Sick from mold in apartment

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Latest post Mon, Oct 22 2007 6:24 PM by HatTrick. 4 replies.
  • Thu, Oct 18 2007 8:06 PM

    • tc626
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Fri, Jun 11 2004
    • Posts 8

    Angry [:@] Sick from mold in apartment

    Around 5 months ago i noticed a strong smell coming from my bedroom closet in my apartment. After closer examination i noticed that my 1/3 of my back and side wall was completely soaked in water. I notified the front office assistant and was told it was from a leak in the apt above mine and that they would fix it. A month goes by and they haven't fixed it so i went to the office again and told the office manager about the wall and was told again they would fix it. Another 2 weeks go by and the apt manager who lives across my apt is outside and i tell her again and she comes in and looks at the wall and again says someone will fix it. For the last 2 1/2 moths i've been really sick. I've been wheezing, having chest pains, sinus flaring up, and having shortness of breath. I thought i was sick due to the weather changes here in dallas,texas, but a friend of mine saw my closet and told me it was black mold on the wall. For about 3 months i've been breathing in this mold. I went to a doctor and was told to leave my apt immediately and that my sickness was caused by the mold. I told the office manager about my sickness and my doctor visit and i had to vacate immediately but i needed another apt. She has not paid my mediacal bills, not provided me with another apt and not replaced my clothes damaged from the mold, i've missed days from work due to sickness and to move from my apt and im still sick. Can I pursue a case against the apartment complex? Also i filed a incident report with the front office in which i described exactly what happen and the office manager reviewed my report and signed it and faxed it to the owner of the apt to review.
  • Fri, Oct 19 2007 11:29 AM In reply to

    • LisaQ
      Consumer
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Nov 11 2004
    • Posts 2,304

    re: Sick from mold in apartment

    “Can I pursue a case against the apartment complex?”

    Anyone can file a case if they wish, whether you’ll win, we don’t know. You’ll need testimony or a solid written medical report from your doctor. If you sue, the apartment owner, if he’s got money to hire attorneys, will likely have his attorney, through the court process, request more medical history on you, and get it. They’ll be trying to prove your illness is something else. You might do better in front of a small claims judge, seeking damages for your medical bills and damaged clothes. You would still stand to benefit from presenting photos of the mold to the judge and a doctors report.
  • Fri, Oct 19 2007 11:40 AM In reply to

    re: Sick from mold in apartment

    You have GOT to contact a lawyer and sue. I can't image why it would take so long for this problem to get fixed. I'd also get a note from the doctor that says he feels you are sick because of the mold. Keep pictures of or the actual items that were damaged.

    I owned an upstairs condo a few years ago and the tenant left the water on and basically flooded the place. Within an HOUR of being called, our property manager had a mold expert out to fix the problem. He had fans running and cleaned up the problem. There was hardly any damage downstairs, but the tenant there was so bad, he wanted a new carpet and us to pay for things that were 'old' in his condo. He also 'didn't like' the mold company we hired and asked them to stop the fans they put in his apartment. The tenant downstairs only wanted money from us and took us to court. He lost because the judge saw that we did everything we could to fix the problem right away. We even had to get a letter from the mold expert several months later stating that the tenant downstairs refused to allow him to finish the job.

    In your case, a judge would most likely side with you, but they may ask why you waited so long. I would take this directly to court now. Get as many pictures as possible.
  • Sun, Oct 21 2007 12:24 AM In reply to

    • tc626
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Fri, Jun 11 2004
    • Posts 8

    Question [=?] re: Sick from mold in apartment

    I reviewed my lease and it states all maintenance must be in writing, if not they are not responsible for any damages. I verbally told the assistant and the manager over a 5 month period, the manager even came to my apartment and visually looked at the rotted out wall with black mold. All i have is pictures of the wall and a incident report that i filed 3 days ago in which i stated that i verbally told the apt about the leak over a 5 month period and that b/c they failed to repair the leak i became ill and my clothes were damaged, this incident report was signed by me and the apt manager and was faxed to the apt owners. also the apt manager told me that maintenance would save a piece of the wall when they begin repairs so i can have it tested for black mold but maintenance threw it away. I have a letter from the apt manager stating that she informed maintenace to save me a piece of the wall for testing but they failed to. I also have a letter from my doctor stating that i vacate my apt immediately and that my sickness is strongly related to inhaling black mold. Can i sue even though my lease states all repairs requested must be in writing?
  • Mon, Oct 22 2007 6:24 PM In reply to

    • HatTrick
      Lawyer
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Apr 3 2007
    • CA
    • Posts 856

    Warning [=*#] re: Sick from mold in apartment

    You won't find your answer in the lease. Lease terms are likely irrelevant to mold issues, no matter what the lease says. AForget the lease.

    You may consider contacting the local government Building Code Enforsement. They may come and look at the mold and identify if it is a dangerous type. Even if his has been "removed" it can be tested. The spores are very small, and can float around in the air. They will be on walls and floors the look clean, and even that have been "cleaned." Also, it may be in other apartments, and behind wall that were not removed.

    Some mold is not a big deal. But some mold is very dangerous, especially if you have children. Black mold is generally not good. Trying to clean it only makes it worse. Moving it, or cutting into it makes it worse. It must be professional removed.

    I would not touch it. I would not smell it. I would not touch anything that touched it. You might need to get out of the appartment. This is more likely true if you or persons in the apartment have been sick, tired, or coughing. Please note I am not a doctor.

    Other tenants may be in a similar position. You may ask them.

    In bad mold cases, in addition to becoming ill now or later, one can lose all clothing and furniture because the mold spores get into these items, and they cannot be cleaned or disinfected. And they grow.

    If the mold is a bad type, you need a lawyer that does mold cases specifically, ASAP, to get good personal advice, and help moving if it is needed. Don't worry about the cost now, they should talk to you for free. A lawyer should help you get the mold tested too.

    You may have the mold tested your self, for a fee.

    You may want to see a doctor if you have felt ill.

    Good luck,

    HatTrick


    HatTrick

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