Horror stories about mold abound online. A quick Google search gives results with titles like “Mold: the silent killer” and “Poisoned: Our Mold Story.” A trifle mellow-dramatic, perhaps, but it definitely relays the message.  Mold in your rental is bad news.

You receive a call from your tenant. They found mold in the bathroom, or the pantry, or in the closet. What do you do?


First, go take a look at it. There is a difference between mold and discoloration in the shower grout, and not every tenant understands that difference. Hopefully, it is something small and can be easily remedied.


If it does seem to be mold/mildew, never ignore it. Reach out to local contractors that specialize in those situations and work with the tenants to build a plan to treat the issue.


It is good to be able to fix a problem. Troubleshooters are a valued part of society, and it is an excellent skill to have. But at the same time, there is definitely something to be said for preventive action. How do we prevent mold/mildew? What is the root cause of the issue?


The root cause of mold is always excessive moisture. This can be caused by a water leak going unnoticed, or maybe the water from a previous leak wasn’t cleaned up properly. There are causes of improper foundations allowing moisture to seep from the ground and into the building. Maybe the roof has a leak.

Or maybe, it could be the most common cause of mild mold/mildew issues. Does the tenant know how to turn on the circulator fan after a shower? That sounds facetious, but it is the unfortunate truth, some tenants do not seem to know how to turn on the fan.

The bathroom is the main source of excessive moisture in the house. If the bathroom doesn’t have a fan and there are signs of discoloration or mildew, the landlord should have one installed. If the house has a fan, but it doesn’t seem to be working properly, have it replaced. It is a simple, relatively inexpensive fix to a problem that, if ignored, has the potential to be costly.


As with most issues, mold is only the end of the world if you ignore it. If mold/mildew makes an appearance at your rental, treat the immediate symptoms and fix the underlying cause.

As always, Happy landlording!