Do you believe your apartment is probably experiencing mold infestation but don’t know what to do? Here’s what you should do.
Discovering mold in your apartment can cause various emotions ranging from frustration to anger. The microscopic fungi flourish in moist conditions and develop on any organic material such as wood.
If you suspect the presence of mold in your apartment, it’s important to adopt the necessary measures and establish whether you or your landlord is liable. It’s also important to discuss any mold issues with your landlord if you’re in a rental.
Mold is a serious issue to anybody who resides in a rental because of the associated health risks, so here’s what to do if you suspect infestation in your apartment facility.
The obvious method of detection is by sight. The fungi can appear as brown, yellow, or black spots or patches. While you’re more likely to see it growing in areas with high moisture such as the bathroom, it can develop anywhere, including the carpet, walls, and floor. Signs of mold in your apartment include:
- Strange odor
You’ll discover the fungi has a pungent smell and when confined to one home area, you may detect an unpleasant odor when you’re in that area.
Mold can at times live behind wallpaper or within the walls. Therefore, you may not associate the smell with the microscopic fungi immediately. If you realize the unusual odor is persistent, mold may be the issue.
- Health Symptoms
Since mold isn’t always visible, it can be hard detecting a mold issue. If you feel congested, listless, and experience watery eyes while in the apartment, these signs can indicate the existence of mold.
It isn’t uncommon for a person who resides in a mold-infested apartment to feel better while at the workplace or out shopping. Consequently, the person’s health issues typically start once he or she enters the apartment.
- Mold appearance
You can easily differentiate ordinary soap scum from the fungi in your bathtub or shower stall. However, further investigation may be necessary in the cellar or basement. Mold thrives in damp areas, so if you have a floor or wall where dampness accumulates, mold is likely to exist there.
Measures to Take
- Inform Your Landlord
When you suspect mold development, it’s imperative you inform your landlord instantly and follow up in writing. Make sure you describe the issue in detail and take photos if necessary.
If the mold is in an area that lacks considerable moisture or plumbing, such as in a closet or bedroom, your landlord should look for leaking pipes, windows, or roofing.
Your landlord should also repair any issues causing the infestation while taking precaution in the removal process.
It’s also important you maintain notes of conversations and copies of emails and letters in case you need to produce documentation in a dispute.
- Moving Out
If you’ve informed your landlord of the mold but has failed to meet his or her responsibilities to clean up, you have grounds to break the lease and move out.
Exact procedures differ, so ensure you’ve fulfilled all the tenant responsibilities where you reside before taking any action. In some states, the warranty of habitability is implied in the residential leases.
This means landlords have a responsibility to fix any defects that make apartments uninhabitable except for those that tenants are responsible for.
If the existence of mold affects the apartment’s livability, the safety and health of the tenants, the landlord is said to have violated the warranty and you should move out.
Breaking your lease should be the last resort, but it may be necessary if your health is at risk. In case you decide to move out, you must prepare for a court battle, especially if you have rent arrears.
However, if you’ve met your tenant responsibilities, can prove the existence of mold, and associated health effects, you have a strong case against the landlord.
Is there a persistent and pungent odor in the air? Perhaps you’re dealing with mold infestation. If you’re unsure, these signs will help confirm your suspicion.
If you need assistance with mold inspection, please contact us: 905-267-8556