Update: I spoke with the tenants and they agreed to pay for half of the mold test - this was their suggestion and I accepted their offer.
Unfortunately mold tests do not say whether a space is inhabitable or not....they only reveal what types of mold and their spore count.
However, there is more good news. As long as a room does not have any source of water coming in AND the humidity of the room is less than 50%, then mold cannot grow. This won't help with the mold air quality test, but it does ensure that the room should not have any future mold issues.
If the house has mold damage Raleigh NC, you can usually get it removed for fairly cheap. The mold testing does says how much mold, and of what kind. You can usually get it taken care of fairly fast. I would recommend have it taken care of before the tenant threatens legal. I don't think they have a case, but you can never be too sure.
At the start of tenancy did you and the tenant sign a disclosure on mold and moisture hazards?
Did you give the tenant the EPA booklet "A Brief Guide To Mold, Moisture, and Your Home"? The booklet is an excellent resource and costs only 50 cents a copy. I give a copy to every tenant. A pdf of the booklet is available on line for free. Check it out. Also available in Spanish.
You have responsibility to provide a habitable dwelling. The tenant has responsibility to take action to prevent mold and mildew. Also to clean on a regular basis.
In Washington State, at the time the lease is signed, the landlord must provide the tenant with information provided or approved by the department of health about the health hazards associated with exposure to indoor mold. (see RCW §?59.18.060). That's law in Washington State. Any similar requirement in your state?
The Washington State Department of Health publishes a free two page form "Got Mold? Frequently Asked Questions About Mold" with signature/date lines for Landlord and Tenant. Quite informative and gives instructions on clean up. It's not state specific, so you may find it helpful.
All of our rental agreements include this Mold Warning Statement: "Mold may grow and exist in any structure where there is, or ever has been, a presence of moisture and a food source for mold to grow. Its presence may exist without the knowledge of the structure owner and may be concealed from the untrained observer. Some varieties of mold are toxic and may cause adverse reactions in certain individuals." With our signature, we attest that we have no knowledge of mold or moisture hazards in the unit. If there were, then we would have to disclose what we know.
You can be proactive from the get go and you must do what you can to prevent and remediate mold in your units. Good luck!
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