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Black Mold in an Apartment

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Black Mold in an Apartment

Postby Zeenit » Sun, 06 May 2012 4:38 pm

I have been asked by a friend what she can do regarding her lease.
This is the story. Her son has had 3 asthma attacks in one month and he never had any health problems before.
After A&E visits NEA got involved and came to do a site visit. They tested the air con, water etc and there was nothing but after pulling the parents bed away from the wall discovered a wall of Black Mold behind the bed.

They notified the LL whom happens to be an Expat couple. They have since come in to do work on the children bedrooms and claim that since the kids rooms are ok they not interested in tackling the parents room where the mold is very visible.

They hold alot of dep money and my friend wants to know if they can break their lease legally or what redress have they got to get the apartment fixed for to a decent living standard.

Any useful advise is must appreciated.
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Postby x9200 » Sun, 06 May 2012 5:34 pm

In some TAs there is clause stating that if the LL refuses or neglects to repair this or that you can proceed and do it by yourself. If your friends have it go for a lesser caliber action:

(all by registered post where applicable)
1. request the LLs to remove the mold. State the reasons.
2. if refused or no action, get 3 quotations and chose the most reasonable one
3. let the company do it
4. request the LL to cover the expenses
5. if refused or no action go to STC to claim this. Also try to claim a part of the rental back for the period from your very first notice to the LLs till present.

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Postby Zeenit » Sun, 06 May 2012 7:16 pm

The LL is refusing to pay any other cost. Even now asking them to replace the fridge and washing machine to the cost of $4000.00
And they had moved into a Service Apartment and they had to cover that cost as well.

Hence I am trying to help them!
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Postby x9200 » Mon, 07 May 2012 7:15 am

They need to document their efforts of communicating with the LLs on that subject regardless they are convinced or not that the LLs will refuse.
I would really advise to go via this less caliber route as IMO they may not have a strong case for breaking the contract.
See this:
http://www.cdc.gov/mold/stachy.htm

It's not black and white. Is highly circumstantial and if they break the contract to win the case they will have to:
1. prove beyond reasonable doubts that the apartment become uninhabitable for the mold reason (and this may go far beyond proving that the child was sick because of the mold), and
2. prove that they informed about this the LLs and that the LL's neglected to undertake what's necessary to solve the problem

They may win at the end and also claim some compensation for the health hazard but I doubt this is the case for STC in other words, lots of time and lawyers money will be needed.

All the above IMHO only (I am not a lawyer).

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 07 May 2012 8:38 am

The mold is in the parents bedroom and not the childs. Maybe the child is naturally asthmatic, who is to say? It is tricky if NEA observations relating to the child's environment have been complied with.

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Postby Zeenit » Mon, 07 May 2012 9:00 am

JR8 wrote:The mold is in the parents bedroom and not the childs. Maybe the child is naturally asthmatic, who is to say? It is tricky if NEA observations relating to the child's environment have been complied with.


Child is not naturally asthmatic that has been established.
But as the mold is present in the parents room the mold sticks to there clothes which they wear and comes in contact with the kid.
ALso the kid can not go anywhere near the parents bedroom FULL STOP.

The mother naturally is getting stressed as this is causing her kid to be ill, in a place that is suppose to be home, and home should = safe.
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Postby JR8 » Mon, 07 May 2012 9:04 am

But the parents were ok sleeping in their bedroom with the mold, at least until they discovered it?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 07 May 2012 11:44 am

Zeenit, I would suggest getting in touch with EV-Disinfection who was one of our regulars here for a while. At least try his company as he is pretty clued up about that sort of there here. Disregard, the rest of the posts as they are just havin' a go and not helping at all.

http://www.evdisinfection.com/index.html

Somebody else on the board had used him as well and were very satisfied.

Try to speak with Terrance and tell him I sent you! ;-)

He could also probably tell you the legal options here as well....
Last edited by sundaymorningstaple on Mon, 07 May 2012 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 07 May 2012 11:49 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote: Disregard, the rest of the posts as they are just havin' a go and not helping at all.



Er!?
Zeenit is talking about the parents looking for grounds to break their tenancy early, costs of alternative accommodation etc, and not just the immediate issue of resolving mold.

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 07 May 2012 12:20 pm

To disregards our posts SMS it simply means they should go ahead and break the contract. Sure. Do not forget to tell us about the outcome.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 07 May 2012 12:32 pm

The very first thing to do is to ensure that the black mode is of the type that can/will cause allergic reactions in the first place. Terrance is a specialist and his word will carry far more weight than anything else.After they determine that, THEN spend the money on lawyers or whatever. Don't put the cart before the horse is all I'm saying.

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Postby the lynx » Mon, 07 May 2012 12:33 pm

To be fair, Zeenit asked for BOTH.

They hold alot of dep money and my friend wants to know if they can break their lease legally or what redress have they got to get the apartment fixed for to a decent living standard.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 07 May 2012 12:41 pm

So then, knowing whether the black mold is the crux of the problem would entail having a specialist to determine whether or not it's the problem. After knowing that, then the would want to know if they could legally break the contract. But first they have to determine if it's actually the problem, rather than the whole thread being based on assumptions.....

Frankly, I didn't have a lot of time to go over the whole thread with a fine tooth comb, but apparently the replies were upsetting the OP too. So maybe she took the replies the wrong way as well. Or so my PM message seemed to allude to.

My apologies if I got hoist by my own petard on this one. :oops:

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 07 May 2012 12:48 pm

Here SMS:
After A&E visits NEA got involved and came to do a site visit. They tested the air con, water etc and there was nothing but after pulling the parents bed away from the wall discovered a wall of Black Mold behind the bed.

It is probably safe to assume NEA is at least as knowledgeable as Terrence, don't you think?

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 07 May 2012 12:57 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:So then, knowing whether the black mold is the crux of the problem would entail having a specialist to determine whether or not it's the problem. After knowing that, then the would want to know if they could legally break the contract.

How? Perhaps I am wrong but I really don't think having some "toxic" black mold is good enough to break the contract. It is like having a washing machine that is not grounded properly with the "live" phase on its casing - it can kill somebody, but even if the owner refuses to fix it you don't pack your furniture and leave but rather than this you fix it by yourself and charge the owner for all the costs.


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