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If you own and manage rental properties, you need to know that the presence of mold can put you at risk of litigation. In the last decade,tenants across the country have won hefty settlements from landlords for health problems – such as nausea, asthma, rashes and chronic fatigue – allegedly caused by exposure to toxic molds.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT COMPLAINTSMold comes in many colors and shapes. The ones that are a cause for concern come in black, white, green or gray varieties and go by such names as:

  • stachybotrys
  • penicillium
  • asperligus
  • fusarium
  • paecilomyces

Some molds are visible and have a distinctively bad smell. Others are more difficult to detect and live between walls, under floors or in basements and attics. Buildings in Texas are especially vulnerable to mold because of the humid climate. Wherever moisture is present, mold thrives.

If a tenant claims that his or her rental unit has mold, the wise thing to do is act on the complaint right away. Most mold – such as the kind that grows on shower tiles – is not harmful to human health. It’s still important, though, that you show your tenants that you are taking their concerns seriously.

The first thing to do is determine what’s contributing to the mold. The most common causes are leaky pipes, windows and roofs. Since landlords in Texas are responsible for maintaining fit and habitable housing and repairing rental property, you will need to fix any structural problems that might be giving rise to the mold as soon as possible.

If you can’t pinpoint the cause, you should call an inspection company to run tests in the rental unit in question. Even if you are able to figure out what is behind the mold, it’s still a good idea to get official documentation. That way, you’ll be able to show that have acted in good faith and adhered to your responsibilities as a landlord.

At Herman Boswell, we understand the importance of staying on top of tenant concerns, especially where issues of health and habitability pertain. Our experts are here to help you manage your real estate investments so that you can have the peace of mind you deserve. Contact us today!