The Legalities Concerning Black Mold
Black mold is popular parlance for Stachybotrys chartarum, a black fungus whose reproductive spores contain a fungal toxin or mycotoxin which causes irritation in the mucus tissues of the body. The effect of that is to produce a feeling of fatigue, an irritated and dry throat, sneezing and colds, difficulty of breathing and sometimes pulmonary hemorrhage. Don’t kid with it. It can even cause death.
There are many instances of tenants who rent an apartment with their entire family only to discover that the ceiling is infested with black mold. In most cases these people do not even know what those dark spots in the ceiling or on the walls are. That would have been the reason why they rented in the first place. They may have asked to owner of the building what the stains on the walls were and he would have responded by saying: “I will have them cleaned up in the morning.” Most tenants who live in mold-infested buildings find that their children develop symptoms of asthma and become sickly. They will find out sooner or later that all those manifestations are caused by the spores of the fungi that have colonies in their room. Most of the time they will not know what to do if the landlord himself makes no move to remedy the situation.
Request the landlord to have the mold cleaned up
The first step is to issue a formal letter to the landlord requesting him to take some measures to eliminate the black mold from your room. In that letter you have to describe in detail the appearance of the mold as well as its location in the room. If you have a digital camera, take a snapshot of it and print out the image on a separate sheet of paper. By attaching the image to your letter, you have additional proof that what you are talking about is true. This will serve you well in case you should decide to file a case in court against the landlord. The photo will also alert the landlord that you mean business and could possibly pressure him to do something about the situation quick.
Meanwhile you should grab filtered masks for your children and possibly protective goggles too. These will keep them from inhaling the poisonous spores and will protect their eyes from coming in contact with them. Whenever your children are at home, make it a point to dress them up with long-sleeved clothes and long pajamas. Don’t use electric fans in your room because that will only increase the population of spores that are suspended in the air.
Approach different health agencies that can back up your position
In case your landlord does nothing about the matter, send emails to the local, state and national health departments. You need to attach to those emails a copy of your letter to the landlord as well as the picture of the black mold that you took. This will attract the attention of the health authorities. Follow that move by approaching the media, the local radio, the local newspaper and the local television. You will need to take more pictures for the newspaper and television folk. Last, but not least, talk to your lawyer. He can give you salient advice about whether it would be better for you to pursue the litigation or settle for a refund of your money so that you can transfer elsewhere.