold Problem?
When you first move into a new place, it's important to check for mold. Mold can form easily in buildings with poor ventilation and low humidity, which is why it's so common in small apartments or homes with no air conditioning. If you notice mold growing in your home, you should immediately inform your landlord or building management company so they can take action to fix the problem. But how long do they have to respond? And what happens if they don't do anything at all?
In general, the landlord is responsible for any mold growth caused by a defect in the property. If there had been a leaky pipe and water has gotten into the wall and caused a mold problem, then it will likely be the landlord's responsibility to fix that problem. If there was no leaky pipe but rather someone who lived in another apartment had tracked in mud from outside and tracked it onto your floor mat where it dries out and grows, then that would likely not be considered an issue for which your landlord should take responsibility because it occurred outside of their control (i.e., due to someone else's actions).
Expect Reasonable Action
The law requires landlords to take all reasonable steps to control and abate the mold. If they fail to do so, you can sue them for any resulting damages or loss of use of your home—including medical bills and lost wages. Your landlord is responsible for providing a safe living environment for you and your family members, including children under 18 years old. If they don't take steps to protect against mold growth in their units, they could be held liable if someone gets sick from exposure to it during a tenancy (or even afterward).
The length of time it takes for mold remediation depends on the size of the problem:
- Small (less than 20 square feet), contained areas that can be cleaned may only need to wait 24 hours before being able to reoccupy them. Any other space will require more than 24 hours before being reoccupied.
- Large areas (>20 square feet) or ones where you can't easily access all surfaces should be given at least 48 hours before someone can reoccupy them without any concerns about exposure to mold spores or mycotoxins.
A mold inspection is an important step in the process of dealing with a mold problem in your rental property. A qualified inspector will be able to do a thorough investigation and determine if you have a mold issue, how serious it is, and what steps need to be taken next. The inspector should always wear protective clothing when inspecting for mold (including gloves, goggles, and a mask) because if there's any chance that they'll inhale or ingest spores, they need to protect themselves from these harmful substances.
Mold inspections often cost between $100-$300 per hour depending on where you live and which company performs it. Make sure you find an inspector who offers competitive rates before hiring them. Most inspectors will provide readings on their findings either verbally or via written report after completing testing; however, some may require additional time for analysis before providing this information. If this seems like too much time than necessary just ask them about it directly--they should be upfront about any delay.
Mold Mitigation, Management & Remediation
Mold remediation can be a complex process that requires specialized skills. There are many variables involved in how long it will take to remediate your home or apartment, including the size of the affected area, moisture levels inside and outside of the property, and airflow throughout the structure.
Additionally, mold mitigation may require determining whether there are other underlying conditions within your property (such as leaks) that need to be addressed before conducting any repairs; sometimes those repairs can take longer than just removing the mold itself. While most professionals will have an estimate for you before beginning work on your home or apartment building so that you know exactly what to expect financially without surprises down the road (and so they know what kind of budget they've got), some jobs are more complicated than others—so it's always worth asking about if something goes wrong during remediation.
You and your landlord should be able to work together to solve the problem of mold. If you have a mold problem, you should first contact your landlord and ask them to inspect it. Once they do so, they will either fix the problem or tell you how long it's going to take before they do something about it.
If you have a mold problem in your Conroe, TX rental property, give SERVPRO of Lake Conroe a call today!