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Are landlords responsible for mold and water damage?

by | Oct 28, 2020

Toxic Mold Injuries (1)

Maybe. Currently, there are no specific mold laws in Florida. Some local housing codes may include such wording, but it will not be systematic. Regardless, landlords still have a responsibility to provide safe and livable housing to tenants.

The specific requirements will vary by state, but in most places landlords meet the so-called “implied warranty of habit­ability” obligation by:

  • Keeping the basic structural elements of the building (e.g. floors, stairs, walls, and roofs) safe and intact,
  • Ensuring common areas, such as hallways and stairways, are safe and clean,
  • Keeping electrical, plumbing, ventilation, heating and air-conditioning systems, and elevators operating safely,
  • Supplying hot and cold running water and heat in reasonable amounts at reasonable times,
  • Mitigating known environmental hazards such as lead paint and asbestos,
  • Taking reasonable measures to prevent foreseeable criminal intrusions, and
  • Exterminating rodents and other vermin (e.g. bed bugs).

Mold Laws in Florida’s Landlord-Tenant Act

The first line of defense for tenants in Florida is the Landlord-Tenant Act (83.51, Fl. Statutes) outlines the minimum standards that Florida landlords must maintain when renting property to tenants. Landlords must comply with applicable building, housing, and health codes, and they must:

maintain the roofs, windows, doors, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations, and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads and the plumbing in reasonable working condition.

While the Florida statutes do not mention “mold” by name, often local inspectors will issue citations to landlords for failure to maintain living housing when mold is present.

Licensed Mold Inspectors

A secondary shield for tenants against intransigent landlords is section 468.84 ff., Fl. Statues, which regulates the licensing of professional mold remediators. According to this statute, anyone hired to conduct mold inspection or mold remediation must maintain specialty licenses from the state.

For tenants, this improves the likelihood that mold assessment and remediation will be done properly. It also means that landlords aren’t allowed to bring in a cheaper contractor or do the mold assessment and remediation themselves, unless they have such a license.

Have You Slipped and Fallen?

Despite the health risks linked to toxic mold, many landlords refuse to deal with mold or water damage properly because of the time and expense. of remediation. More worrying is that many insurance companies do not take the hazards of exposure to toxic molds seriously. If you’re worried you are in a dangerous situation caused by exposure to mold, we can help. Call 561.372.3800 or click the button to learn more.

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Other FAQs!

Don’t miss these other FAQs from the lawyers at Personal Injury & Accident Law Center, your go-to resource for information about personal injury cases in Boca Raton. 

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