Who's Responsible For Mould In A Rented Property | Honest Rent (2023)

Finding mould in a rented property can be a worrying time for both tenant and landlord. Not only can it be a health risk, but it can also lead to damage to the building itself. This means acting swiftly to get it removed as soon as possible is essential; however, whose responsibility is it to remove black mould in a rental property?

Why is black mould a problem?

For a landlord, mould that is left unchecked can lead to significant damage to the property. However, for tenants, it is a far more serious health risk. Most commonly found in bathrooms or kitchens, it can lead to a range of issues, including:

  • An increase in asthma attacks
  • Coughing/wheezing
  • Blocked nose
  • Red and itchy eyes
  • A rash on your skin
  • A sore throat

Mould is particularly more harmful to young children and those with a weakened immune system, with only a mild growth capable of causing issues.

What causes black mould?

Black mould in a property can be caused by a wide range of issues. Most commonly, though, it grows where there is an excess of moisture and humidity. This is why it is usually found in the bathroom or kitchen.

Mould in a rented property is often caused by a lack of ventilation, but it could also be a sign of further issues with the property such as:

(Video) Are Landlords Responsible for Mold? - Landlord Tips

  • A faulty roof
  • Cracks in your wall
  • Issues with your plumbing
  • Damaged gutters
  • Blocked drains
  • Rising damp

What to do if you have mould in a rented property UK

Black mould in a rental property is a surprisingly common occurrence. For a landlord, mould should be something that they are regularly checking. However, if you are a tenant and have spotted mould, here is what you should do:

Identify its location

The first thing you should do when noticing signs of black mould in a rental property is to clearly identify its location. If you have begun experiencing a cough or irritation, then search around your bathroom and kitchen for signs of mould.

Communicate with your landlord

When it comes to landlord responsibilities, mould is a major concern. If you have spotted mould in your home, then contact them immediately. When speaking with your landlord, make sure you clearly inform them of the location and size of the mould. You should also describe any damage to your belongings or furnishings within the property.

After alerting your landlord of mould in the rented property, they have 14 days to respond. Typically, they will first arrange an inspection which will aim to identify the mould and determine what is causing it. This will then allow them to carry out a safe removal and conduct any necessary repairs.

Who is responsible for cleaning?

Under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, if the mould or damp is caused by structural issues such as broken pipes, then the landlord is legally required to fix it. However, if the mould is caused by lifestyle habits of the tenant, then the responsibility on who is required to clean it becomes trickier.

(Video) Lawsuit: Mold In An Apartment - Who's Responsible?

If the landlord can categorically identify the tenant was at fault, for example, they let the bath overflow and did not fix it, or they purposely damaged pipes, then the cost of mould removal could be taken from the security deposit. However, this is very hard to prove and typically landlord insurance policies will cover the cost of removal, so cleaning responsibilities will be at the discretion of your landlord. The best thing to do is to contact them as soon as possible and discuss the options available to you.

Make sure you get everything in writing

When liaising with your landlord, make sure that you get everything in writing. This is critical to ensure that should they not carry out the removal or repairs, you will have proof of dates of contact and their response.

If, after reporting mould to your landlord, you have not heard back within the 14 day time period, then you should contact your local authority. It is important to remember that tenants do not have the right to withhold their rent, but the landlord does have a responsibility to fix any mould.

If there is black mould at the end of your tenancy that was not there at the start, your landlord could deduct your deposit. However, they would need to prove that the mould was caused by negligence from the tenant.

Who's Responsible For Mould In A Rented Property | Honest Rent (1)

Top tips to prevent black mould in your property

Mould in a rented property is incredibly common, and for a landlord, mould can be a costly and time-consuming issue to clean while it can be a health risk for tenants. There are several things you can do to reduce the risk of mould growth and keep yourself safe:

  1. Increase ventilation

One of the most important things you can do to reduce the risk of mould is to increase the ventilation. No matter whether you are having a shower, doing your laundry or cooking dinner, make sure you keep the windows open or extractor fans on.

