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Black mold found in home. Have been ill. Lost job. Even insurance company was shocked. Any advise?

Davisburg, MI |

Lease option on home. Owner of property known as slumlord. Has other properties with mold and multiple issues. Had mold tested 2 weeks ago she will not give me a copy of results. Claims they were fine yet mold company will be coming out to do a professional clean up. When I told her about mold she was in Fla. for winter and made me wait until she returned to notify ins. co. While meeting with her she slipped more than once and told me previous tenant moved out after less than a month of 1 year lease due to claims of black mold. The mold was found under wallpaper in a room that she would not allow me to remove. After 2 and a half years of coaxing and telling her updates had to be done to get mortgage she conceded. Shocking amounts of mold found under paper and inside walls.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

It is not clear what you want to know. I would think that the insurance company will take care of the problem. So in that sense, you will not need to deal with this in the future. Whether or not there is a potential claim against the owner for failure to disclose this information or not, I am not sure. You would have the difficult task of proving that she was aware of the problem and that her lack of disclosure resulted in your health problems. I do not know how you would put a price on your damages. Since she is out of state at least part of the time, she might be able to claim ignorance.

I am not saying it would be an impossible case to win. But I would think you need to consult with a personal injury lawyer, before deciding how to proceed, or if you should.

James Frederick

*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.

Posted

First, take care of your health issues and obtain treatment. If necessary, your treatment should be ongoing. You haven't disclosed the nature of your illness so it is unclear whether you have symptoms that are commonly associated with mold exposure, such as respiratory problems, asthma, allergic reactions, headaches, nausea, etc. Next, if you can't obtain test results from your landlord, hire your own mod testing firm. For about $500 you can have a mold inspection firm come out to your place and take samples form the air and surfaces at various locations in your house. They will identify the concentrations of different types of mold (stachybotrys, penicillium, aspergillus, etc.) in the air and surfaces of your bedroom, kitchen, living room, etc. They will also perform visual inspections and write up a written report, including recommendations for corrective action. Third, have your personal items of property that have been damaged by mold professionally cleaned or repaced. Make an inventory of cleaning and replacement costs. Fourth, armed with the.report from the mold inspection firm, consult a personal injury or landlord-tenant attorney who prosecutes mold exposure cases. If you have sufficiently strong evidence, including the mold inspection report and medical records, you may be abe to recover your medical expenses, damage to personal property, pain and suffering, and perhaps even your attorney's fees. Possible legal theories to pursue include breach of contract, negligence, breach of implied warranty of habitability, and constructive eviction. Good luck.

This response is for information purpose only and does not constitute a legal advice. This response does not create an attorney-client relationship.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

Excellent advice from start to finish!

Posted

You also haven't identified who the insurance company represents. Is it a tenant's policy or the landlord's policy? There might be policies for both landlord and tenant. If you seek medical bill payments and pain and suffering, those kinds of benefits would require you to sue the LANDLORD and prove negligence and damages. Your tenants policy would cover other things (not medical and pain and suffering) like repairs and personal property damage. It would be wise to retain an experience property loss public adjuster or attorney. Good luck

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