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Are There Laws Protecting Tenants From Mold in Rental Properties?

Posted on October 4, 2017 in Blog

Are There Laws Protecting Tenants From Mold in Rental Properties?

You’ve done it! You’ve found the perfect rental property. In California, with the high cost of living, this can be a difficult feat to achieve. Luckily, your countless hours of research has paid off and you’ve signed on the dotted line. After handing over the first and last month’s rent, you’re packing up your stuff while waiting for the first of the month to roll around.

The day finally comes for you to move in and you show up, only to find an unexpected visitor living in your new rental property – mold. You’ve already signed the yearlong lease and forked over your rent money, so what now? Do you have any rights as a tenant?

You might not want to make moves with your new landlord, but it’s important to take any mold issue seriously. Mold spores can have detrimental effects on your health and the last thing you want is to ignore the problem and have health problems down the road. That is why AQHI, Inc. is giving you the lowdown on what you need to know as a tenant about mold and the law.

Landlord Liability in California

When it comes to federal laws, there are none specifying a landlord’s responsibility when it comes to the issue of mold. There are also no California specific laws that address what a landlord’s duties or liability are when it comes to remediating mold. You might think that this leaves you hanging as a tenant, however, landlords with buildings that have up to four units must disclose any hazardous conditions, of which mold is one. In California specifically, landlords must provide you a disclosure in writing prior to you signing a lease. The state health department in California actually determined that the mere “presence of water damage, dampness, visible mold, or mold odor” poses a health threat and must be disclosed.

Tenant Options

If you move into a rental property and discover mold, there are two self-help options recognized by the courts in California. First, you can try rent withholding. This means that you stop paying rent under the claim that the mold has made the apartment uninhabitable. The second strategy is called “repair and deduct.” This means that you will take care of mold remediation on your own and deduct it from the cost of your rent.

Do you have mold in your rental property and need to “repair and deduct”?

If you have mold in your rental property and your landlord is ignoring your pleas to have it treated, you need to act. Mold can have significant effects on your health. Thankfully, AQHI, Inc is here to help with your mold remediation. Instead of waiting for your landlord to finally buck up, you can try being proactive. In some circumstances, you can utilize our services, and deduct the amount it costs to “repair” from your rent. To schedule an appointment for mold remediation, please call us at 800-481-8080!