Mold contamination has become an increasing problem in homes, offices, and other indoor places across the United States. Mold can cause a lot of health problems to people who are exposed to it, and in severe cases, exposure to mold spores can even be fatal. Due to this growing concern, many different laws have been passed, which protect the rights of people in case of mold contamination. Here are some of the legal aspects of mold contamination.
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Landlord and Tenant
The landlord has a responsibility to ensure proper living conditions for his tenants, which includes having premises free from any kind of mold contamination. If you are a tenant, and have discovered any mold in your rented premises, then it is the duty of the landlord to get the mold removed and pay for any such removal. Landlords, who fail to make their property free from mold contamination, can be sued by their tenants.
As a tenant, if you have suffered from any illness due to mold contamination in your rented apartment, then you can sue the landlord for compensation and damage. The first thing that you need to do is to provide evidence of mold contamination. A report from a home inspector, which affirms the presence of mold in your home, can be sufficient proof of mold contamination. You also need to get the air quality tested to determine if there are elevated and harmful levels of mold spores in your rented premises.
Under the law, it is not the duty of the landlord to provide or pay for such proof, or to get the premises tested for any signs of mold contamination. The burden of providing such proof lies with the tenant. But if there is in fact any mold contamination found, and the landlord has been proved guilty of neglecting his responsibilities, then a tenant can recover any expenses relating to gathering of the proof, as well as any other damages that may arise due to mold contamination.
Home Buyers and Sellers
As a home buyer, you have the right to know if the home that you intend to buy, has any problems with mold contamination. If mold contamination was present but had been taken care of, then the seller need not disclose this fact, but if there is any present mold contamination in the house, then the seller is required to make this fact known to any prospective home buyer.
As a new home buyer, if you have noticed any signs of mold contamination in your new home, and this was not disclosed to you by the seller, then you have legal rights under mold contamination laws. You can sue the seller for non-disclosure and also for any damages and compensation that may arise due to the mold contamination or any illnesses because of it.
Employers and Employees
It is the duty of employers to see that the workplace is fit for employees to work in, and this includes ensuring proper indoor air quality. If the air quality at the workplace has been compromised due to any mold contamination, then employees are entitled to recover damages for any illnesses suffered by them. The employer also has a legal responsibility to remove all signs of mold contamination from the workplace.
Damages Due to Mold Contamination
If you have suffered from any disease due to mold contamination at your workplace, in a rented apartment, or in your new home, then you may be entitled to receive the following damages:
- Medical expenses incurred on illnesses due to mold contamination. Future expenses can also be claimed as damages.
- Pain, anguish, and suffering.
- Damages for loss of wages as a result of mold illnesses.
- Loss of earning capacity.
- Damages due to loss of companionship, comfort, financial losses etc in case of death due to illness caused by mold contamination. Such damages can be recovered by survivors of the deceased.
- Damages for destruction of property due to mold contamination.
- Punitive damages.
Mold contamination is a very serious problem, which can result in a host of problems, medical and otherwise. If you have suffered in any way due to mold contamination, you should hire a lawyer immediately, to protect your rights and recover any damages that you may be entitled to.