Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.
“I have suspicions that my apartment unit has mold and/or water damage and my apartment complex knew about it and rented the unit to me and my mother anyways. I’m not sure if I should bring the issue back up to the complex because I don’t want them to just sent out their maintenance team to get rid of evidence against them. Below is what has happened leading up until this time. I moved in my unit in October of 2011. I told them when I first moved in that I suspected previous water damage in the unit and they told me there had not been. I suspected that because the floorboards in the kitchen, living room, and bathroom seemed to “bounce” when I stepped on it. After a week or so, I didn’t feel it anymore, but that might have been due to the fact that my body got used to the feeling. So, after I stopped feeling it, I just let the issue go and stayed in the apartment unit thinking it was my imagination or something. But recently I’ve been having symptoms that coincide with mold poisoning. So, my suspicions are arising once again that my apartment unit had water damage and probably has mold growing in the walls and/or underneath the carpet/bathroom flooring. The reason I think mold is present is because of the symptoms and also I noticed that there is what appears to be mold in my shower head. I want to tell the apartment to just replace the shower head and just move on but I think it’s deeper than just the shower head. I think the floorboards are probably molded and rotting too and that’s why I still sometimes feel the “bouncing” when I step. Who should I talk to next and what should I do?”
It depends. There are numerous companies who will, for a (relatively large) fee, test for the presence of mold. You could hire such a company to find out for sure what the status is, but the cost is significant. You could also see a doctor to confirm or deny your suspicion that your symptoms are mold-related. It could be, or it could be a coincidence. That’s probably cheaper than the mold testing, though of course it doesn’t actually tell you whether there’s a mold problem.
You could also talk to your landlord. Of the many options that the both of you could explore, don’t overlook the possibility of moving. Even if you have a lease, your landlord might be willing to terminate it early under these circumstances. Of course, if you’re suffering from serious health issues, you would want to see a doctor first so you can make an informed decision whether you want to pursue a claim for that.”
Mold is, unfortunately, a complicated area. It is present everywhere to some degree (even in “fresh” air), and there isn’t complete agreement about how much of what type is too much. Add to that the fact that most insurance companies either won’t cover mold damage, or severely limit the amount that they’ll cover, and you can see that this is a difficult area where the guidance of a local attorney could be invaluable to you.