New tenat is reporting seeing mold.

4 Replies

@Ammar Ali It’s your building, it’s your responsibility... Mold is not something to ignore, as it will only worsen in time. I’d have a mild inspector onsite ASAP and work to remediate the issue and identify the cause as well.

In my experience, tenants become very concerned (rightfully so) but often overrated and think worst case scenario. Usually it’s just surface mold which does not require professional remediation. The important thing is to fix the root cause. Leaky pipe, leaky roof, humidity issue, etc... What caused the mold...

Go and check it out.  I had one tenant complain about mold and it was mildew that forms on the inside of the windows which is not uncommon for that area.  Ask if they are ensuring good ventilation-leaving the bathroom fan on for 15 minutes after showers and baths, using the range hood when cooking, keeping the place tidy (no big piles of clothes or stuff sitting in the corner).

One thing is for certain, you cannot ignore the claim.  Generally a landlord/owner has 7 days to make a required repair and mold would fall into that category. If you fail to act in that time, rent can be withheld and in some states, the tenant can cancel the lease without penalty.  Inspect your property.  If you have a mold problem, you'll want to know sooner versus later so it's a cheap date to correct.  I've found that many rentals don't have exhaust fans/fans over stoves and in bathrooms. When that's the case, mold and mildew grow quickly.  If you don't have those, consider installing them; they're inexpensive installations that solve a host of problems.

The two most likely culprits: lack of bathroom ventilation or general window condensation during extremely cold temperatures. If it's the bathroom, make sure they are ventilating until all the moisture is removed from the room, every time. If it's the windows, all they have to do is wipe them once or twice a day, keep the blinds/curtains open so air can circulate, and ventilate the house at least once a day for 5-10 minutes to reduce excess moisture.

Mold is not as bad as people think and is usually easy to deal with. If this is caused by a leak, fix the leak and then clean up the mold with a mold-treatment product or just a bleach/water solution. There's plenty of advice on Youtube or Google.

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