Rental Properties & Mold

It is a landlord’s responsibility to ensure the livability of rental properties. A landlord must take steps to make sure that a rental unit does not contain any health or safety risks, including toxic mold. If you notice mold growth in your rental property in Kansas City, you may have the right to hold your landlord legally responsible for repairs as well as any related health problems you suffer. 

What Should I Do if I Find Mold in My Rental Apartment?

Not all types of mold are dangerous or toxic to humans. You might have a concerning mold problem in your rental property, however, if you notice a musty smell, black or green mold growth, signs of water damage, or physical symptoms that go away when you leave your apartment. If you notice any type of mold growth, take the following steps:

  1. Act quickly. The longer you breathe in mold spores, the higher the chances are that the spores will settle into your lungs and cause an illness.
  2. Report the mold to your landlord without delay. Notify your landlord that you have mold growing in your rental unit. You may need to take photos of the mold to show the landlord.
  3. Avoid the room with mold. While you wait for your landlord to remedy the situation, do your best to avoid going near the spot where the mold is growing to avoid breathing in spores.
  4. Work with your landlord to remedy the problem. Cooperate with your landlord and professionals who will need to access your rental, inspect the mold and clean it up using the correct techniques.
  5. Ask for reimbursement. If the mold has caused health problems or spread to any of your personal belongings, ask your landlord for a financial settlement to reimburse you.

If your landlord fails to take prompt action to respond to a mold complaint or refuses to pay for repairs and related losses the landlord is liable for, contact a premises liability lawyer for legal advice. You may have grounds to file a premises liability lawsuit against the landlord for failing to meet his or her legal obligation to maintain a safe premises.

How Can Mold Impact My Health?

Being exposed to mold in a rented home or property is not safe for you, your children, your pets and other occupants of the premises. Breathing in toxic mold spores can cause a wide range of adverse health effects and respiratory injuries. Most of these effects take the form of symptoms similar to allergies. The exact health problems associated with different types of mold remain widely unknown. However, the medical and scientific communities agree that mold growth in a home can be harmful to the health of tenants. Possible symptoms related to mold exposure include:

  • Sneezing or runny nose
  • Red or itchy eyes
  • Respiratory issues
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Asthma 
  • Allergic reactions
  • Skin irritation or rash
  • Fever 
  • Shortness of breath

Mold exposure can be especially dangerous for small children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests a link between early exposure to mold and the development of asthma in children. Someone who is vulnerable to mold exposure may experience more severe symptoms, such as someone who already has asthma or who is sensitive to molds. Severe reactions may also arise from large amounts of mold or long-term exposure. 

Is My Landlord Responsible for Removing Mold?    

Although most state laws do not specifically address the issue of mold on a rental property, a landlord has a legal obligation to maintain a habitable premises. This means they must prevent and promptly remedy any dangerous mold problems. If a landlord directly or indirectly contributed to the growth of mold in your home or apartment, such as by failing to fix a leaky pipe in the walls, the landlord is responsible for mold removal. If the tenant caused the mold growth, however, the landlord is not responsible for cleanup. Check your leasing agreement for mold clauses to learn more about how your landlord must handle this situation.

If you have contacted the landlord regarding mold in a rental property, and have not received the necessary repairs, a premises liability lawyer may be able to assist. Contact our firm for a free consultation to discuss your case.

The attorneys at Dickerson Oxton remain committed to exceptional client service during the coronavirus pandemic. Please contact us today. We are working remotely. If we are unable to connect immediately, we will respond at our earliest opportunity.