San Diego Property Management – Is A Landlord Liable for Mold in A Rental?
By Utopia Property Management
Are landlords responsible for mold in a rental property? In this issue of our San Diego Property Management Tips, we will answer this question and provide you with tips on how to handle this issue if mold is found in your rental.
Simple Tips for Dealing with Mold Problems
There’s no doubt that mold in a San Diego rental property can be a contentious, but the good news is that any landlord help protect themselves by doing the following:
1) Maintain the rental property and resolve any potential problems which could lead to mold growth.
2) Require all tenants to carry renter’s insurance.
3) Recommend tenants pay for an independent, 3rd party mold inspection before the tenant rents the apartment.
Once the tenant has moved into your rental property they should be encouraged to minimize anything that can cause mold to grow in a home like: moisture on windows or walls, spills on the floor or moisture on the ceiling.
Winter is typically the one time of year when mold growth in San Diego is at its highest because most people run their furnaces and keep their blinds or curtains closed during the day to keep the heat in their homes.
Water leaks in your rental property should be reported by your tenant immediately because they can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs and or mold remediation if they are not dealt with quickly when first noticed.
How to Deal with Mold in A Rental Property
Most landlords in the United States will tell you that they cannot be held responsible if mold is found in a rental property because there are no Federal Laws regarding this problem.
Worse yet, most cities and states don’t have clear laws either regarding mold in rentals, although some cities like San Francisco view mold as a “nuisance” similar to trash and landlords are required to dispose of the nuisance or pay for their tenant’s relocation.
Contact a remediation company to perform an inspection. If the tenant insists that there is still mold, offer an air quality inspection. Should signs of mold come back positive, the landlord is then responsible for the cost of the test and repairs. Should the inspection come back negative, the tenant would then be responsible for the cost.
Make Sure Your Rental Is Habitable
The landlord is not in the clear if they fail to resolve any problems which caused the mold problem to begin with in the first place due to the Warrant of Habitability.
What does the Warrant of Habitability mean?
This essentially means that the rental property must be livable and if it’s not currently in livable condition due to a leak or moisture issue which is causing the mold, this could give the tenant grounds to withhold paying rent to the owner of a professional property management company until the problem is resolved.
Tenants should be encouraged to also do their part to reduce the chance of mold growth by keeping their rental properties well ventilated during the day, even while they are at work, since this will reduce the chance of mold growth in their homes.
If one of your tenants does find mold growth in their rental property they should be encouraged to clean it up immediately with any commercial cleaner like Lysol, or natural alternatives like Vinegar mixed with water.
Save Time by Hiring a San Diego Property Management Company
Tired of self-managing your rental properties yourself? Get San Diego Property Management by calling Utopia Property Management today by calling us at (858) 598-1111 or click here to connect with us online.