Is Toxic Mold Your Unwelcome Roommate?

in Health & Safety, Roommates on by

Mold can pose a major health risk, particularly in very damp areas or in older apartment buildings. Many apartment complexes in high-mold areas are required to disclose information about the risks of mold to potential tenants. Read on to discover your rights when it comes to the health risks posed by black mold and other types of potentially toxic molds.

Funky fungi: A mold overview

Molds are microscopic non-plant, non-animal growths that feed on organic matter and reproduce through tiny spores. The spores are invisible to the eye and float through the air, creating potentially hazardous health conditions for anyone living in an area populated by molds. Spores are what allow molds to reproduce and spread to different areas of your home. Molds also produce allergens and irritants that can disturb the respiratory system and other parts of the body.

Mold itself is not technically toxic. However, some types of mold can produce poisonous metabolites, called mycotoxins, which can be harmful to humans. Beyond affecting the respiratory system (causing allergies, asthma, or other ailments) due to the allergens and irritants that it produces, mold can negatively influence the vascular system (arteries and veins), digestive system, nervous system, urinary system, reproductive system, and the skin (molds can cause rashes or be responsible for common ailments like athlete’s foot and yeast infections). Particularly drastic ailments caused by severe or prolonged mold exposure can include internal bleeding, kidney or liver failure, and emphysema.

Conditions high in moisture or humidity are most conducive to mold growth. Molds can grow at a variety of temperatures, but they cannot grow in arid environments. Consequently, the best way to prevent and treat the presence of mold is to eliminate moisture from your home and surroundings. In addition, mold requires oxygen and organic matter to grow. Though you might think surfaces like tile or fiberglass are inorganic, any organic matter on those surfaces can allow mold to grow. For this reason, it’s important to keep surfaces spotlessly clean to prevent the growth and accumulation of mold.

Signs of Mold

Even if you can’t see mold, it may be lurking behind tiles, under floors, or behind walls. Possible signs of the presence of mold include stained ceilings or walls, strangely colored (black, brown, orange, pink, or green) speckles on walls or around grout or tiles, musty or earthy odors, cracked siding, swollen walls or floors, any type of ceiling or floor leak, poor ventilation, and more.

When you moved in to your apartment, your landlord should have provided you with information about signs of mold and the associated health risks. Since mold does pose health problems, it is your landlord’s responsibility to help remove mold from your unit and assist in preventing its return. If you see or suspect mold your apartment, notify your landlord immediately and work with him or her to correct the problem. If your landlord fails to take action, alert local public health and safety officers and consider having your apartment inspected for mold risks.

Health Risks and Remedies

As noted, mycotoxins produced by mold have the potential to cause a wide variety of physical ailments. The degree to which mold toxins affect an individual depends on the current health of the individual. Individuals with compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible to the negative effects of mold. Respiratory and skin ailments are usually the major consequences of mold, but a variety of other issues can arise as well. Check lists of symptoms for possible signs that mold has aversely affected you, or consult your physician to see if mold might have caused your ailments. If mold has already had a negative impact on your health, it’s that much more important to remove it quickly, as its continued presence will likely only cause your condition to deteriorate. In addition, if you remove mold but allow the conditions favorable to its growth to continue, you’ll continue to suffer from your health problems.

Conquering Mold: Healthy Solutions

The way to get rid of mold is to get rid of moisture. If you remove mold but not the moisture causing it, the mold will undoubtedly return. Beyond decreasing the moisture levels in your home, you can follow the EPA’s suggested guidelines for mold removal, or ensure that your landlord hires a certified professional who will obey these tips and remove mold safely. Scrubbing moldy surfaces with water and detergent, then allowing these surfaces to dry completely, can get rid of minor mold problems.

Once mold has been eliminated from your home, you can follow certain steps to prevent it from returning. Ventilation is key, as
this will help prevent moisture (and therefore mold) from accumulating in particular areas. Beyond improving the ventilation system in your apartment—a move that will definitely require coordination with your landlord—you can use fans while showering or cooking, use the air conditioner, and consider buying a de-humidifier or requesting one from your landlord. Airpurifiers or ionizers can also improve the quality of air in your apartment and help prevent health problems caused by mold.

In short, mold is caused by moisture, and getting rid of moisture gets rid of mold. The health risks posed by mold make it a responsibility of your landlord to regulate. Be diligent about controlling moisture and the accumulation of organic material, and insist that your landlord protect your health by safely eliminating mold from your apartment area. If you take these steps, you’ll conquer mold and live healthfully.

59 Responses to “Is Toxic Mold Your Unwelcome Roommate?”

  1. February 06, 2007 at 5:10 pm, Guest said:

    When management doesn’t listen about the mold problem what can I do? Can I take legal action?

    Reply

  2. February 26, 2007 at 2:34 pm, Guest said:

    Moved into a mold problem. Landlord cooperative but…. mold issue not known at lease signing (it was found with in first week and half or residence). Am I required to stay at the apt now and deal with the lengthy and complicated clean up?

    Reply

  3. March 14, 2007 at 9:28 pm, Guest said:

    yes you can take legal action that’s what i’m about to do….you’d have to get tested by your doctor for mold exposer..then bring the issue to the tenancy branch for rental in your area..make sure you have health documents/ doctor’s note…then get healthborad officals to inspect and test your home!!

    see I know…what can be done but when mold induced anxiety and not feeling good at all gets involed the harder it’s to proceed with what’s right to do about…so stay strong and do it !!!