(Video) Renter's rights: what to do about mold

These activities can create an incredibly humid environment, which, over time, encourages the growth of black mould. Keeping a window open will improve the flow of air throughout the home and help to clear any moisture. However, when you are undertaking activities that create a lot of moisture, keep the door to that room closed. This will prevent steam or moisture from escaping into the rest of the property and causing issues elsewhere.

These activities can create an incredibly humid environment, which, over time, encourages the growth of black mould. Keeping a window open will improve the flow of air throughout the home and help to clear any moisture. However, when you are undertaking activities that create a lot of moisture, keep the door to that room closed. This will prevent steam or moisture from escaping into the rest of the property and causing issues elsewhere.

2. Dry your clothes outside

Leaving damp or wet clothes results in large amounts of water entering the air in your property. To prevent mould in a rented property, try and dry your clothes outside wherever possible. If you do not have an outdoor drying space, then open a window to ensure as much ventilation into the room as possible.

3. Keep furniture away from walls

Another great tip for reducing the risk of black mould is to keep your furniture away from exterior walls. These walls are often much colder than interior ones, which increases the risk of damp and mould, so ensuring no furniture is touching these walls helps to increase airflow.

(Video) Is mold in my rental property my responsibility? Here's what you need to know

4. Declutter

Equally, decluttering can help you reduce the risk of black mould in a rental property by increasing the airflow around the home. This is particularly important in key areas such as the bathroom and kitchen.

5. Dry wet areas as soon as possible

Black mould thrives in warm and humid environments, so another top tip is to dry up any wet areas as soon as possible. This means things such as drying damp surfaces after a shower or cleaning up any spillages as soon as possible. You should also not leave out any damp towels or wet clothing for too long.

Don’t hang around

Mould in a rented property is damaging to both the building itself and the health of those living inside. If you are noticing irritation and symptoms typically attributed to black mould, or you have seen the mould growing itself, then speak to your landlord as soon as possible. The sooner you act, the quicker you can stop its growth and stay safe.

How is the black mould affecting your tenancy?

Is your landlord handling it like a pro or could he be doing better? Is the black mould becoming a real issue for the property? Use HonestRent to rate your tenancy experience and let other renters know everything you wished you had known before moving in. Rate the property here.

(Video) Does Mold Mean Your Rental Property Is Uninhabitable?


Who's Responsible For Mould In A Rented Property | Honest Rent? ›

There is currently no federal law covering a landlord's responsibilities when it comes to mold. Also, Texas doesn't have any laws that specifically address a landlord's duties or liability when it comes to mold prevention and remediation.

How long does a landlord have to fix a mold problem in New York State? ›

If the condition has not been fixed after seven days to take care of the issue, the renter may choose whether or not to stop paying rent so long as they provide one month's notice before stopping payment.

How long does a landlord have to fix a mold problem in Pennsylvania? ›

Pennsylvania's Landlords' Rights and Tenant Responsibilities

Property Maintenance – Tenants must keep the property clean and undamaged, and landlords have 30 days from when they are notified of any problems to fix them.

What are signs of mold sickness? ›

Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, exposure to molds can lead to symptoms such as stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes, or skin. Some people, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions.

How long does it take to get sick from mold exposure? ›

These symptoms usually first appear 2 to 9 hours after exposure and last for 1 to 3 days. Other affected persons have progressive shortness of breath and cough, as well as weight loss.

What does toxic mold look like? ›

Toxic mold can also have a grayish, soot-like texture, or a slimy, wet surface. In some cases, you may even notice furry orange or brown spots. If you find mold with any of these qualities in your home, don't get too close, and call a professional right away.

How long does a landlord have to fix a mold problem in Tennessee? ›

Tennessee Habitability Laws
Quick FactsAnswer
Time Limit for Repairs14 Days
Tenant Recourse OptionsWithhold Rent: No Repair & Deduct: Yes Substitute Housing: Yes, if essential services are not provided
1 more row
Jun 27, 2022

What are the rights of a tenant with mold in NY? ›

In most cases, tenants cannot refuse to pay rent due to mold unless it has been determined by a qualified professional that the mold is making the property uninhabitable. It is best to work with the landlord to address the issue and seek legal advice, if necessary.

