First time landlord- nightmare scenario?

4 Replies

Hello, I am I first time landlord and just ran into what sounds like a big problem that I was really hoping someone could help advise me on. My tenant stated that she saw mold so I had someone come out to assess the problem and this was their response...

"This property has an aggressive case of Microbial Growth. The property was without power for a week after Irma. It’s possible this started the growth. The tenant keeps a very clean house but growth is identified on every surface. My recommendation is to relocate the family, schedule an air quality test and then out together a plan for mitigation. The thermal cam registered elevated moisture readings through out the property with humidity levels in the 50-60% range."

The property is in Jacksonville FL and did not experience any flooding. I am pretty sure mold was excluded from my homeowners insurance policy and the recommendation of seems very drastic to me. I am just starting out and am worried that this is going to be extremely costly. Can anyone please advise me???

This is not a legal advice.

If I were you, I would try my best to end the lease with the tenants ASAP to avoid the tenants may hold any health responsibilities on you. Some greedy tenants may try to use the mold as an excuse to sue landlords for money.

I would tell the tenants that it is not safe to live there anymore. We are not able to fix the mold until you move out. I will prepare a mutually agreement to end the lease early and sign by both parties. Give the tenants full security deposit refund when they move out. Get ride of the tenants ASAP. Then start calling the company to remove the mold after get ride of the tenants.

Is the mold tester professional and reliable? Normally, if you see mold, that mean you have a mold problem and you don't need to waste money on testing. If it's not too big, you probably can remove it yourself with bleach.

Like the other advice, be careful with tenants using mold as an excuse to rip you off.

I would get a second opinion before doing much more, especially if the mold contractor that did the inspection also offers mold remediation as a service (in which case he may be creating work for his company).

Ben,

I wouldn't start to panic just yet.  I agree with Wesley, definitely get a 2nd opinion. If the tester does offer mold remediation services they are going to give you a sense of immediate urgency and panic to essentially get you to fork over $$.

Don't get me wrong, I have no idea how bad the situation is, if at all(it could very well be that mold appears on every surface) however, it could also be that it isn't and they are merely trying to make a sale.  Get another opinion and see what they say.  If there are conflicting reports, get a 3rd, no harm in it.  Once you have another opinion, proceed accordingly.

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