    “Remember it’s not your fault for your landlords neglagence’s”

    From: Winnipeg,Manitoba

    Reply

  4. March 14, 2007 at 9:33 pm, Guest said:

    MY landlord refuses to admit about dangers of mold problems…so i’m closing her apartment developments down…i’m very ill from exposers…so health board is beeing called for inspection…she’s a scum landlord..lived in it for 4 years to long!!
    Winnipeg,Manitoba

    Reply

  5. March 19, 2007 at 10:51 am, Guest said:

    Forced to live in a Toxic Environment: So one has gone through the proper steps in notification to the property managers, to their chain of command. One has had the testing by a professional mycologist that confirms the toxic molds. One has all the medical documentation of illnesses caused from these molds. The entire building has these molds, as well as just this one apartment. Some apartments have the molds growing up their walls, some in the HVAC system. Why do they still not listen to us that moved into these two buildings because we were all ready handicapped/disabled or elderly, why did we have to encounter an apartment that is not habitable due to the molds, why must we still continue to have our illnesses worsen because the management refuses to acknowledge the molds in the entire building that is making us very ill. These are subsidized through HUD, they don’t want to acknowledge this, they will not send out any experts to inspect this problem. I ask how, can the government get away with this. Federally subsidized units these are.

    Reply

  6. March 21, 2007 at 4:25 am, Guest said:

    Ok – Im currently living on Camp Pendleton, I just recovered a large amount of mold coming from under the wall. After maintenance and Plumbers came in, they said it was from a cracked waste line or drain line pipe inside my wall – running from my upstairs bathroom. The plumber said it has been there for atleast 6 months slowly dripping “toilet” water into the wall. My apt management has put some fans up and cut out peices of my wall. But in the morning a plumber is coming in and fixing the pipe….tearing down the wall. But he has no idea on the extent of the mold damage. But you can see black mold on my wall in the garage and behind my toilets. If it has been slowly dripping for 6 months it’s worse then if I had a flood!!( 4 mold to be growing any way ) they are saying they won’t move us…I HAVE A 2 YEAR OLD! Isn’t there a law of some sort to protect us from breathing this in and staying here during the repairs? If anyone knows anything please email me : april_n_bug@yahoo.com

    Reply

  7. April 01, 2007 at 10:49 pm, Guest said:

    I’m searching for apartments right now and today I asked the question ‘do you have problems with mold here?” to which the woman replied ‘I really can’t answer that due to Fair____ laws’. I can’t remember what she said.. I know she won’t willingly give me the information, but how can I find out if they’re about to stick me in a moldy apartment? It seems that these managers get away with this too much. I’m afraid to sign a 1 year lease, but if I sign a 3 month lease, th at’s $75 extra. I can’t afford that.

    Reply

  8. April 06, 2007 at 12:56 pm, Guest said:

    My wife and i have been living in this apartment for 5 months now, and for 2 of those months we have been living with a mold infested closet that our management company is doing nothing about. i put a stop payment on my last months rent check and now, they won’t let us pay this months rent with out paying last months also. i am so irritated, i have really bad allergies and this is causing me to cough all through the night. they still have yet to do anything about it, and the maintanance guy told us that he is sure that the mold started in the attack of the building and that this was an issue before we even moved in and that they probably wanted to get someone in there so that they would get paid, and then my wife and i, a young couple, came along and they felt like they could just take advantage of us… either that, or they just were to dumb to have normal up-keep on this building. i just don’t know where to go from here…. and even after trying to get them to do something by not paying rent last month, they still haven’t done anything, my closet is still covered with green mold. should i get a lawyer??? Thank you for your time.

    pridebecomesthefall at yahoo dot com

    reply with “mold issue”

    *Jeff*

    Reply

  9. April 07, 2007 at 11:45 am, Guest said:

    I’ve lived in a mold infested apartment complex for the past two years with my 4 kids. Two of them have asthma, the other 2 have skin irritations, all have been in an uproar ever since we moved in. I didn’t think it would be a problem after the first time they came in to clean the mold up, until it came back again and again. I’ve called to have them come clean the mold about 3-4 times and I have cleaned it up 3-4 adittional times myself. They have in my file that it was only reported one time, per the property management company, who refuses to return my calls now. The apartment did not pass 2 inspections in the month of March 2007. It finally passed after they spray painted over the most recent closet that I found it in and the inspector stated that he could smell the fresh paint. He passed the unit anyway. I found mold in all windows and so far 3 closets. The gentleman at the mgmt company lied and said that i had plastic on my windows, i have never done this, ever, yet he was offended that i would insinuate that his staff was lying about this issue. 6 months after i moved in, another tenant informed me that the unit i was living in was on the News the year before we moved in due to the mold. Yes, they moved my family in anyway even though they knew about the unit being on the news and the mold was an issue. Why? They didn’t think it was going to be a problem, even after i started calling them about the mold coming back again and again, never offered to move my family to another unit and rent went up 2 times. I feel like they owe me some of the $12,000 that i’ve paid to live in these conditions. When i asked the young lady in the office she replied”what conditions?” They just won the “BEST OVERALL PROPERTY OF THE YEAR.” How is this possible? I’ve found one picture that i took in April 2006 and i took several this March. Is there helpout there for these issues?

    Frustrated Mother
    Lenexa, Kansas

    Reply

  10. April 12, 2007 at 3:07 am, Guest said:

    Hello Frustrated:

    I am also in the same situation as you. I am unfortunately is the only one who got affected and got very sick bec of the mold from my rented place.

    Document, take pictures and dates of when you spoke to any property management. Get names of people you spoke to. If nothing is corrected, then call your Local Environmental Health Agency to come and check out the situation.

    Good luck.

    Also frustrated due to mold and irresponsible landlord.

