I did an inspection this week for a landlord for a tenant occupied property. The tenant had complained of mold being found. The inspection found surface mold on the walls inside a closet although no moisture was detected that contributed to this. The tenant found mold on some of the personal belongings in the closet.
Because of no moisture being detected it appears to have been accumulated ,humidity that caused the mold growth, especially in view of the rains for about the last 3 months and with no ventilation in the closet. This in itself is not unusual. What is unusual is the landlord putting the tenants up in another lodging until this matter can be taken care of.
It appears the tenants assumed it was automatically the landlord's obligation to take care of the surface mold in this situation.
Because of this particular inspection I feel it is prudent to advise property owners/managers and tenants alike what their responsibilities may be under current law. Because of not being a lawyer I am providing my understanding of what the law text says. It appears that tenants have the responsibility to maintain the property such as in this case from surface mold that apparently grew because of humidity and not a leak that came about that would have been out of the tenant's control and responsibility. This would seem to be reasonable and basic common sense.
Or in other words all of us (including tenants) who occupy a residence need to regularly clean and maintain our residence including surface mold that will grow in various places because of humidity and other causes that are not the landlord's responsibility. Both the landlord's and tenants need to understand each of their individual rights and responsibilities in this area.
The title of the law in California is SB-655 which you can Google, Bing or Yahoo your way to find and read.
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