A property that is not maintained properly tends to be a burden on costs and on time for the property owner, unless they come up with strategies that would address the problems early then tenant retention and acceptable return on investment are definitely difficult to achieve.
If there’s one thing that catches property owners and residents off guard, that would be the appearance of mold in the residence. Mold is a cause for concern because it affects not just the rental home but also the health of the tenants.
Some molds are invisible to the naked eye and while there are a number of them the toxic variety is called Black Mold, or Stachybotrys atra. It looks like a greenish-black gelatinous mold and is usually slimy because of a wet layer on the top. Toxic mold thrives in damp places where there has been a water leak hidden from view. Leaks inside walls, above ceilings or under floors are common causes of its formation. Black Mold gives off an unpleasant musty, earthy smell, like dirt and rotting leaves, and when present can impact your confidence in the safety of a rental home. Stachybotrys molds are not always black, meaning molds of different colors could also be dangerous. In other words, there’s no way to tell just by looking whether you’re dealing with toxic or harmless mold.
Whilst mold overall is very common in damp indoor environments, Stachybotrys is less common than other mold species, including Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus, and Alternaria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn’t have statistics about how often Stachybotrys molds are found in buildings, but it’s less common than what is being reported and hyped in the media.
The presence of toxic mold is a serious health concern. The CDC reports links between the presence of mold in the home and serious health effects, including respiratory problems (coughing or wheezing, throat irritation, nasal stuffiness), eye irritation, or skin irritation. People with allergies, asthma or lung disease may be even more severely affected, leading to serious infections in the lungs or other life-threatening conditions.
Because of the dangers posed by toxic mold, it’s important to take control of an outbreak as efficiently as possible. Ongoing damage from the mold can completely damage walls, ceilings, and a tenant’s possessions. As a landlord, you may be held responsible if you are aware that mold is present in a rental home but fail to take the proper steps to address it.
Beyond legal liability, toxic mold can cause severe damage to a rental home if left unchecked. Mold grows well wherever a steady supply of moisture is present. It can grow on cardboard, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, carpet, and upholstery. It can also grow on wood products, including the wood inside walls and floors, on insulation, and even on drywall and paint. While mold is a problem, in most instances its growth can be prevented or stopped before it causes excessive damage the key is to perform regular maintenance that includes good mold prevention strategies.
Call the Experts
It would be a wonder why some property managers still tend to sweep mold under the rug, more often than not, when they are faced with a mold issue, they think twice about spending to fix it. Purposely ignoring or belittling mold is like putting the health of your residents and that makes for a bad landlord. Doing so gives lawyers enough ammunition to file lawsuits on your residents’ behalf.
At Real Property Management Investment Solutions, we recognize the dangers that uncontrolled growths of mold present to rental property owners. Our team of expert property managers and service professionals in Muskegon will address the issue early and correct it, thereby saving you both time and money. Would you like a free assessment of your rental property? Please contact us online or call us at 616-419-8880 for more information.
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