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Eradicate the mold before renting out your property


By Sadiya Anjum

 

Landlords have a responsibility stated by the law to create a habitable environment for their tenants. If tenants meet any harm due to the landlords’ negligence, landlords have a legal liability to them like paying for medical expenses, compensating for damage to tenants’ properties etc. To prevent being slapped by lawsuits, it is best if you make your rental property mold free before you decide to put it up on the market.

Begin by inspecting and testing the property for mold prior to renting it out. You can either hire a Certified Mold Inspector to check the property for mold or utilize a do-it-yourself mold testing kit. Even if the property is mold free before renting it out, as part of maintenance get this test done annually.

If the property gets damaged due to a plumbing leak, floods, storm or other forms of water-intrusion, the property should be immediately inspected for mold infestation and the necessary measures to solve the problem should be taken. Stagnant water with raw sewage present in the property is also a due cause for worry.

Remediation measures should be introduced immediately in case a mold problem, visible or invisible has been detected. At this point too, you could either hire a Certified Mold Remediator or do it yourself with the help of an effective mold remediation kit. After the clean-up, make sure you inspect the property once again to obtain an “all-clear” certification.

A prospective tenant with the help of a Certified Mold Inspector or a do-it-yourself kit should test the place for mold infestation before renting it. Check out every nook and cranny of the property for visible signs of mold or other signs of water damage and mold infestation. The air should also be tested in all rooms and passageways for signs of mold. The air from cooling/ heating systems and ventilators should also be examined as mold spores tend to spread from them. If the building has a history of water damage, then a fiber optics examination must be carried out to look for hidden mold infestation (behind wallpapers, in and under carpeting etc).

The landlord or the property manager should not conceal mold problems by painting over mold growth or using air fresheners to cover up the odor of mold. 

Facts about a mold infestation and the corrective actions carried out should be divulged to prospective tenants. Preferably this should be given as a written statement and attached to the lease agreement.

Post the landlord’s disclosure and after the tenant has satisfactorily examined the apartment, a clause in the lease agreement can be introduced stating that the landlord, property manager and the real estate agent are free of liability regarding mold infestation.

Article Source: ChoiceOfHomes.com - Home Selling and Home Renting made easy.

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