Can you sue landlord for mold New York? ›

Even though there aren't specific laws governing mold in rentals in New York state, a landlord can still be held liable since they are required to provide livable and safe housing for their tenants under the law.

Can I sue my landlord for mold in PA? ›

Yes, but only if the landlord fails to notice or remove mold under reasonable circumstances. A tenant may also only sue their landlord if they have provable, mold-related losses, such as property damage or health-related problems.

Can you withhold rent for mold in PA? ›

Under Pennsylvania Law, you may withhold rent if you can prove the dwelling unit is not habitable and have taken the proper steps of informing the landlord of the problem and giving the landlord a reasonable amount of time to fix the defect that caused your rental unit to be uninhabitable.

Are landlords responsible for mold PA? ›

Landlord Liability for Mold in Pennsylvania

There is currently no federal law covering a landlord's responsibilities when it comes to mold. Also, Pennsylvania doesn't have any laws that specifically address a landlord's duties or liability when it comes to mold prevention and remediation.

How do you prove mold is making you sick? ›

A mold allergy causes the same signs and symptoms that occur in other types of upper respiratory allergies. Signs and symptoms of allergic rhinitis caused by a mold allergy can include: Sneezing. Runny or stuffy nose.
Mold allergy and asthma
  1. Coughing.
  2. Wheezing.
  3. Shortness of breath.
  4. Chest tightness.
Jun 21, 2021

Can a person be tested for mold exposure? ›

Blood test.

A blood test, sometimes called the radioallergosorbent test, can measure your immune system's response to mold by measuring the amount of certain antibodies in your bloodstream known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies.

Can a doctor test for mold exposure? ›

The doctor will take a health assessment and health history, and will order blood testing. Antibodies in the patient's body will be checked for a reaction to mold and to other allergens and poisons. The severity of the reaction will also be determined. A skin test will also be part of the doctor's examination.

Is it bad to sleep in a room with mold? ›

By breathing in a lot of these mould spores you can develop a variety of health conditions for your lungs such as Hay fever, Sleep apnea, severe coughing, Asthma, and various pulmonary infections. The area where mould is found is very important for minimizing the risk of developing these health issues.

What should you do immediately after mold exposure? ›

Using a nasal spray or taking an antihistamine could help reduce mild allergic symptoms and discomfort from mold exposure.

Do air purifiers help with mold? ›

Air purifiers help capture mold spores from the air, preventing them from reproducing and spreading throughout your home. While air purifiers won't help treat active mold that's already present on surfaces, they are a great way to control the spread of airborne mold particles.

What kills black mold instantly? ›

Getting rid of black mold with white vinegar

'Bleach will kill mold spores growing across a hard surface, but if the mold has extended below the surface, then white vinegar is the best choice,' she says. 'The vinegar will penetrate to kill the mold and mildew at the root, preventing it from regrowing.

What is the difference between mold and toxic mold? ›

According to Moldpedia, while most mold takes only about one or two days to colonize and grow in the environment, toxic black mold will usually need between eight to twelve days to begin colonizing in the indoor space of a home.

How do you know if your house is toxic? ›

What Are the Signs of Toxic House Syndrome?
  1. Mold growth.
  2. Condensation around windows and in high humidity areas such as bathrooms.
  3. Lingering condensation.
  4. Dampness that doesn't seem to go away.
  5. Dust build up in your ventilation system.

How can you tell the difference between mold and mildew? ›

According to BobVila.com, mold generally looks slimy or fuzzy, tends to have a raised texture, and can come in a rainbow of colors, including deep green and black. Mildew is powdery, looks white or gray, always appears flat, and grows on surfaces.

Can you withhold rent for repairs in Tennessee? ›

Repairs – Landlords must make repairs within 14 days of a written notice. If a landlord fails to make the repair within this period, the tenant may make the repairs themselves and deduct the cost from future rent payment, or they may withhold rent altogether.