    Reply

  11. April 12, 2007 at 3:15 am, Guest said:

    Mold issue

    Hi Jeff:

    You need to take pictures. Document who you spoke to. Visits with the doctors. Inform you local Environmental Agency of the situation.

    Get names of people, possible witnesses.
    You have the right to live in a habitable situation. You may also call your local District ATtorney and ask for TEnant or Consumer PRotection and inform them about the mold issues.

    I have been in the same situation. Mold inspection resulted in a very high mold spores in my walk-in closet. I have been coughing for over 2 months 24-7 and now developed Laryngitis and have developed Allergy Ashtma. Mind you, I do not have any asthma at all. Have been hospitalized twice due to chest congestion, unable/difficulty to breath. chest pain/tightness, coughing, sore throat, rashes, fatigue. You need to write your landlord , certify mail it with return receipt. If nothing is done to correct the problem then call your Environmental Health Office to have somebody come and check your apartment and if you continue to get sick, get out of the place right away before you get to my condition. I am still sick and have not been working since after thanksgiving of last year. Do not wait.

    I am now getting a lawyer to take care of my situation since my landlord is not cooperative and very negligent.

    Protect yourself.

    feel free to email me back at LyonsDesigns@aol.com if you need to get more info from me.

    Reply

  12. April 29, 2007 at 1:55 am, Guest said:

    I have a landlord that is also an attorney. There have been several health and safety risk issues that I have informed my landord of and asked him to fix and I have not ONCE received any form of response or verification that he has received my phone messages or letters(although I know he has).
    I live in a 6-plex and all of us have serious mold issues…to the point where my tan carpet is BLACK where it meets the sliding glass door. It is about two inches deep and 1-2 inches from the surface of the carpet to the bottom. There have been tenants that have moved over it because the landlord will not weatherize and fix it.
    Our heating bills in the winter run over $150.00 a month!!! This building needs updated weatherization to start with and much more after that.
    Also, there is no common lighting on the second or third floor. So, if the two tenants on either side of the staircase are not home and their porch lights are off, you CANNOT see the cement stairs. They are outdoors and both my daughter AND myself have missed a step and tripped…it could have been so much worse but even telling him that along with a suggestion of installing a cheap motion sensor light (all in writing) was completely ignored.
    I am getting frustrated and I dont’ know what my rights are regarding these issues.
    I am behind a month in rent due to job loss but just got a new and better job last week. Great! But…I have not paid and have no way of paying right now, April’s rent. He has been pretty lenient with this but he also get’s another 50.00 for the “late fee”. These other issues are health and safety hazzards. I feel like he doesn’t give a rats @!#&! about our concerns…he wants to do minimal-only-when-absolutely-necessary repairs and updates.
    Who can I call to inspect it and who would know all my legal rights and options? I want to have as much information as possible before taking any further action toward repairing or legal issues.
    If anyone has any suggestions…now is the time to let me know!

    I appreciate it!

    Reply

  13. May 01, 2007 at 9:43 pm, Guest said:

    I need some help. I have been living in this apartment with my husband since december of 06. When we moved in we took notice of the things that needed to be fixed. We have asked repeatedly if he would fix these items. They are mold on the walls due to a leaky window and radiator in the spare bedroom. The smell is very overpowering. We have a leaky window in our kitchen, and a toilet that is now way bolted down to the floor. My husband was sick for two months. And like I said earlier we have asked on several ocasion to fix these items. And now a huge chunk of the building fell on my husbands trucks damaging the front end and hood. All he tells us is that we will work something out. He bangs down our door when the rent is due, but he wont fix the rpoblems we are having. We have stopped paying him rent until these matters are taken care of. And now he wrote a letter demanding payment to him by the 4th of May. And not to mention he keeps calling at all hours of the day and night to find out when he is going to get paid. I refuse to answer my phone now, I am sick of dealing with him. Any suggestions that might be useful are welcomed. please contact me at shanbass2000 at yahoo dot com. Lost in Duluth, Minnesota.

    Reply

  14. June 22, 2007 at 2:34 am, Guest said:

    I have been living in an apartment for the past months and we recently discovered mold on all the windowsills and in the closet. I have also found it in the bathroom. There were a few apartments that were flooded a while ago, and at the beginning of this month they had to fix a leak in the main pipe. I have dark spots on my ceiling where it looks like it might have been damaged by water. I contacted the apartment manager and he told me to clean the mold with a bleach and water solution. However, I fear this will not get rid of the problem as I am pretty sure there is mold in the walls due to all the flooding and leaky pipes. I have a 5 month old son and am afraid of it affecting our health. It seems as though our landlord does not want to be bothered with the problem. What can I do???

    Reply

  15. August 03, 2007 at 12:02 pm, Guest said:

    I have a problem. I just moved into my apartment. The woman above me had a huge water spill and my entire living room ceiling turned yellow and was dripping water. When I called maintenance they said they were going to let it dry out and paint over it. Won’t my ceiling grow mold if the drywall isn’t replaced? I don’t know anything about this. Who would I talk to if my landlord won’t fix it properly? Someone please help!

    Reply

  16. August 03, 2007 at 4:05 pm, Guest said:

    ive lived in my apt for almost two years and havnt been too fussy with the managment. but there was orange spots on our roof after the shower was used for the first time they have told us that is mold appears spray it with tilex but it keeps comming back finally we asked for managenment to do something they painted over the ceiling leaving paint drops everywhere in our bathroom they have been incorroprative with us what should we do what are our rights as tenats?

