On behalf of Riley Ersoff & Shakhnis posted on Monday, January 29, 2018.
California law does its best to protect both landlords and tenants. For example, landlords can evict, retain security deposits or file civil suits in response to substantial damages to their units caused by tenants. On the other hand, however, landlords must also maintain clean and safe spaces for their tenants. That includes ensuring adequate waterproofing and weather protection of the roof and exterior walls, as well as windows and doors. All too often, landlords will put off critical repairs and maintenance to save themselves a little money. That can cause a host of issues for tenants, ranging from damages to their property to serious health issues or injuries. Waterproofing, roof repairs and leaks can all be expensive to fix, but failing to do so could end up causing far more damage and cost over time.
Water leaks can result in mold growth
For most molds, the perfect conditions are warm, wet and dark. The underside of a roof, the inside of a sink cabinet or building space below ground level can all see rapid mold growth in the right circumstances. Some molds are worse than others, with black mold, in particular, proving to be hard to eradicate and associated with a host of human health issues.
As soon as you inform your landlord of leaking water from your roof, ceiling, windows, doors or pipes, he or she should take steps to address this issue. Failing to do so could result in worse damage over time, as well as the development of a mold issue that leaves you unable to live in the space safely. Mold should be addressed as soon as possible by professionals to ensure it does not come back.
Black mold poisoning is a serious issue for tenants
Toxic black mold, also called Stachybotrys chartarum, can quickly build up in your carpets, walls, ceiling or flooring and spread throughout your space. They can then give off spores and mycotoxins that cause serious health issues in humans and house pets.
The most common symptoms of black mold exposure are respiratory. It can cause persistent coughing and sneezing, red, irritated eyes, rashes, fatigue and headaches. Severe cases can cause vomiting and bleeding in the lungs, throat and nose.
A simple leak can soon lead to a home that is no longer inhabitable. Worse, it can result in massive medical bills, especially if there is someone in your home with mold allergies, asthma or a compromised immune system. Children and the elderly are also more vulnerable than healthy adults. If your landlord refused to address a leak leading to mold development, it may be time to consider taking legal action against your landlord.