How can you test if you have mold in your house? ›

A quick test for mold can be done when you dip a swab in diluted bleach (1 part bleach, 16 parts water) and dab it on the wall. If the spot quickly lightens (or keeps coming back after cleaning), assume it's mold.

What illness can black mold cause? ›

People who live or work in buildings with black mold are at risk for developing hypersensitivity pneumonitis, an immune system disorder that causes chronic lung inflammation. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is an allergic reaction that occurs after sustained exposure to a particular irritant or allergen.

How do I know if my landlord painted over mold? ›

Tell-tale signs of paint over mold
  1. Cracked, chipped, warped, or bubbled paint.
  2. Musty smell.
  3. Bubbled or bowed out walls and ceilings indicating water damage.
  4. Dark-colored spots on the wall.
  5. The white color turns yellow.
Apr 14, 2021

Is landlord responsible for mold in New York State? ›

Landlords of buildings with three or more apartments, or buildings of any size where a tenant has asthma, are required to keep tenants' homes free of mold. This includes safely repairing water leaks and correcting persistently high humidity levels.

Do you have to move if there is mold in your house? ›

If you have notified your landlord of mold and he has failed to live up to his responsibilities to clean it up, you likely have grounds to break your lease and move out. Exact procedures vary by state, so be certain that you have fulfilled all of the tenant responsibilities where you live before taking such action.

What makes an apartment uninhabitable in New York State? ›

Some of the common warranty of habitability issues that New York City tenants may experience include but are not limited to; no heat or inadequate heat, no hot water, plumbing issues, mold, pest infestations, bedbugs, broken appliances, missing or broken smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, lead paint violations, and ...

What kind of infections can mold cause? ›

Aspergillosis is an infection caused by a type of mold (fungus). The illnesses resulting from aspergillosis infection usually affect the respiratory system, but their signs and severity vary greatly. The mold that triggers the illnesses, aspergillus, is everywhere — indoors and outdoors.

What removes mold? ›

Use undiluted white vinegar on hard surfaces in kitchens and baths. A bleach solution also works to kill mold. Mix one cup of bleach in a gallon of water, apply to the surface and don't rinse. Mix a 50/50 solution of ammonia and water.

What does mold smell like? ›

Mold has a distinct smell. It's often described as musty and earthy, and may even smell like rotting vegetables or plants. You might notice a musty smell, but not be able to see any mold growing. In this case, you should look for areas that might be exposed to water.

Do I have to pay rent if my house has mold? ›

You can only refuse to pay your rent if the mold in your unit is making the unit uninhabitable. If the mold isn't serious, refusal to pay rent would be a breach of your tenancy agreement. Mold infestations in your home are unsightly and can make rooms smell musty and sour.

Can a landlord make a tenant pay for repairs Pennsylvania? ›

Pennsylvania law allows a tenant to make necessary repairs and deduct the cost of the repairs from the rent under certain circumstances. Under the old law, repair and deduct was allowed in only two situations: The landlord had promised to make repairs but repeatedly failed or neglected to do so.

What are tenants rights in Pennsylvania? ›

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ensured that tenants have the right to a decent place to live. This guarantee to decent rental housing is called the Implied Warranty of Habitability. Landlords must remedy serious defects affecting the safety or the ability to live in the rental unit.

What repairs are landlords responsible for in Pennsylvania? ›

The landlord is not required to repair damages caused by the tenant. Only serious defects are covered under the law. For example, a badly leaking roof, a broken furnace, plumbing that doesn't work, broken floors, dangerous wiring or lack of water are all things that must be repaired by your landlord.

What makes a home uninhabitable in PA? ›

The warranty of habitability only covers serious problems such as, but not limited to: Lack of adequate heat in the winter or ability to cool the property in the summer, inadequate or unsafe electrical service, lack of drinkable water, malfunctioning sewage system, and serious leaks or other structural problems ...