    Reply

  17. August 25, 2007 at 3:31 pm, Guest said:

    I just moved into a new apartment and the landlord had a new roof put on, I had no problem before this but now there is major leak in the ceiling of my livingroom it is even leaking between the walls and downstairs into a light fixture. There is mold growing on the walls and I assume worse inside the walls. I had told the landlord and he thinks its no big deal and is taking his time doing anything about it, it has been about 3 weeks since I notified him of the problem and still nothing is being done about it. How long do I give him to fix it and what can I do when he does fix it. Does this mean I have to find a new place while repairs are being made? And how much responsibility should I expect him to take with my temporary arrangements?

    Reply

  18. August 29, 2007 at 9:16 am, Guest said:

    How “temporary” is your arrangement that your health is inconsequential? 3 weeks is an absurd amount of time to let this go unremedied. I would call your local health offices and report this. Then I would make alternate living arrangements. It doesn’t take long at all to suffer severe consequences from mold growth. Get out now, and report that slumlord!

    Reply

  19. August 31, 2007 at 11:36 am, Guest said:

    The upstairs tenants air conditioner leaked in their apt leaving my ceiling full of mold spots and water leak spots. It has also shorted our water heater twice in a week. The landlord says that they will just wait until it dries, the cover the outside mold with bleach, but will not tear down the sheetrock to get the rest of the mold held in the small area for the joists. Her solution is that she will let me out of my lease. Who incurs the expenses of me moving since she will not fix the problem?

    Reply

  20. September 27, 2007 at 11:35 am, Guest said:

    iam haveing a mold problem and the landlord said she would fix it and i asked how long would it take b/c my infant baby cant be in the house i showed her the doctors note and im on fixed income ssi and cant afford motels now she wants me to move is she suposed to return my sec.deposit?

    Reply

  21. October 01, 2007 at 9:44 am, Guest said:

    I was recently required to install carpets as part of a lease extension requirement. However, i tried to tell the landlord that i am allergic to carpets he refused to listen. Now that they are installed i am feeling choked, breathing became harder, in addition to having a two week old baby in the apartment exposed to these chemicals. What is my recourse.

    Reply

  22. October 06, 2007 at 1:16 am, Guest said:

    Dude, no offense, but your post is completely irrelevant to this article. Next time, you may want to find an article that’s more on topic with your issue. As for your options, I’d say talk to the landlord again and if that fails, talk to your lawyer. You may be able to sue for health damages.

    Reply

  23. October 11, 2007 at 5:55 pm, Guest said:

    If one has a mold issue and has proper documentation of damages illnesses and your complex has not done what they should to remedy your issue then it is time for a lawyer. Many lawyers when presented with the correct documentation will take you on without having to pay due to the fact that settlement will occur…as for the property of the year…send the honoring body the documentation that you have…that should embarass the company enough to get something done for you so as to save their reputation. Good luck to all…i luckily caught mine early and only needed air unit replaced and ducting cleaned well. Once again good luck to you all…your health and that of your families is only going to be fought for by you so dont give up and do it right!

    Mom of two, FL

    Reply

  24. November 04, 2007 at 1:13 am, Guest said:

    I am in the same situation, I used my bill money for a hotel, and I’ve also contacted agencies for help, got some but not much. My landlord laughed when i told him my son is very sick because of the mold. I feel for you on a fixed income and with a small child. Do you have an attorney? Get one and if your from Michigan call Leefree they will help you they have specialists that work only with mold cases. My son has asthma a rash on his body and the doctor said to get out of the house! go to a shelter, they have programs if you stay there so long then you can get in a transitional housing program

    Reply

  25. November 05, 2007 at 1:24 am, Guest said:

    Hi.. I’m dealing with the same.. Live in a HUD subsidized apt complex in Tx. I called HUD in Washington the other day and was redirected to local property management . who is sending someone out next week. the manager will be highly upset that I went over their head and I’m sure there will be pressure for me to move as I reported them.. I have had mold for 5 years and all they do is spray with Kill-z and not analyze the mold.. Do you have any suggestions how I can protect myself from being forced to move.. ? I am on Social security..
    Thanks Please reply to radpraiser@gmail.com..asap.
    Thanks

    Reply

  26. November 09, 2007 at 11:00 pm, Guest said:

    found mold in the air ducts. Complex is seems to show cooperation and will be testing the mold and “taking care of it” The thing is that this has already affected my family. We have had numerous visits to the hospital since living here and my son has a learning disability that could have been due to the mold ( he was born in this apt) Can legal action still be taken? I have photos that show the air units full of mold and old.

    Reply

  27. December 01, 2007 at 10:12 pm, Guest said:

    Frustrated Mother in Lenexa -
    I also live in Lenexa in an apartment community and have a mold issue. I have a 2 year old who has been more or less sick continously for the past 6 months -coughing, pink eye, irritated skin, and constant runny nose. I have taken him to the doctor for these symptoms and have spoke with the pediatrician of the mold problem. She of course said to contact the landlord immeditaly – which of course I have. I have made several attempts to get this problem taken care of and it’s not happening. I am wondering, where do you live?

    Reply

  28. December 06, 2007 at 1:39 am, Guest said:

    I was reading your story and that is so true. I have been living in my apartment for 5 months now and I have been sick with pneumnonia, ashthma problems,bronchis,sinus infections and I come to find out that there was toxic mold that i have been breathing in for a few months. Had to be checked for lung cancer as well as fungal growth. When I asked my landlord to check it they all said “you made the claim that there is black mold, it’s your responcabiity to check it” I was so upset that I took all the documentation and steps now needed to do this. I have been diagnosed now with beginning stages of COPD as well as fresh scar tissue in both lungs. Cat scan of the lungs showed this from Karmono’s Cancer Clinic in Michigan. I have collected bulk samples from the damaged area and sent them into an Air Anaylysis company. Came back toxic, Stachybotrus and Chaomeimum (not sure on spelling) they came to my place today to do more sampling.I have been out of my apartment now for 30 days and have had a major health improvement. I have contacted legal repsentation now and proceed to sue for personal injury as well as money on testing and loss of personal belongings. I’m so exhausted about this. I think we need to create a MOLD Toxic Group and protest for tennents in all 50 states.

