Without getting into anything technical, there’s just two pieces of advice I would like to share with tenants in dispute over the potential of mold in their rental. Many tenants when suspecting mold and feeling as if their landlord is not addressing the matter quickly decide to stop paying rent. There’s many issues with this approach, but let’s focus on two. First and foremost, you can not stop paying rent because you speculate there is a mold issue. Mold is suspect until tested and lab results are needed for proper documentation if a case is ever sent to court, so you have absolute concrete proof there is mold and it’s potentially causing illness or disrupting your way of life. Next, if you do decide to stop paying rent because of this issue, or any other which is effecting your quality of living, don’t just stop paying rent and use your funds towards something else. You need to set up a bank account and begin to escrow the rent payments while sending copies of this account and those payments to your landlord so he/she can see that you’re not trying to get out of paying your rent, but just trying to resolve the issues and intend on releasing on the funds once the problem is resolved. Too many times, I encounter tenants thinking they have mold and ceasing to pay rent, but make no attempt to prove that there is mold, or to show that they’re allocating the money. Instead they just stop paying rent, and think that a phone call to me will be enough proof that they had every right to still live on the premises while not paying for anything and never intending on paying back rent. And when they get the home tested and it doesn’t show any mold, they have to stand their ground that maybe my test isn’t accurate because they know there is mold and they were getting sick. So the two points to remember is this:
- Mold is suspect until tested and third party documentation is needed to prove that there is growth which is potentially harmful and a hazard in the dwelling.
- Escrow accounts are needed with full disclosure and email communication if rent payments are halted until an issue is resolved.