Mold question.

I have been certified through InterNachi for almost a week, and have had 2 calls already. I literally was talking to one, and another call interrupted my conversation. Both are renters, and the APT/home they are renting has mold. One I have inspected already, and performed a mold test. Young couple suffering from headaches wanting OUT of their apartment and their lease.
they called me on their way out, to ask “who do I call?” to make sure the same landlord who gave them hassle actually cleaned up the mold rather than inflict similar symptoms on the next tenate. Who takes care of follow up? Health department? Hud? EPA? CIA?
Any knowledge will be appreciated.

Is mold regulated in your state? If not, there is nobody to call. At this time, there is no federal government agency that will look after the health of individuals due to mold. A lot more people or going to have get sick, be disabled by or die before the government will pass any legislation to address problems like these. If the government does, it will cost the government a small fortune (less than the bail out of Wall Street) because they would have to acknowledge that mold is a problem and properly clean up the mold in all the buildings they own or rent. It is easier for them to ignore the 800 pound gorilla than to deal him every once in a while killing somebody. Ignoring the blood soaked banana peals being left behind. Sad but true.

Up here you would call the Property Standards Dept. of the municipality which will send out a by-law enforcement officer to check on the complaintents concerns and the Health Dept. to confirm your findings.

In our area landlords are required to maintain properties that they rent or lease in a condition that is not harmful to someones health. Some of the city building inspectors are beginning to require landlords to repair mold and then have it certified that the apartment is safe to inhabit. One of the things I have learned is that tenant’s are rarely willing to pay for a mold assessment so be careful in answering those calls.

Mike, make sure to check out the template section of our message board. Bill DeVries was nice enough to upload a mold template that you can copy to the version of Home Inspector Pro you have. Another inspector was also working on another template he will be releasing for mold soon as well.

Did you identify a source? If so, educate them. The source needs to be eliminated and the mold remediated. Ideally you should refer them to the EPA website for mold remediators. You don’t want to get mixed up in referring them. keep it a thired party affair, and return to perform post-remediation (clearance) testing.

As far as the landlord. Hopefully they will carry through. We do our part by providing them with as much documentation as we can and recommending they get at least an allergy test from the doctor to cross reference with the findings, and leave it at that. I know its a bummer seeing these people suffering in their homes, but we provide a positive service for them, and a lawyer can take it form there. Don’t ever forget that we are middle men. Know what you don’t know.

This could turn into a mess for you, in my opinion. Here’s some thoughts:

  1. Are you sure it is mold with the results of the sampling? If it is, one would think they have a legitimate reason for wanting out or remediated.

  2. Do they have headaches all the time, even in the warmer months? Any other symptoms other than headaches? If the headaches occurred with the heating plant on, cooking, etc. could be something other than mold? CO maybe?

  3. This could be a legal case for everyone, you included. Are you certified in mold sampling and recognition? Do you send the samples to a certified lab? Maybe the renter is not paying rent or doesn’t like the landlord and wants to get out for other reasons.

  4. Be very careful on this, if you stepped out of the SOP for INACHI or State regs, you could be in harms way.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

tell your clients to call Dept Of housing and building standards
they will know what to do