Real Estate Law

Toxic Mold and Landlord Liability

In recent years, toxic mold has developed into a serious threat to the quality of indoor air. There are thousands of types of mold, and many are dangerous enough to be labeled as toxic. When exposed to these types of mold, the side effects can be very damaging to your health. The symptoms of toxic mold poisoning include: headaches, rashes or hives, nausea, dizziness, asthma or allergic reactions, problems with blood pressure, and damage to the internal organs. If you or someone you love is experiencing these health problems because of exposure to dangerous molds, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Often in cases of toxic mold exposure from rental properties, there are questions regarding the liability of the landlord. Some states have passed laws that specifically outline this issue, but in many it is still determined by each individual situation. This is primarily decided by the origin of the mold. The most common foundation of mold growth is the presence of moisture which can be caused by a leak in the roof or pipes. If hazardous molds grew as a result of your landlord’s failure to properly maintain the property, they may be liable for any harm you experience due to mold exposure.

The reverse argument can also be made by landlords. If you are responsible for the environment which led to mold growth, you may be liable for your own health problems. Allowing for high levels of humidity or lack of cleanliness can lead to the presence of toxic mold in your home. It is becoming increasingly common for leases to designate specific clauses regarding the presence of toxic molds and the liability of landlords vs. tenants. Be sure you understand the details of your lease before signing.