Surprise! The dream house, your apartment or your place of work have mold! What Next?
- Date: 01-2017
- Tags: Mold
Who is the lucky person that owns that mold? This is not as silly a question as it may seem. Really what we are talking about is who is the responsible party to correct mold problems and what happens when that person is not the person affected by the mold?
Here are some everyday examples where there is a difference between exposure to mold, ownership of the mold, responsibility for the expense of remediation.
- Potential buyer of a home
- Tenant of an apartment
- Worker, student or patient in a facility
The Balance in Working for Mold Solutions when the owner or responsible party for mold is not the person being harmed has evolved over the last couple of decades. The laws surrounding each of these scenarios do differ between states, and you should consult an attorney for your jurisdiction. These are generalizations and not legal advice.
Real Estate Sales
When we talk about Real Estate, the disclosure law is the source of balance. The seller does not want to correct the contamination. When an area is TESTED and mold is PROVEN most states have disclosure laws that require all potential buyers to be informed of the mold problem.
In the days before disclosure, a mold problem could be hidden without consequence. Now most states have laws with potential damages to injured parties if the mold problem if identified by proper testing is not disclosed.
Lenders also express concern and may require remediation before accepting a mortgage on a specific residential party. They are protecting their financial interest in a property. If a property is not habitable and the loan goes into default, the property must be salable to recover their investment in a mortgage.
Tenant Occupied Properties
The laws surrounding tenants and landlords do differ between states. In general, if testing and expert analysis can demonstrate a harm, there may be civil liability. There are many other states that have rules regarding habitability and can provide relief from leases and other agreements in certain circumstances relating to mold. There are also many health departments at local levels that may consider and
Just as in the Real Estate Sale, the key in this instance is testing to prove that a mold condition exists. Once proven, the laws and regulations can be tools that help convince the most reluctant owner to take corrective action. If that does not work, then there is the News at 11:00 media option as a last resort.
Workplace, School, Healthcare Facility or Other Public Building
Once again testing and proving the exposure is the key to identifying and resolving WHEN there is a mold problem in these buildings. The work environment and worker health is in the best interest of the building owners and managers. These are complex issues regulated by a myriad of rules, regulations, agencies not to mention unions.
In each of these scenarios, it is best to work with all parties to identify and resolve problems. We have had great success in providing accurate testing and providing recommendations leading to the best remediation solution at the most reasonable cost.