Indoor mold is a real problem in San Francisco, so much so that the city classifies it as a health hazard. If you have a mold problem in one of your rental properties, your tenants might withhold rent, bill you for mold remediation, or even sue you for endangering their health. If you own or manage a rental property in San Francisco, here’s what you need to know about mold.
How Landlords in San Francisco Can Avoid Lawsuits over Mold
According to San Francisco health codes, indoor mold qualifies as a public nuisance, along with things like cockroaches and overflowing dumpsters. This means that tenants can sue their landlords for failing to remove any “visible or otherwise demonstrable” mold located anywhere inside the building. But, of course, it’s best to prevent a lawsuit over mold if you can.
First of all, notify your tenants in writing if there have been any previous mold infestations. The state of California also requires landlords to disclose any knowledge of mold on the premises that exceeds acceptable exposure limits. They must inform their renters of a possible health risk from mold before the tenant signs a rental agreement.
You should also encourage your tenants to notify you immediately if they notice any signs of mold during their stay. The same goes for water damage—if there’s a leaky pipe, you need to know about it right away so you can make repairs before mold takes hold. And whenever an apartment is between tenants, you should always schedule a mold inspection, just to be on the safe side.
What to Do If Your Tenants Caused Mold
No landlord wants to find mold in one of their apartments after a tenant moves out. However, if your tenants are at fault, you have every right to deduct the cost of mold remediation from their security deposit. Just make sure to do it within the allotted time frame—you must provide the tenant with a list of the damage costs within 21 days of the lease termination.
How to Prevent Mold in Your Rental Property
- Repair any water damage immediately. Whether it’s from a plumbing problem, a roof leak, or a crack in the foundation, any type of water damage can quickly turn into a serious mold problem.
- Ask your tenants to report water damage. You might even want to make this part of the rental agreement. Mold spreads quickly, especially in a humid area like foggy San Francisco. The sooner you know about a flood or a leak, the better.
- Schedule regular mold inspections. Mold often grows behind walls, under floors, or in HVAC ducts. A professional mold inspection can reveal the source of any hidden mold so you can deal with it before it becomes a health risk.
Mold Remediation in San Francisco
Getting rid of mold can be a costly, time-consuming process, but it doesn’t have to be! If you’re a landlord in San Francisco, you can rely on the local experts at My Pure Environment. Our patented dry fog mold removal is quick, effective, and environmentally friendly. It takes only a few hours, and there’s no demolition required. Best of all, our services come with a one-year mold-free guarantee!
Keeping your rental units mold-free is the best way to avoid costly lawsuits as well as property damage. If one of your tenants has reported signs of mold, or if you have tenants moving out, schedule a mold inspection with our team today. Just give us a call at 415-687-5374 or request an inspection online.