Originally Posted By: Nick Gromicko
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Landlords Add Mold Clauses to Apartment Leases"
Wall Street Journal (03/18/03) P. D2; Smith, Ray A.
More and more insurance firms have become resolute about not offering apartment property owners mold-related policies, resulting in a number of landlords including language in tenants' lease agreements that holds the renter responsible for any mold growth. Indeed, renters nationwide are discovering that their lease accords include addenda instructing them on how to limit and prevent mold, stating: "If you fail to comply with this addendum, you can be held responsible for property damage to the dwelling and any health problems that may result." The disclaimer
reflects property owners' growing fears about liability, as the Insurance Information Institute calculates that insurers have recorded dramatic increases in the frequency of mold-related claims in commercial buildings over the last three years. Tenant advocates are up in arms that the bulk of liability appears to be shifting to renters, arguing that most mold is caused by a structural flaw in the building or systematic problems that are beyond the resident's control.