Rented Homes and Mold

This post discusses the responsibilities a landlord has regarding mold in their building. It talks about the rights of renters and how landlords should protect their tenants.

(This content is contributed by Madeline Liao of Motive, Word & Pen - a youth-run not for profit writing collective that aims to provide innovative marketing material while giving back to charities and mentoring youth.)

Dealing with mold as a tenant can be tricky. This problem is a nightmare for both landlords and renters alike. Mold in a rented home can open doors for other problems, such as health issues that lead to lawsuits. What happens when mold does appear?

Landlords are responsible for maintaining acceptable conditions for all tenants. According to the Government of British Columbia, landlords must provide rental units that are in good repair, meet the legally declared health and safety standards, and have all of the services and facilities outlined in the tenancy agreement. In B.C., landlords need to determine the source of a mold problem and eliminate it.

Without proper inspection and evaluation, landlords cannot solve the problem. The tenant should make the mold known to the landlord as soon as possible.

Preventing mold growth can be done with regular repairs and checks. By staying on top of things like broken windows and leaky pipes, homeowners can prevent mold growth. A landlord is also responsible for repairing any damage that the tenant did not cause. Sometimes, landlords may provide compensation for needed repairs rather than doing the repairs themselves. This method is okay, the main point is that they give the tenant the assistance they need.

Tenants also need to be mindful of the space they’re occupying. Although some may believe otherwise, the law does not always protect tenants. They are still responsible for taking care of the space they live in and assuring that they’re not causing any issues. If the tenant causes any damage, they are responsible for the repairs. This rule goes for mold growth as well; it is the tenant’s responsibility to maintain adequate cleanliness and sanitary standards in their home.

That’s what makes dealing with mould as a landlord or tenant tricky. Some tenants may lie about the origins of the mold growth for personal gain, and some landlords may dismiss the mold problem as the tenant’s fault. CBC reported on a case in Surrey where the landlord neglected the tenant’s requests to fix the house’s mold problem. It got to a point where the house was practically unlivable, and the family had to move out. Generally, most landlords want to avoid this, but there are some exceptions.

Ultimately, a positive landlord-tenant relationship is essential to deal with mold-problems. Tenants need to communicate with their landlords when problems arise, and landlords should be understanding of any concerns. Mold can turn into a lethal issue that requires professional help. If a tenant feels like they are in any danger, they should leave the place immediately until there is a solution.

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