toxic mold

By rose

I lived in a rental with terrible moisture problems that created mold problems! There was old plumbing with frequent leaks, and no exhaust fan in the bathroom. This house is in the rainy Pacific Northwest. I realized after the fact that the landlords had heavily scented candles in the house when they showed it (to cover the mold smell). At the time I thought the candles were a little strange but didn’t realize their purpose. The mold grew on the walls and around the windows. It caused me health and sinus problems. I did complain about leaky plumbing and the need for a fan, but mostly not in wiriting. When I moved out I cleaned but I didin’t clean up the mold. I thought I was not responsible for mold abatment. The landlord is trying to sue me for this and other damages and repairs that I know I am not repsonsilble for. He was cheap and manipulative from the beginning, but I was a low income single parent that needed an inexpensive rental so there I lived. Whenever I complained, he would say "if you don’t like it move out". I wasn’t in a positiion to do so and felt quite intimidated when he said that. Thus I didn’t press the complaints. Now he is trying to blame me for things that I KNOW I am not responsible for, and he filed a claim in small claims court. So my first quesion is about the mold.

Edited on: Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 1:16 pm

2 Responses to “toxic mold”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


July 2nd, 2010 10:40 pm

Mold problems are common. The only way I think the landlord would be successful at charging you for mold damage would be if you did something that caused the mold problem. Even if you had, how does your landlord really expect to prove that?? I don’t think you will be held responsible for mold abatement cost. The general rule is that it is the landlords responsibility to fix leaky pipes and such.

Not to call you out or anything, but if your landlord is going to the extreme of suing you in small claims court; you must have left the unit in much worse condition than when you rented it. If that’s true, expect to be responsible for any damage to your unit.

What other items do you think are not your responsibility? It would be interesting to see exactly what you are being sued for, this way we can better help you with your situation.


July 3rd, 2010 1:12 am

He is trying to charge me for a lot of things that I don’t think he will get in court. He billed me and I refused to pay, then he took it to small claims. This is more about his character ( or lack thereof) and not about any damage I did. I have been a renter my entire life and have never had a problem until with this landlord. He is basically trying to get me to pay for improvements to his crummy rental. He sued me for cleaning (the mold) and he said the cleaning cost almost 500.00. For example, the tile in the bathroom was gross with mold in the grout and this couldn’t be cleaned out even with bleach. Believe me I tried when I was living there…it was embarrassing to have it looking so awful. It needs to be re-grouted. The toilet leaked and caused some damage. He fixed the toilet but not the damage, now he is trying to get me to pay for that. He is demanding that I pay to replace batteries in smoke alarms,replace all the light bulbs, to re-key the locks, (I returned the keys). He says I damaged his cheap old curtains. They were just Target/Walmart type curtains made of cheap white cotton hung on wooden dowels, and they were old. He is trying to say they cost $300 to replace. I moved in in February (winter) and he had an ancient air conditioner sitting on the floor in the living room. It was from the ’70’s and rusty and dirty. It must have been almost 3 feet square. I asked him to please remove it. He had to get my son to help him carry it out, it was so big and heavy, he couldn’t carry it by himself. They put it in the basement and there it remained for my tenancy. Now he is trying to say I ruined it. Anyway, I could go on, there is more, but you get the picture.

Toxic Mold

By FurtherFedUp

We have rented a home for two years.  Over the course of the two years, lots of maintenance issues have cropped up that were covered up, either cosmetically or with a band-aid solution.  Most of these issues arise from a greater moisture problem in several areas of the house.

Long story short, a skylight that has been leaking for the duration of our tenancy — which we have asked many times to be repaired — is growing toxic mold, both on the wall and on the inside of the wall, in the attic.  Also, the basement — which looked clean and freshly painted when we moved in — has bloomed all over with mold from under the paint.  We had the attic mold tested and it came back as Stachybotrys, heavy growth.  Several of our things in the basement have been completely ruined; we had to throw out a car seat and a box full of hardcover books because they became moldy.  A neighbor told us that a previous tenant had complained of mold.
My landlord has avoided all of my messages since this mold issue cropped up and I had the mold tested.  I am furious because I think she knowingly rented us a moldy house, knowing we have very small children.  Our state has no regulations on mold.  I’m not sure where to turn.  I think ultimately, we have to move, but moving expenses are going to kill our savings, and I had no intention of having to move again after only two years.  Our lease expired in October, I told her I did not want to renew it without repairs being made or the rent being dropped, after which we didn’t hear from her again.  (We’re still paying the previously agreed upon rent.)
I have no idea what to do here.  Suggestions?

Edited on: Sunday, December 28th, 2008 11:18 am

2 Responses to “Toxic Mold”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


December 30th, 2008 7:45 am

There are several options. However, you will want to protect yourself by creating a clear paper trail. I suggest hiring an attorney, or filing a complaint with the RPA. Since you have had the mold tested and it did come back as the Stachybotrys strain, AKA: Toxic Black Mold, you should not be required to remain living there. The RPA will mediate with your landlord to help create a fair arrangement.


January 10th, 2009 12:01 pm

Thank you for your response, I do appreciate it. My landlord has been in contact with us and seems to think it’s just not a big deal, so we are going to have to kick it up a notch, unfortunately.


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