    Reply

  29. December 06, 2007 at 1:47 am, Guest said:

    Yes!!! look under tennants rights in your state. It will tell you how to ask for that back in letter format. That is horrible make sure your baby is not in the house at all. She/he can die from mold exposure.

    Reply

  30. December 06, 2007 at 1:50 am, Guest said:

    First of all take pics, and document. Then go online in your state and look up tennants rights. You should have a tennants rights advocate group in your city or county. That is very bad that this slumlord is doing this to you. He is not cooroporating with you and that is horrible.

    Reply

  31. December 06, 2007 at 2:02 am, Guest said:

    Thanks for putting this comment on here. I am going to call Lee Free. I have a huge case going on. I have Black Toxic Mold in my place from a bulk sample I took out of the damaged drywall that was recently opened up to repair a leak. I have been having repsirtory problems such as asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, headaches. The sample came back 75% Stachybotrus and Chamemium which are highly toxic. I had to have the Air Anaylysis place come out and test the apartment for air samples and other bulk sampling to make sure to cover all ends. My landlord said “since I made the claim that there was black mold that it was my responcibility to have everything checked” Well, my friends…. Docment everything and pictures..you can’t get enough. Make sure you ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS write to the landlord everything you do and are requesting. This way it’s documented. This is where I went wrong. But it will always work out. I have doctors notes up the ying-yang as well as cat-scan testing, and blood work from Dr. Harbut here in Royal Oak Michigan. He’s a great doctor who specializes in MOLD EXPOSURE.
    I recommend him to everyone in MI. We have to really push hard on this topic and get some laws past or advocate group started for tennants rights. this is a huge deal that slumlords don’t want to address because it costs 1000′s of dollars to get everything remediated in the apartments. IT’s very very costly. They take the band-aid way out and never fix the acutal causing of the wound. I have scar -tissue and first signs of COPD because of this exposure. I recommend you get checked out. You will have some peace of mind. Hope all works well with your case. Thanks for the Lee Free advise!!!

    Reply

  32. December 30, 2007 at 9:38 pm, Guest said:

    Hi, I recently moved out of an apartment that had mold in the bathroom walls, tiles, drains, vent, and kitchen counter, vent, and built up residue including cat hairs and dander on the inside of the radiators (under the cover which makes the partially exposed). This happended within a month of my moving in – in three weeks of living there, I succumbed to symptoms of asthma and bronchial irritation – feelings of burning and wheezing and even chills. A doctor that I saw at a walk-in clinic was not much help but said I should ideally remove myself from that situation. He even asked me what the number of the provincial health inspector was (and I’m not the expert!). Anyhow, I found a few web pages that were quite helpful in outlining my rights as a tennant – and believe me, the only rights you have are the ones you are willing to stand up for! Here are two websites that are helpful:

    apartmentguide.ca

    http://www.ontariotenants.ca/index.phtml

    Basically you can google ‘tenants rights’ and ‘ministry of health’ (for health inspectors) and ‘legal aid’+'tenants’ (for legal aid) for your region.

    First thing is to make sure you photograph and document everything. Keep an extra copy of all correspondences for your records. That’s what I did. Always bring up the subject in a civilized way with your landlord/superintendent/prop mgr before you bring in the army! They will be that much easier to deal with in the long-run. (Pen is usually mightier than the sword) and don’t be afraid to challenge them to call your bluff. You have to lay the ground rules for this match, not them. They are the ones who are in the wrong.

    Its a long and ugly process, but stick to your guns and don’t give up the fight. Your health is what matters.

    My two cents.

    ‘glad to be outta that horrible apartment!’

    Reply

  33. January 15, 2008 at 12:47 am, Guest said:

    I WORK in a toxic mold office. The ceiling has been leaking for several years, and for the first five years I worked there my ceiling tiles were all yellow and even brown from the leaking and they never even bothered to replace them. Then my third year there the ceiling leaked so bad the tiles were taken out and left out, and a big clearp piece of visqueen was stapled to the walls and hung from the ceiling, with holes cut in the tarp where the water leaking in could flow into wastebaskets placed around my desk.

    At the time I thought it was kind of humorous, as I knew nothing about mold toxitity at the time.

    But last year I developed serious excema of the hands, would get occasional rashes on my arms — or hives(?!!) — and now and then my face would poof up like a balloon.

    Finally, late this summer I got this eye thing that did not go away. Itchy, watering most of the time especially if I was walking, and the skin would be crusty dry and wrinkled all around the eyes, sometimes red in a big circle all around the eyes. The red dry skin has extended down to my cheeks on both sides of my nose now.

    The freaky thing is, this is a municipal law department, and the management has insisted (to make a long ugly story short and sweet) that there is no mold in the building.

    I am still there because I have to pay my rent, and am looking for another job. I realize it has been six years now that I have been exposed to this sick environment, even though I did not have symptoms til 14 months ago. Why other people don’t get the reaction I do is a mystery to me.

    Who can I report this to? So long as I am not aware of any long-term permanent or fatal condition I do not wish to mess my hands up suing them but I do want to do something.

