Black Mold poses a health threat to those who occupy homes that are infested with it. Mold also damages whatever it is growing on; controlling indoor moisture is key to preventing the growth of black mould. Renters faced with this problem have laws to protect them. Landlords can be held accountable to varying degrees depending on the local government's ability to step in, the terms stated within the lease and how the growth of mould was caused.
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Habitable and in Reasonable Repair
It is the renters' responsibility to notify the landlord immediately upon discovery of black mould. The renter needs to have full documentation in writing of the problem and a copy kept for his records. Dated pictures are also needed. Laws state that landlords must provide rentals that are habitable and in reasonable repair. If he fails to do so he has breached the contract or lease. The lease should specify how repairs and maintenance are carried out.
Contact Local Agencies
Contact your local housing, health or building code inspector to arrange for an inspection of the home or apartment you are renting. An inspection is needed to obtain an order of correction. The tenant must then give the landlord a 14-day notice to correct the problem. If the landlord fails to correct the problem the renter can pursue legal action. Gather together as much documentation and evidence as you can of the black mould. You will need this documentation as positive proof that black mould does exist.
Personal Belongings and Medical Expenses
Personal belongings that have sustained damage from the black mould will be the renter's responsibility to replace unless she can prove that the owners' negligence is directly responsible for the damage to her personal belongings. If she carries renter's insurance it should cover her personal losses; usually the owner's insurance does not cover contents belonging to a renter. Medical problems arising from the black mould should be carefully documented as the renter may seek restitution for medical expenses incurred. Without documented proof it will be very difficult to prove the renter's case in litigation.
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