Your Questions About Tenant Laws Black Mold

Donna asks…

Can a landlord charge a tenant for mold? We just moved out and when we moved the furniture, we discovered mold?

We have always noticed a little mold growing around the windows in our five years in this East Bay house, but spraying it with bleach and scrubbing usually took care of it. Now that we moved out, when we pulled away our couch and some tables there were large blooms of black mold. The landlord’s manager said that this may be taken out of our deposit and demanded that we scrub it off the walls. We could not get rid of it all, but got rid of most of it. I am mostly upset that this such a large quantity was growing in our house all this time and we were just breathing it in unknowingly!
My question is – is it legal for a landlord to charge a tenant in CA for mold issues, if they (and the tenants) were unaware of the extremity of the problem? Links to actual landlord / tenant laws would be very helpful – I intend to fight this if I can!
I should also note that we live in California.
I should ALSO note that we did move our furniture to clean behind it – but that mold grew in the winter and died in the summer, so we never thought it was that big of a deal. We are moving at the end of a particularly rainy winter.
I am looking for answers that specifically address the California legalities of the situation, or other people’s experience. Please do not respond to ask me dumb questions. If you don’t know the answer, it’s ok, just move on and don’t waste my time.

Diana answers:

Research more about landlord and tenants laws.
To me that sounds like a maintenance problem, and depending on your contract with the landlord, its there responsibility to fix it.
I found a link in the bottom that has california landlord-tenant laws
http://www.thelpa.com/lpa/lllaw.html
Also, in that link i posted, look under “California A Guide to Residential Tenants' and Landlords' Rights and Responsibilities”
Carol asks…

Is it againest the law to have your tenants live in your home with BLACK mold?

Rented a home in OK. Had a leak problem in upstairs bathroom which lead to wet ceiling downstairs, then black mold. Issue was not fixed for 3months.

Diana answers:

There are literally thousands of strains of mold, 2 toxic which require the landlord to repair.
They each takes years to grow, not months, only live in untreated cellulose (wood) and dry with any exposure to light.
Mildew grows fast and is likely what you have on your ceiling.
Paul asks…

Black Mold in My Apartment?

I live in Oregon and am currently looking into the tenant laws, but my boyfriend and I found black mold around ALL four of the windows in my apartment, now these are some pretty big windows. We also found small sprouts of something growing in the window seals. I have asthma and chronic bronchitis due to growing up around black mold, so finding it in my new apt isn’t very fun. But since I live in an apartment shouldn’t there be a law that states that these are not proper living conditions? We are not sue happy people, but we are ready to file a suit for unhabital living conditions. Any Advice?

Diana answers:

Sounds like it is time to move. I have seen shows where they say the only way to get rid of the black mold is to tear down the wall or even the whole house where it was found. I was watching Extreme Home Makeover last year and they actually went in the house in protective gear. So really, black mold is bad for your health. All in all that place sounds kind of damp. Yes there should be laws. Good luck.
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