What are PA landlords responsible for? ›

Top 9 Landlord Legal Responsibilities in Pennsylvania
  • Comply With Anti-Discrimination Laws. ...
  • Follow State Rent Rules. ...
  • Meet State Security Deposit Limits and Return Rules. ...
  • Provide Habitable Housing. ...
  • Prepare a Legal Written Lease or Rental Agreement. ...
  • Make Legally Required Disclosures.

Do you have to touch mold to get sick? ›

For some people, a one-time exposure to a small amount of mold isn't enough to cause symptoms. But for people who are sensitive to mold, even a small amount can quickly trigger symptoms.

How do I know if I have mold poisoning? ›

Each person's body is affected by mold toxicity in different ways. Some experience constant migraines and headaches, shortness of breath, brain fog, fatigue or even depression. Since symptoms differ from person to person, they may not be quickly associated with mold exposure.

What are the symptoms of mold brain infection? ›

People who live, work, or go to school in moldy buildings complain of pain, fatigue, increased anxiety, depression, and cognitive defects such as memory loss.

How long before mold makes you sick? ›

These symptoms usually first appear 2 to 9 hours after exposure and last for 1 to 3 days. Other affected persons have progressive shortness of breath and cough, as well as weight loss.

How long does it take for mold to get out of your system? ›

How long does it take most patients to detox/rebalance their systems? Some people get well very quickly (weeks) after removing the source of mold toxins, just by getting into a clean environment and avoiding re-exposure. Others can take over a year to recover fully.

Does opening windows help with mold? ›

It is also very important that there is adequate ventilation in the room. Open a window or door so the mold spores can escape, instead of staying locked in your home.

Do dehumidifiers remove mold? ›

Mould will easily grow and spread if the right conditions are present. So, dehumidifiers don't kill mould, but they can help to prevent it from growing inside your home by reducing humidity. However, the best way to deal with it is to get rid of its source.

Does a dehumidifier help with mold? ›

Reduce Mold and Mildew

A dehumidifier is designed to reduce the moisture level in the air by extracting the excess water. By doing so, dehumidifiers can help prevent the growth of mold and mildew and improves the indoor air quality of your space.

What happens if you clean mold without a mask? ›

When airborne mold spores are present in large numbers, they can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, asthma episodes, infections and other respiratory problems for people. Exposure to high spore levels can cause the development of an allergy to the mold.

Is the N95 mask good for mold? ›

An N95 mask protects you from breathing in small particles in the air such as dust and mold. It is designed to filter out at least 95% of the dust and mold in the air.

What kills mold spores in the air? ›

Hydrogen peroxide kills mold spore on contact by breaking down proteins and DNA. It's normally used to clean mold on porous and non-porous surfaces. Ionized hydrogen peroxide can kill mold spores in the air, but it requires the use of a special fogging machine.

What's better for mold air purifier or dehumidifier? ›

If you're hoping to reduce mold, mildew and moisture, a dehumidifier is your best choice. However, if allergy control and air quality are top priorities, a convenient air purifier is undoubtedly the way to go.

What plant can remove mold spores from the air? ›

Rubber Tree. Whether in burgundy or regular green, rubber trees (also known as rubber plants) will produce lots of oxygen—more than any other plant, in fact! In addition to producing oxygen and eliminating air toxins, the rubber tree effectively removes mold spores and bacteria from the air (by up to 60%).

What permanently kills mold? ›

Bleach kills virtually every species of indoor mold that it comes into contact with including mold spores which leaves a sanitized surface making it resistant to future mold growth.

Can I get rid of black mold myself? ›

For a natural solution for getting rid of black mold, combine one part baking soda with five parts distilled white vinegar and five parts water in a spray bottle. Alternatively, you can use a chemical-based mold and mildew remover, all-purpose cleaners, bleach or dish soap.

What stops black mold from spreading? ›

To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home. Keep humidity levels in your home as low as you can—no higher than 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. You can buy a meter to check your home's humidity at a home improvement store.

