Mold is just as prevalent, if not more, in Texas as in every other state. Spores infiltrate the environment in the great outdoors as well as indoors—simply put, mold is unavoidable. Although outdoor mold is helpful in accelerating the decay process of natural debris, indoor mold is a nuisance and a health hazard.
Texans who are involved in rental properties in the state should be well aware of the mold regulations for landlords and tenants and steps to take when mold rears its ugly head.
How Does Texas Law Address Mold?
Texas law requires that rental units must be habitable. This means that the landlord has the responsibility to remove any dangers in the property that make it uninhabitable or harmful to human health or safety. It is a known threat, making the mold removal service the landlord’s duty.
The landlord is responsible for mold removal when 1) the mold issue is not caused by the tenant or guests; 2) the tenant provided written notice of the mold problem to the landlord; and 3) the tenant is punctual with rent at the time of the request for removal.
Landlords are given a reasonable amount of time to fix the mold problem. Tenants are urged to send written complaints of mold to the landlord via certified mail or other method that provides tracking. Calling or speaking with the landlord helps move the repair along more quickly.
Seven days is usually what courts deem as a reasonable length of time to repair a problem, like mold. However, courts can extend or shorten the timespan depending on when the landlord received the notice, the severity of the mold problem and the availability of mold removal labor and equipment.
Is Mold Dangerous?
Occupants of an apartment or rental property sometimes suddenly erupt with a case of wheezing, coughing, runny nose, and itchy skin. Respiratory problems exacerbate in people who have asthma or allergies. If these symptoms worsen when indoors, mold is a likely culprit.
Mold is dangerous to human health, but also to the physical safety of the occupants. Colonies of mold eat away at porous structures, causing wood, drywall, and insulation to weaken. The integrity of the building is seriously compromised as mold consumes the building.
Clearly, mold is a hazard. When mold plagues a property, landlords, and tenants should respond immediately to remove the infestation. Swift action can halt the spread of mold growth and the spores’ damaging aftereffects to human health and building structures.
What options do tenants have if the landlord fails to remove mold growth?
If the landlord fails to have the mold infestation removed, Texan tenants have recourse. Tenants may end their lease or file a lawsuit against the landlord in a Texas court of law. Or, the tenant may have the mold growth remediated and deduct the repair costs from his monthly rent.
The last option (repairing and deducting the repair costs from rent) is advisable only upon consulting a qualified lawyer. Texas law, specifically Tex. Prop. Code 92.0561, states that any repairs made by the tenant must not exceed the greater of $500 or one month’s rent for non-subsidized rent.
Additional mandates in Texas law stipulate that the tenant can repair and deduct only if the landlord has a responsibility to have the mold removal performed. Exceptions exist, such as when the tenant and landlord agree in writing that the former may conduct repairs at the latter’s expense.
Are mold inspections required under Texas law?
Under Texas regulations, a mold inspection is not always necessary in order for repairs to commence. Circumstances when an inspection is not called for include when the landlord agrees to the mold removal or when the tenant shows evidence of how the mold affects his health and safety.
When the tenant provides substantial proof of how the mold condition adversely affects the occupant’s physical health and safety, the tenant may utilize this evidence to end the lease or obtain a court order that requires the landlord to remove the mold infestation—all without a mold inspection.
What can tenants do if the landlord is unwilling to have the mold remediated?
Exposure to mold is a serious health risk. If the landlord is unwilling to have the mold remediated, Texan tenants may resort to a personal injury lawyer, especially in instances where the mold has caused health issues in the tenant. Landlords can be held responsible for hazardous property conditions.
Accumulating evidence and performing environmental testing in order to potentially file a toxic mold claim should be started immediately upon seeking the advice of a personal injury lawyer. The law professional is fit to advise the tenant if a toxic mold claim can be linked to mold exposure.
Can I remove the mold myself?
Mold growth can vary from a substantial infestation along the ceiling to a minor one, such as in the bathroom. When mold is minor, tenants can attempt to perform the cleanup themselves. However, mold colonies that reach or exceed 10 square feet should be handled by professionals.
Work with a Texas Mold Remediation Company
Mold remediation experts, like those from Target Restoration, are equipped with the training and equipment to control and stop the spread of mold. A DIY removal is not advised if the mold is extensive, since amateur cleaning tactics can release spores that will contaminate other areas of the property.
Target Restoration is licensed by the state of Texas and Texas Department of State Health Services to perform mold removal services in accordance with all Texas mold regulations. Professionals from the company regularly serve both residential homeowners and businesses in the Lone Star State.
Experienced technicians arrive on-site and pinpoint the water source that is responsible for the mold growth. Once the water damage restoration is completed by the company’s qualified Master Water Restorer, specialists begin the mold remediation process. Upon removal of mold spores and affected property, deodorization, content cleaning and structural repairs are completed.
Customers in the state of Texas are continually satisfied with Target Restoration’s professional mold removal services. Our workmanship is top-notch, meaning mold fails to reappear. Target Restoration specialists are ready to dispatch expert crews for mold remediation emergencies in the residential and business communities of Houston, Texas.
Get a Free Estimate on Mold Remediation in Texas
For a free estimate on your next mold remediation service, contact Target Restoration at (877) 741-9026.