Unfortunately, some landlords use various tactics to avoid spending money to maintain a property properly free of dampness and mold as the law requires. Understandably economics plays a major part in many decisions. However, addressing problems that cause water intrusion or leaks promptly and correctly is a better course of action as this will normally save money in the long run.
For example: a recent inspection I performed in Dana Point required the removal of the vinyl flooring to remediate (dry and disinfect) the concrete since it was affected by leaks from the a/c unit and hot water heater. The concrete floor had absorbed a lot of moisture/water over a period of time and had to be addressed as some of the door jambs were absorbing moisture from the concrete slab.
Though, the property management company remediated the kitchen, a/c area and water heater area that was the primary cause of the water intrusion they did not remove the vinyl flooring in the unit to remediate the floor and so there was still high moisture present in the unit making it uninhabitable.
The management had a Post Remediation Clearance Inspection done for the areas remediated showing mold spore counts within acceptable levels. However, the landlord has refused to produce the actual report which would possibly indicate the floor had high moisture and are ignoring the initial direction of the inspection to remove the flooring and complete the needed remediation. The landlord ‘believes’ they have evidence to back up that the unit was ‘remediated’ but it is only for the primary cause and not all of the affected areas.
The point here is that the tenant will be forced to take further legal action or force an eviction on the part of the landlord to have this evidence brought to light and the landlord be forced to complete the work needed to make the unit habitable again. Many times the tenant is not able to take the legal action or risk the eviction process and so the landlord may ‘get away’ with only doing part of the work needed, at least for a time.
Steve Mullins (i.e. Mold Detector)
CMC, Certified Microbial Consultant
Moisture and Mold Detection, Inc.