Calling all landlords! Ignoring mold problems in your properties could cost you millions. Our last post talked about the medical problems common indoor molds can cause. If your tenants suffer from these problems, they can take legal action against you and win.
Onlinelawyersource.com points out that exposure to harmful mold can lead to serious conditions such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, which can result in death. But less serious ailments can still cost you big. A California family won $2.7 million from their landlord after proving mold caused their headaches, respiratory problems, joint pain, skin rashes, repeated colds, and gastrointestinal issues.
And you won’t be paying for just your tenants’ medical care if they win a judgment against you. The $3.3 million an Arizona tenant won in a toxic mold lawsuit included compensation for personal items contaminated by mold. Lawyers.com reports that landlords can be held responsible for property inspection and repair, replacing damaged household items, temporary housing for tenants while the repairs are made, and emotional distress. Moreover, some insurance companies now exclude coverage of toxic mold claims, leaving landlords to foot the bill.
With so much at stake, you need to respond quickly if you receive mold complaints from your tenants. A Delaware landlord ignored the complaints of leaks and mold from two tenants and had to pay $1.04 million as a result. In the Arizona case above, the landlord had performed mold remediation but not quickly enough after receiving tenant complaints to avoid the unfavorable verdict.
For more detailed information about your liability as a landlord, you should consult an attorney, but if you have or suspect you have a mold problem, call Advance Mold Remediation at 1-877-411-MOLD (6653) to schedule an inspection.