The sale was moving along, until tenant talked about mold
There was a fabulous offer, and it was promptly accepted. Buyer ordered inspections. Things were moving along quite well.
Until the tenant mentioned mold. Buyer freaks out and bails.
But is it really mold?
The seller said he’s had no complaints from previous tenants about this particular unit, until this tenant moved in. The tenant rarely opens the windows for natural ventilation. So naturally, mildew could form.
I remember when I first moved to San Francisco and stayed at my sister’s flat. The bathroom window was rarely cracked open, and as such, mildew formed in the ceiling and corners. My sister was afraid it was mold. Simple enough solution: I opened the windows, and washed down the mildew with bleach. Voila!
But how does one know for sure?
Here’s a A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home published by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
- The key to mold control is moisture control.
- If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.
- It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
Moisture and Mold Prevention and Control Tips
- When water leaks or spills occur indoors - ACT QUICKLY. If wet or damp materials or areas are dried 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens, in most cases mold will not grow.
- Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
- Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water does not enter or collect around the foundation.
- Keep air conditioning drip pans clean and the drain lines unobstructed and flowing properly.
- Keep indoor humidity low. If possible, keep indoor humidity below 60 percent (ideally between 30 and 50 percent) relative humidity. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive ($10-$50) instrument available at many hardware stores.
- If you see condensation or moisture collecting on windows, walls or pipes ACT QUICKLY to dry the wet surface and reduce the moisture/water source. Condensation can be a sign of high humidity.
Addressing the tenant situation
The landlord was apprised of the tenant’s concerns and will take action.
But how do we educate the tenant on what he should do to control the mold situation? Or is he hoping to scuttle the sale by scaring buyers? Or is he hoping for cash for keys? We already know that tenants from hell can, do and will jeopardize a sale.
- Tenants sink the deal but “save” the buyer
- Tenant from hell caused short sale to be foreclosed