Mold testing is not recommended and is not required by any regulatory agency. There is no state or federal standard for mold in homes. Mold sampling and testing can be more expensive than simply cleaning and repairing water problems that allow mold to grow. Knowing the types of mold present doesn't change this advice.
Molds can be found anywhere, and mold levels vary widely, depending on location, weather, and time of day. If you see any mold growth, you should take steps to fix the water problem and remove and clean the mold as soon as possible. There is currently no federal law that covers landlord responsibilities when it comes to mold. In addition, New York does not have any laws that specifically address the homeowner's duties or liability when it comes to mold prevention and remediation.
New York City has taken steps to make it easier for tenants to report landlords for pending mold problems. As part of its 311 non-emergency services program, the city offers an online complaint form that tenants can use to report mold in their buildings. After filing a mold complaint, tenants receive a service request number to track the city's progress in responding. Mold spores need water to grow.
In most cases, mold problems occur when there is excess water. Bathroom mold problems caused by steam can be controlled by cleaning the shower walls and using an exhaust fan when showering. Mold can be a health problem. Unfortunately, it is not known how much mold is needed to cause health problems.
However, there are factors that can be used to assess whether there may be an increased health risk. These include evaluating the person who has been exposed and the degree and conditions of mold growth. Some people who have pre-existing health problems may be at greater risk. People who have allergies or lung conditions, such as asthma or emphysema, may have health effects from exposure.
Very young babies and the elderly may also be at greater risk of health problems related to exposure to mold. Mold poses a health hazard for tenants, especially for older adults, children and people with underlying health problems, such as asthma. While homeowners often deal with mold simply by painting over problem areas, this strategy rarely, if ever, solves the underlying problem. In fact, New York City law now requires homeowners to do more than simply treat mold in public and private homes.
If the landlord doesn't address the mold problem, tenants have alternative places to report it. The local housing and code enforcement department can inspect the rental property and document any violations. The apartment can then pressure the landlord to do the repairs. The landlord can be held responsible for any damage caused by inaction or negligence, so tenants can file a lawsuit in serious cases.
You can also talk to your local housing and tenant rights group for advice on how to address the mold problem, such as California repair and deduction, or when to contact an attorney. For private home tenants, calling 311 to report a “home maintenance problem” will result in an inspection by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (“HPD”). Mold grows in areas that are kept moist or humid, so it's not enough to clean it up if there is still water leakage, water buildup (for example, after a flood), moisture buildup, or stagnant water (such as in a basement). However, some people may choose to hire a New York State-licensed mold evaluator to help identify mold problems and their cause.
The tenant refused to pay the landlord and hired a mold remediation company, which confirmed the presence of mold and identified the likely source of a moisture problem. If you decide to clean the mold yourself, the Federal Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) also offers resources on how to safely clean the mold. If you own or manage a rental property in New York, a mold problem could present you with expensive cleaning and repair bills, as well as lawsuits from tenants who claim that mold made them sick. Tenants who have mold problems in their rental space often have difficulty correcting the mold problem.
The homeowner must not only repair any problem that is causing mold growth, but also take every precaution when removing it. Often, they will recommend that a licensed mold remediation company come and clean the mold properly if necessary. The best way to find mold is to look for signs of mold growth, water stains, deformations, or follow your nose to the source of the odor. If your landlord sues you in the Housing Court for the back rent, the judge will determine if you fairly withheld the cost of mold cleaning.
When mold develops on a constantly damp surface, it becomes an orange or black scum with a musty smell and a musty smell that is likely to be recognizable as mold. Some molds are more dangerous than others, and only a certified moving specialist can completely remove mold. If you rent in New York City, your landlord must take specific steps to remove all visible mold and the poor condition of the home that caused it. .
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