4 Signs that Mold Law Have Been Violated

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4 Signs that Mold Law Have Been Violated

Staff Writer · Oct 14, 2010

Mold laws are designed to protect tenants from living in infected homes and becoming seriously sick. Unfortunately, not all landlords adhere to these laws and continue to rent apartments despite the presence of toxic mold. Identifying toxic mold is not easy as there are many types of mold and not all are toxic. Below are 4 tips to assist you in identifying whether toxic mold is present in your apartment, meaning that mold laws have been violated.

1. Lack of Mold Notification Paperwork

Most states require landlords to provide information regarding the presence of mold, the potential presence of mold, how to identify toxic mold and a tenant’s rights should these laws be violated. This paperwork should be presented at the time you sign your lease and state that if toxic mold is found you will have the right to terminate the lease. If your landlord fails to present you with this paperwork or refuses to present it even after your inquiry into it, seriously consider whether you are comfortable with leasing that apartment. Failing to present this paperwork may indicate that there has been a violation that the landlord wishes to keep private.

2. Symptoms of Exposure to Toxic Mold

Your body will react if it has been exposed to toxic mold by developing respiratory problems such as:

  • a cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • congestion
  • a sore throat

Other symptoms include:

  • skin rashes
  • fatigue
  • digestive problems
  • fever
  • headaches

A sudden development of any of these symptoms in yourself or other residents of the apartment can indicate that toxic mold is present. Toxic mold affects children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems worse than healthy adults. Keep an eye on any residents falling within these groups to check for symptoms of toxic mold exposure.

3. Mold in Suspect Areas

Not all molds are toxic, and all homes are equally at risk to develop a mold problem at some time or another. Toxic mold, however, appears in places with high moisture content that does not regularly receive adequate ventilation. These spaces include behind washing machines and dryers, refrigerators and dishwashers, as well as in cabinets containing exposed pipes. If any of these areas develop dark mold, that mold could be toxic. If you are unable to move the appliances because they are installed tightly in cabinets or against walls and these areas have not been inspected in some time, it is possible that these places could contain mold.

4. Poor Maintenance

If your apartment is or has been poorly maintained and there are visible water stains on walls or ceilings, toxic mold laws may have been violated. Additionally, mold does not care about apartment divisions. Even if your apartment is maintained but a nearby unit has not been your residence may still be infected with toxic mold. Keep an eye on your neighbor’s apartment and notify the landlord if you feel that maintenance problems could be creating moisture to collect and possibly develop into toxic mold.

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