When Are Landlords Liable for Mold Problems?
Commercial landlords may have limited liability for mold problems. Mold caused by occupants or a problem that worsens through negligence on their part may result in tenants being held responsible for black mold cleaning and remediation costs. Residential landlords of apartment buildings, multifamily dwellings, and rental homes are held accountable to an implied warranty of habitability. Different standards apply to commercial buildings in Baton Rouge, LA.
Liability for Commercial Properties
Landlords of commercial properties tend to have limited liability for mold. A commercial tenant who can prove that a mold problem is due to a landlord’s negligence may be able to sue, particularly if proof of any of the following scenarios is present:
A landlord who refuses to remediate old mold
Mold due to systems the landlord maintains
Unremediated water damage prior to move-in
In these situations, tenants may be eligible for damages and be able to negotiate liability to clean up or remediate mold damage. The responsibility for cleanup is rarely clear cut.
The Cause of Mold
Property owners or landlords are generally responsible for the upkeep of the structural systems of rental properties. If mold occurs due to negligence in repairing pipes or cleaning air ducts, the terms of the lease will determine whether the landlord or tenant is responsible for black mold.
Commercial lease agreements determine the ground tenants have to stand on when bringing suit against landlords. Some property owners and managers assume responsibility for facility upkeep such plumbing and roof maintenance, while other contracts stipulate that tenants take on these responsibilities.
Responsibility for Mold Cleanup
The causes of mold, both in terms of primary water damage and secondary mold damage, are relevant for determining liability for mold remediation at a commercial building in Baton Rouge, LA. Cleanup may involve the physical removal of black mold and air filtration or HVAC cleaning to keep spores from re-contaminating a structure.