How do you prove mold is toxic? ›

A blood test, sometimes called the radioallergosorbent test, can measure your immune system's response to mold by measuring the amount of certain antibodies in your bloodstream known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies.

Can mold other than black mold make you sick? ›

All molds can cause symptoms in people who are sensitive to or allergic to mold. But there is no reason to believe that black mold is any more dangerous than other types or colors of mold.

Is black mold the same as regular mold? ›

Black mold is a dark colored mold that tends to be more slimy and wet than many other molds. It grows in small clusters making it look like dots. Often there is visible water damage near visible mold. You will also notice a musty smell nearby.

Can household mould make you sick? ›

Mould associated with damp buildings can trigger nasal congestion, sneezing, cough, wheeze, respiratory infections and worsen asthma and allergic conditions. People who are more susceptible to these symptoms and other serious health effects include those with: weakened immune systems.

What comes first mold or mildew? ›

Mildew is considered an early stage of mold, though it is not as common as mold. It thrives in moist environments and often looks like a powdery substance. Mildew can cause damage to fabrics, plants, and other materials.

How do you tell if mold is growing behind walls? ›

5 Signs There's Mold Behind Your Walls
  1. Musty Smells. While not all molds produce an odor, a persistent “basement smell” in your home is a sign that unwanted fungi are living in your house.
  2. Peeling Wallpaper. Mold thrives on humidity, so long-term moisture will eventually cause fungal growth. ...
  3. Water Stains. ...
  4. 4: Spotty Walls.
Jul 17, 2022

How long does a landlord have to fix something in TN? ›

How long does a landlord have to fix something in Tennessee? Landlords must keep rental units in a clean and safe condition by providing essential services such as heat, electricity, etc. Upon receiving written notice from a tenant, a landlord has 14 days to fix the problem.

Is landlord liable for mold New York? ›

There is currently no federal law covering a landlord's responsibilities when it comes to mold. Also, New York doesn't have any laws that specifically address a landlord's duties or liability when it comes to mold prevention and remediation.

What is Article 32 of the New York State Labor law? ›

Article 32 under NYS Senate Bill 3667D-2013 establishes licensing and minimum work standards for mold inspectors, assessors, and remediation specialists. This new article works to protect homeowners and business owners when it comes to mold.

How do I report a landlord in New York State? ›

While awaiting action on your rent reduction, call the New York City Citizen Service Center at 311 (TTY 212-504-4115) to reach the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Central Complaint Bureau, write by certified mail, return receipt requested, or online at www1.nyc.gov/311.

What is the NY landlord tenant law warranty of habitability? ›

New York has a law called the "Warranty of Habitability" (Real Property Law 235-b). "Warranty" means promise. "Habitable" means that the rental unit is a safe and decent place to live. Any landlord who rents you a place to live must keep it in safe and decent condition, and must do needed repairs.

What are my rights as a tenant in NY State? ›

Tenants are entitled to a livable, safe, and sanitary home whether they are paying rent or not. A landlord's failure to provide essential services such as hot water or electricity is a breach of the warranty of habitability.

Can a tenant withhold rent for repairs in NY? ›

It's legal for tenants in New York to withhold rent until the landlord makes major repairs, but they must notify their landlord of the problem first—and give them a reasonable amount of time to fix it.

What is Section 190 4 of the New York State Labor law? ›

Section 190(4) of the Labor Law defines a “railroad worker” as any person employed by an employer who operates a steam, electric, or diesel surface railroad or is engaged in the sleeping car business. The term "railroad worker" does not include a person employed in an executive capacity.

What is the NY Labor Law 2023? ›

Effective September 17, 2023, the law requires New York employers with four or more employees to disclose compensation or the range of compensation (minimum and maximum annual salary or hourly range of compensation) that the employer in good faith believes to be accurate at time of posting, as well as, the job ...

What is New York Labor law 146? ›

(a) On each day on which the spread of hours exceeds 10, an employee shall receive one additional hour of pay at the basic minimum hourly rate. (b) The additional hour of pay shall not be offset by any credits for meals or lodging provided to the employee.


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