    Reply

  34. March 06, 2008 at 6:02 pm, Guest said:

    Fustrated in Indiana

    I have lived in a 2 plex in Lebanon indiana for the past 6 months, my shower had been painted when i moved in duh!!! should have sent up red flags that she was covering something. prior to my mopving in the sink in the bathroom was old and leaky, she repaced it prior to me moving in duh!!!! another red flag.. should i be tested for mold exposure, I currently moved out of the apartment and have had to start all over literally. New furniture new matress everythihng. are clothes capablpe of being cleaned to remove mold and its spores? should i have myself and my clothes tested??

    Reply

  35. March 08, 2008 at 3:11 am, Guest said:

    my landlord has been refusing to fix my sink mold is comming inside of the sink outside the walls and the celling.He has refuce to fix the problem.And know he has made up lies to kick me out of my appartment.I’ve lived here for 3 years and never had a problem with my previous manager,but this manager that moved in 3 months ago is now getting me kicked out.What can I do?

    Reply

  36. March 20, 2008 at 12:10 am, Guest said:

    I found mold in my windows and bathroom after i noticed it in my neighbors window….I notified the apartment complex and they had the handyman come and look at it. He returned later to tell me it was not mold it was mildew……I said isnt it the same thing? his reply was kinda……I went down to the office enraged bc they tried to down play the situation like i would not know….they cleaned it with bleach and were supposed to seal the windows but have yet to do so after 3 weeks….this has been going on for quite some time bc the drywall is crumbling….they also said the stains in the bathroom were nothing……..what do i do?

    Reply

  37. March 27, 2008 at 9:26 am, Guest said:

    I am sick from a moldy apartent started by roof repairs. I am in a rental. Twice they have let it dry & painted over it. Oh and the carpet cleaner sprayed something on it when it was drying, the mildew stains. They cleaned the carpet. I am sick for two months now.

    The stains are showing through & when I had them over recently they said it smelled only like paint. I am taking pictures & notes. May have to break the lease.

    Reply

  38. June 03, 2008 at 3:58 pm, Guest said:

    I and my four children have been living in my apartment for 8 years. When I moved in, I noticed that the shower room had new paint (as did the entire apartment), yet, it looked really rough because it was paint over chipped paint. It has always been very damp in the shower room, especially after someone showers. I noticed that there was black mold growing from the badly done walls. It would be all over the walls and the ceiling.

    To clean it, I would usually spray a solution of bleach and water on the areas. It did the trick, for a while, but then the paint started chipping (because it was cheap) and I would need to scrape it off in order to wipe it, so I just sprayed and let it dry. The fumes from the solution ran us all out of the house, but I didn’t know what else to do.

    We had a few inspections (by housing authority or landlord), and she commented on how bad it looked. My two youngest boys’ room was the next room over and for a couple of years, you could smell that earthy odor, which came from their closet. A few years back, we had a pipe to burst behind that wall and it flooded their room with about 1 in. of water.

    The maintenance crew came to fix the leak, but they didn’t remove the sheet rock, which became the breeding ground for some nasty looking mold colony. The smell in the boys’ closet was so bad that it literally irritated our eyes and noses. We could not use that closet for years. I mentioned the problem to my landlord, but I was not adamant. I am so sorry.

    My family has suffered from ailments as: severe allergies, ear infections, bladder ailments, severe rashes, bronchitis, staph infections, eye infections, etc. Even when my landlord visited my home on several occasions, she took her time correcting the issue.

    My issue is this…we’ve just had a crew of construction workers to come in and so some major work (one was tearing down that wall between the boys’ room and the shower room). I have two grandchildren who now lives in this apartment. One is 18 months old and the other is 2 months old.

    At the time of the renovations, my youngest grandchild (boy) was only a few days old. It started as a kitchen job, but then it quickly went over the entire apartment. We had no where to go and this working went on for over a month! Yes, we were exposed to every chemical, the sheet rock and dry wall dust, and of course, the mold!

    I called the landlord’s office and asked them about the insanity of putting my family through that atrocity, but to no avail. The workers said that they asked my landlord to place us in another environment, while they worked because we has small children and because it was in unlivable conditions. They declined. They also asked my landlord to, at least rent a u-haul to place my furniture, but they again declined.

    They said that they were not going to be liable for any hospital bills. All the while, my family and I had to endure the work shut up in our rooms! We could also go outside and broil in the sun.

    My grandson began to develop symptoms of a bad cold, immediately. He also had a small blister-like bump on his inner thigh. Well, the doctor said that he had a cold and they sent a culture off for that bump, which came back as a staph infection. My granddaughter had one, as well.

    By the end of the construction, my grandson’s condition plummeted to the degree that upon a doctor’s visit, he was hospitalized within the hour. He was not breathing right, a bit too fast, they said and his blood work was very irregular. He was not getting enough oxygen, so they put him on oxygen.

    After three days, he was sent off to a very sophisticated medical center about four hours away. He went from bad to worst. He was admitted into PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit). No one knew what the diagnosis was because the tests came back negative. He had fluid build-up on his left lung, which became so bad that the surgeons had to place a draining tube in his side to his lung for drainage. He had a feeding tube inserted, and a breathing tube inserted during the surgery. We almost lost him! That pisses me off!

    He was diagnosed with having a severe Staph infection and Pneumonia. He’s only two months old! He’s been hospitalized for almost a month, now and my family has been through some trying times, but he is alot better.

    I am seeking litigation for the issues here because of the hell that my grandson endured.

    Reply

  39. June 19, 2008 at 10:03 am, Guest said:

    Remove Toxic mold and other impurities with an air purifier: achooallergy.com/airpurifiers.asp

    Reply

  40. July 10, 2008 at 5:45 pm, Guest said:

    Crazy…I’m going through the exact same problem only my mold is growing in the closet due to a sewage leak…but the management keeps saying it is no big deal. I have had red itchy eyes and a cough for weeks now.

