A rental property with a mold issue is not new news. However, with all the bad press landlords get, the sight of mold for some tenants conjures images of greedy landlords sending hapless tenants to the hospital. Because of this we have to work double time to keep our tenants in the know and to work quickly and in good faith if a situation does come up. Here are some facts that will keep us out of trouble.
- As long as there is a moisture problem there will be a mold problem.
- Some homes are more prone to mold than others. If you have a home that has constant mold issues, stop just treating the symptom and fix the problem.
- Even though the tenants are introducing the additional moisture to the home it is not necessarily their fault there is a mold issue.
This brings us to mold prevention. The landlord first needs to do their part. That is provide a product that your customers can enjoy. Among other items, this is an environment that is not conductive to growing mold. This includes functioning roof, heat, windows, plumbing, and ventilation systems. Big producers of moisture are dryers with broken or plugged ductwork, ventilation hoods over the stove that do not work or vent right back into the living space ( I have seen it), bathroom fans that do not work or do not move enough air. If after these items are fixed or updated consider adding a timer or hydrometer switch to the bathroom fan.
We recently added a hydrometer switch to a rental that always had a muggy feeling to it with the start of a mold issue in the bedrooms behind the dressers. We added the hydrometer switch to the bathroom fan and did some light cleaning in the bedrooms. Amazingly, the moldy situation and the heavy moisture laden air problem vented away.
Consider adding the ROA’s Mold Prevention Agreement (Form 54)to your quiver of addendums. Often just making the tenants aware of what they can do and what is expected of them is most of the battle. Happy Landlording.
Note: This was taken from an article published for the Rental Owners Association of Lane County.