When Landlords try to Bully Tenants
Some landlords try to suppress the truth of a mold/moisture situation in the tenant’s home. This can be done in several ways.
1) Fail to disclose leaks had occurred on the property during the application process of the tenant to move into the property (which is against the law).
2) Attempt to ignore a tenant’s complaint about possible mold or leaks on the property (Senate bill 655 requires landlords to maintain properties free from dampness and mold).
3) Hire a Mold/Moisture Inspection Professional and fail to disclose what the findings are (which the law does not compel landlords to do except with subpoena).
4) Attempt to ignore Inspection Reports that show there is a moisture/mold issue on the property. (Again, against the law; meaning the landlord has the obligation to correct the situation by law).
5) Attempt to force the tenant to move out so as to ignore the situation so as not to pay out money to fix the property or pay for a place for the tenant to stay until the property is fixed. This is also against the law.
Above are some of the ways landlords may try to evade responsibility. This blog article is not in any way saying that all landlords do this. Only the less than ethical ones. It is like any industry, there will be the good apples and the bad ones. It is a part of the world we live in.
I have brought this up since a recent inspection involving a large company managing a large apartment complex seems to have a policy to attempt to force tenants to move out, attempt not to pay for similar accommodations when required by law while a property is being ‘fixed’ or having the mold/moisture removed that was out of the tenant’s control but is the responsibility of the landlord/owner by law. Even after I had inspected the property and found a serious moisture condition causing dangerous bacteria and mold to grow the Landlord/Representative said the report was a fraud and an excuse apparently not taking the time to verify anything and ignore the evidence.
It is important to understand your rights as a tenant in California. You can look up on the web “Renter’s Rights and Responsibilities’ for California which will bring up a pdf you can download. Also, talking to the Fair Housing Foundation which website is fhfca.org . They can also assist you in understanding your rights. I will be adding a page to the website for Legal Assistance to help people deal with the legal issues involved. Check back in the next couple of weeks and it should be up.
Steve Mullins (i.e. Mold Detector)
Certified Microbial Consultant (CMC)
Moisture and Mold Detection, Inc.