    Reply

  41. September 26, 2008 at 10:42 pm, Guest said:

    I also had a roof problem. Took rental company 3 weeks to send someone out. THen from there another 3 weeks to figure there were pipes in the ceiling. I had mold everywhere. They just cleaned the carpet and sprayed with bleach in this closet where most mold was. They never went into the ceiling to spray. We have stayed sick and my allergies have been off the chain. My 14 month old daughter bless her heart had a staff infection and never came in contact with anyother person who had it. I am wondering if it could be caused by the mold. Now I have had 3 of them and my daughter has had 4. If any information on this, please let me know. Also I am in Alabama. I now have german roaches due to all the moisture and water. They are not wanting to come spray- not their problem. Can anyone help with any laws or any info that will help me. It took the ceiling to fall on my head and back before they came to look at it originally 3 weeks later after I called em day after day. Please help especially if any info on a child with staff and a child who huffs and puffs- seems like she is out of breath, dont wheeze so not asthma, but it is not normal and it is something that started around the time all this happened. Thanks sheri
    MOMMA1177@yhaoo.com if u have any info.

    Reply

  42. October 21, 2008 at 3:10 pm, Guest said:

    we are having the same problem we have mold in our ac system and we are not getting any help at all to fix the the problem.the property mananger knows and has done nothing.we live in conroe texas.we are wondering how did you get help.

    Reply

  43. October 21, 2008 at 9:33 pm, Guest said:

    I hope you are getting a lawyer. The fact that the landlord would allow something like that going on with small children in the home is in-human. If you haven’t already, I would think the Public Health Dept would also be someone to contact. I hope your grandson is OK!

    Reply

  44. November 08, 2008 at 8:23 pm, Guest said:

    my 5 month old boy has a rash always a cough and just keeps getting sick since we have been here but the landlord wont let us out even with a medical certificate.

    Reply

  45. December 20, 2008 at 11:29 am, Guest said:

    REPORT YOUR LANDLORD TO THE HOUSING ASSOCIATION, AND THE HEALTH DEPT,!

    Reply

  46. December 22, 2008 at 12:59 pm, Guest said:

    Hello, I am going through the exact same problem. I have mold in my hall closet because my upstairs neighbors had a leak. I hope you have had it repaired by now, but I researched my state laws(VA) and I have found that my landlord MUST treat the mold and eliminate it or I can leave with 30 days notice. My husband and I only have 60 days left on our lease and do not plan to renew but it is good to know that we can leave if we must. I do not want to expose my infant son to this environment.

    Reply

  47. December 28, 2008 at 10:46 pm, Guest said:

    call the baord of health and put your rent in an escrow account until the problem is fixed

    Reply

  48. December 31, 2008 at 12:19 am, Guest said:

    I hear a lot of these messages with people in fear of their landlords. We had a similar situation and you would be surprised at how many rights you have as a renter. Our problems escalated to the point that the police were called and when they arrived they forced her to leave the premesis because as renters it was our property. Anyway, you have a LOT of rights as renters and landlords love to scare you into thinking they can have you evicted (the lazy ones that don’t want to do any work on the place…just collect your money for an overpriced piece of property). You have rights. Call the police and at least have a report on file. It may not be immediate but paper trails are good to have when things hit the fan and more than likely will scare them into finally fixing it before it gets to that point. Act like a victim and you’ll get treated like one.

    Reply

  49. January 03, 2009 at 3:17 am, Guest said:

    I know this is a long time after you have posted but I am having problems with my apartment complex. I am lucky though because I have Prepaid Legal. I have a lawyer that I can call 24/7. It even includes court costs. I know this sounds fake but it isn’t. Even the governor of Louisiana tells everyone that they should get Prepaid Legal. I also work for the company so if you want more information then email me stickaleana@yahoo.com. I thought it might help you. If I didn’t have a lawyer I would be in the same place as you. Prepaid legal is very affordable like 30 dollars a month.

    Reply

  50. March 24, 2009 at 11:46 am, Anonymous said:

    I have lived in my current apartment for two years and my bedroom window has leaked every time it rains since I moved in. Every time they re-seal the window (which I’ve told them time and time again does nothing) they put a blower in the bedroom, and sometimes cut out the wall and replace the padding under the carpeting but lately I’ve been perpetually sick, feeling as though I can’t grasp my breath, a horrible cough, and even nausea. Discovering that these are all symptoms of mold I started looking more closely at my wall and found clusters of small red and pink spots all over it which after doing a lot of research I discovered is most likely mold. I went to the rental manager and told her what’s going on so she sent maintenance in to test the walls for wetness. The detector showed that the walls are dry and now they won’t do anything even though many publications claim that mold can continue to grow even after the walls have dried. Has anybody had a similar problem or suggestions of where to go for more help? I’m in college and my grades have been suffering because I’m ALWAYS sick so please, any information/resources would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply

  51. May 10, 2009 at 3:40 pm, annie kraft said:

    we’ve had a mold issue for quite some time. about 3 years a go they fixed the mold problem by painting over it. last july they said that they would have to come in and put new drywall up and paint again. that was some time in july and they were going to be here by the middle of august. they didn’t come! the girl who answers their phone said we wouldn’t let them in. that wasn’t the case. they never came. then more recently they want to paint over it again, but we had to live here while they did the work. this time i wasn’t going to let them work while we lived here. the mold is every where and i don’t think we should subject our health to this.

