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Mold/problem tenant by Anonymous on December 5, 2012 @14:31

My wife and I are new to the LL business. We had a house we could not sell, and had to move so we rented it. Tenant constantly complains about everything. I have always addressed her concerns and sent repairmen to the house immediately upon hearing of her complaints.

Last April she complained of mold in the house. I had a remediation company go to the house and provide an assessment. They concluded that there was water damage to a ceiling in the upper floor and that the basement had a dampness problem. They sent me an invoice and wanted 4.5k to fix this issue. I had a handyman take care of the repairs at a fraction of the cost. One of the things they recommended was a dehumidifier in the basement. Well, we had one in the basement that the tenant unplugged because she did not feel like dumping the water out of it.

She is now complaining about mold and making noise about medical bills she has incurred because of the problem, she said the ceiling is leaking again. I sent a contractor out who reported a roof leak, and water damage, but no mold damage. He is in the process of repairing that. At this point, we really want this tenant out. She is threatening to call health services.

My question is this: though I have no reason to believe a problem exists, if health services detects a serious problem, which makes the property "uninhabitable", can I tell her she must move, because I cannot afford to fix the property? ( I have offered to let her out of her lease, but she doesn't appear to want to move.), and though she has never had an air quality test done, and never informed me of any issue after April until about a month ago, can I be held liable for any medical bills.

This is causing me a lot of anguish. Any thoughts, property is in NY state.

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Re: Mold/problem tenant by Al (CT) on December 5, 2012 @14:34 [ Reply ]
How long left on the lease?
Re: Mold/problem tenant by Kristina (CA) on December 5, 2012 @15:42 [ Reply ]
I am so sorry. What an awful tenant!

I would document anytime a contractor says "no mold". Also, document how she refused to use the dehumidifier. That is unreasonable and on her.

I am not positive but I believe if you make a good faith effort in remedial work for any problems, that is very good for you in court. If you ignored it then that would be another story.

Now, about getting sick from mold. If someone developes yeast issues or fungus all that is needed are a) a dryer environment which you are working on and b) anti fungal drugs or herbs. The anti fungal herbs and foods can heal you. Ditto changing your diet a bit so the fungus doesn't grow (no sugar, no bread or wheat, etc you can look it up). Even if she did win medical I don't think it would be outrageous.
Re: Mold/problem tenant by Bill on December 5, 2012 @16:19 [ Reply ]
This is the typical behavior of a tenant who wants to break their lease. Nothing you do is going to satisfy this person. When it gets to where you can not stand it any more tell the tenant you have done all you can and she can move out whenever she fills like it.
Re: Mold/problem tenant by OK-LL on December 6, 2012 @01:12 [ Reply ]
Check your lease for language that would allow you to terminate the lease based on damage; mine has the following language which puts the decision exclusively in the LL's hands:

"Damage to Premises. If the demised premises, or any part thereof, shall be partially damaged by fire or casualty ... to the extent that Landlord shall decide not to rebuild or repair, the term of this rental agreement shall end and the rent shall be pro-rated up to the time of the damage."
Re: Mold/problem tenant by Anonymous on December 6, 2012 @02:42 [ Reply ]
Talk to the tenant. She is not happy, so use the happy clause, and get her to move. The next tenant should be better.
Does her medical documentation say mold is the cause of her medical problems?
Re: Mold/problem tenant by Anonymous on December 6, 2012 @04:26 [ Reply ]
Get rid of the tenant, and keep the mold. The next tenant could probably care less about the mold.
Re: Mold/problem tenant by Micah on December 6, 2012 @07:37 [ Reply ]
Time to invoke the Happy Clause and let her out of the lease. She will either leave or shut up.
Re: Mold/problem tenant by jannie (IL) on December 6, 2012 @10:03 [ Reply ]
I'm sorry your have you had this problem. We use a dehumidifier in both our rental home & personal home basement. In the rental -- our tenant complained about the noise of the machine. I'd have some repair to do and would find it turned off, turned it on - be off the next time. However, she never complained so I didn't make an issue out of it. No problems were caused by not having it on. She didn't have to empty it as I had the hose (attached to the water box) go directly to the floor drain.
We use the same technique for our home dehumidifier and it saves time.
It looks like you have done everything you can - I would make sure it's in writing to her about making sure to run the dehumifier.
Re: Mold/problem tenant by Anonymous on December 7, 2012 @16:16 [ Reply ]
My contractor called me and told me he extensively checked the attic and found the source of the roof leak, but absolutely no mold. He is going to repair the roof. If I have a home inspector perform a visual and air quality test and if it turns out negative (i'm pretty sure it will) can I then charge the tenant for the testing? She sends ranting e-mails that border on harassment. I'm having the test done, not because I believe there is a problem, but because I'm really tired of her constant complaints and threats.

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