I have mold growing in bedroom of rental

4 Replies

I am renting a two bedroom and a severe amount of mold is growing in one of the bedrooms. I notified my management about it, two technicians have looked at it and the property manager, and they basically blamed me saying I have to open the windows more. They said there is nothing wrong with the walls. I bleached the walls and cleared most the items out but there is still a strong musty odor. I am concerned they will charge me for it when I move out. What are my rights?

There is no reason that mold should be growing in your bedroom.  And opening the window more is not a solution.   There is moisture getting into that wall somehow.  Is the wall adjacent to a bathroom or kitchen?   Any wall that has water running through it, known as a "wet wall" could be the culprit.   If it is an outside wall, then moisture from the exterior of the building is somehow getting inside.

Have a mold remediation company look at the property.   This is a health hazard to you (probably minor).  And you should document the problem with a professional and give a copy, along with a accompanying letter before you move out.   The letter should state that you had a professional view the property and it was stated that the cause of the mold was not because your window was open.  And you will fight any deduction of your security deposit or liability of this mold.

I can't imagine that the technicians would blame you for not opening the window.  Or suggesting that was the cause.

I have seen mold on interior walls before.  Somewhere on the outside of the building, moisture is coming in.  That's just my guess, since I haven't seen your issue.

Do you have mold or mildew?  There is a difference and mold is a far greater health risk than mildew. They are both fungi.

Black Mold

The only way for black mold to grow is if there is water present, making it very common in places like showers and ceilings with leaky pipes. Stachybotrys, or black mold, is a type of mold is very toxic.

Black mold is very fuzzy, almost looking as if it has hair. It is black in color, but the intensity of the black can vary depending on how thick the mold has grown. In some areas the mold may appear somewhat transparent, and completely solid in others.

Common Places
Because mold needs a water source in order to develop, the areas that can be affected are somewhat limited. The most common places to find black mold is in system drains, within carpets, walls, paper, and ceiling tiles. Anywhere that is damp and cool can support the growth of black mold.

Health Effects
Black mold is toxic, and has many dangerous and unpleasant health effects that it causes. Some of the more common symptoms that people who have been exposed to black mold experience are dizziness, migraines, rash, coughing, nose bleeds, blood shot eyes, vomiting, chest pains, fevers, and possibly even death. If you believe you have been exposed to black mold you should consult medical advice as soon as possible.


Mildew is much different than mold, it is very superficial and provides no real harm to humans or animals. It is made up of a very thin layer of hyphae, which are very small filaments of fungus. Mildew is very common.

It usually only grows on flat surfaces, and has a powdery or “downy” appearance. Mildew typically starts out white and with time develops a yellowish color. Mildew also has a very distinct musty smell.

Negative Effects
Mildew poses no real risk of health problems. Over exposure may lead to respiratory irritation and coughing. Mildew can however effect plants and crops severely.

Common Places
Mildew thrives on organic materials, such as paper, leather, and many types of fabrics. Clothing or towels that are left damp are the most common to develop mildew in the home.

What To Do

There are multiple different cleaners that are designed specifically to kill and eliminate molds and mildew. It is very important to use these cleaners only in very well ventilated areas as the chemicals are very strong. Also be sure to use dust masks and gloves to avoid breathing in any of the cleaners of fungus. Making sure that you change the environment so that it no longer will support this type of fungus growth is also a very good idea.

I had a property that had a similar issue, turns out it was the dryer vent that was not properly vented to the outside. We fixed the issue cleaned the area of concern. Never had an issue again.

However the tenants did not understand what had happened. ( it was there dryer that they hooked up) and moved away. I let them out of there lease full refund security deposit without a 2nd thought. I was afraid that they in some way could come after me.

The bedroom is adjacent to the bathroom. At first there was green stuff growing on the wall. I don't know if this is mold or mildew. Then later white stuff was accumulating on leather surfaces on the floor of the closet, and later it turned greenish and had a musty odor. There was also dusty, greenish stuff accumulating on the bedside tables and dressers. When the technician came out the second time they said I need to open the bathroom window after I shower. My girlfriend and I were sleeping in there and she got bronchitis. I cleared most of the things out of there except the bed, and we no longer use that room. There is still a strong musty odor in there. 

Another technician with my management is coming out to assess the humidity. However, I will strongly consider the suggestion of hiring my own contractor to assess it.