    Reply

  52. June 08, 2010 at 1:10 pm, Lauren said:

    Reading all of these is making me VERY nervous, i have only lived in my apartment for a month, but within two weeks me and my boyfriend were sick, we were convinced we had the flu and were frustrated to hear from our doctors that it was only a viral infection. A week later we saw a leak in our daughters closet, with OBVIOUS mold spots. My landlord had a maintenence man come spray it, and for a while we couldn’t see the spots. THEN by the end of the week the water damage on the walls looked worse, the old mold spots showed up and even more NEW spots were visible…they sprayed again and have a dehumidefier in my daughters closet, but i’m getting sick AGAIN. Sore throat and REALLY bad fatigue. My daughter is two and she doesn’t complain much, but she has a cough and looks more worn out than usual. I googled the stuff they sprayed, Microban, and found that it only PREVENTS mold, it doesn’t KILL it…they didn’t return my call yesterday and i’m starting to get worried. After reading all of your posts I’m afraid that my situation will just get worse. I badly want to break my lease and get out of here but I don’t think that i should be charged for it. ANY advice? I’m only 20 and this is my first apartment, I really feel like they are just going to walk all over me.

    Reply

  53. October 26, 2011 at 10:16 am, Amanda said:

    Thought you should read this crap over….

    Reply

  54. October 31, 2011 at 7:41 pm, BEEN THERE said:

    I live in Atlanta, GA and I have been in 3 apartments in 3 years. All 3 of the apartments had mold. On the first one I tried the diplomatic route, but he cost of mold remediation is very expensive and they had the maintenance crew try to cover it up with kiltz instead. I tried to sue them but it is a waste of time. I wasted money and made myself look dumb. let’s be serious. It is wrong of them but we can not do anything about it. Mold is not regulated by the government.
    Notify your apartment complex manager about the potential health problem. Ask for a face to face meeting. ask what their protocol is with this type of issue. Ask if they expect you to live under the conditions. Ask if they will relocate you or at least allow you to quietly leave and break the lease without penalties.

    Reply

  55. March 03, 2012 at 10:44 am, frustrated said:

    I’m living in an apt and my 11th month old child has been having random seizue spells and unexplained health issues my sister advised to look around for mold in my apt and as i do i find my bedroom (where my son sleeps) is coverd in mold in corners coming up from the carpet has been painted over and the largest patch behind my bed has pink and red spots throughout it does anybody know what this means??

    Reply

  56. March 19, 2012 at 9:12 pm, Guest said:

    People in different posts keep talking about contacting your local government health or enviro agency? What are they referring to? I live in Tx and there seems to be laws but no health agency to check out apartment. I have been seeking an agency that does this for several months, each just refers to another and so on.

    Reply

  57. July 31, 2012 at 12:16 am, pissed off paying tenant said:

    my husband and i have lived in this apartment for five years and always had mold in our bathroom, windows, and bedroom.we have called time and time again about it and all they do is spray paint the mold. recently my husband has gone to the hopital twice for a fungal infection and now im starting to have trouble breathing, nausea,headaches,fevers,ear aches, and lots of colds. its gotten to the point where we are sueing for negligence. if you have mold dont wait for lazy managers to fix it if they havnt done anything so far. sue them nd screw them

    Reply

  58. August 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm, YAH said:

    HEARY HEARY- PEOPLE THE ONLY WAY THAT MOLD CAN BE REMOVED IS MY TEARING DOWN THE WALLS OR TAKING UP THE MOLDY CARPET, OR CHECKING THE HVHC UNIT, AND CLEANING THAT. PATCH WORK IS A WASTE OF TIME. IF THEY DONT FIX IT WITHIN 7 DAYS TELL THE ASSOCIATIN , OR BOGUS MANAGEMENT THAT YOU ARE BREAKING THE LEASE. GET A MUTUAL AGREEMENT IN WRITTING. TAKE PICS, HAVE YOUR DOC CHECK YOU FOR MOLD. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD YOU ARE ENDANGERING YOUR CHILDREN. CALL YOUR CITY CODE ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, ALLOW THEM TO COME IN AND LOOK AT THE LEAKS, MOLD.

    CALL A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY ( A GOOD ONE ) AND GO AFTER THEM. I DID AND I GOT ALL MY PRIOR RENT BACK AND SOME. FT LAUDERDALE FL GOOD LUCK

    Reply

  59. December 22, 2013 at 7:40 pm, Barbara Hooper said:

    81 yrs old in wheelchair – HUD subsidized – certified letters no response. 200 apr. apartment complex in Feeding Hills, MA. Owners LLC corp. no address provided. Manager refuses to listen. Paid for surface tests and air quality tests. Pennicillium/Aspergillus, non sporulating fungi, Ascospores and Basidiospores. Have een having serious allergic symptoms for many months. Seeing Allergist and Pain Speciallist. Have only extremely low SS retirement income. Can’t afford attorney. Much more has happened and I have TONS of proof; internet research, 300 pictures, signed statements from Nurse, Health Aides, relatives. Doctors treat symptoms, but just say get out of there! I have no plae to go. Manager called Health Dept. because of my complaints. He has been called to many apartments here. He “saw no mold” (I’ve cleaned it) but told Mgr to get “air quality test”. This was weeks ago – no test. I asked Mgr why, and he said “The Jealth Dept. Insp. was the Ins. and report doesn’t say anything about air quality”. I have no copy of this report and have asked both Mgr and Health Insp. for a copy – no response. HUD never responded to certified mail. Latest development – my request for “reasonable accommodation transfer” has been denied. I have my lab results, etc and am not imagining the fact that the mold was here for many years before I moved in and I was never told about it. Stress is unbearable. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is not afforded to me as a life long citizen of this country. I have no quality of life here! What can I do. I’m getting “veiled” and “implied” threats of losing my rent subsidy.

    Reply

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