From the article: “It is debated whether mold, for instance, physically affects humans.”
Mold “…physically affects humans.” – Research Shows Illness Is Real & Treatable ~ Chronic & Systemic Insurance Fraud
From the article: “John McDermott, general counsel for the Arlington, Va.-based National Apartment Association, said: “It’s best to have a happy tenant who pays the rent.” And a tenant blaming a landlord for sickness is not likely to be happy or timely with payments, he said.”
I would have to agree, tenants who find themselves in a apartment full of mold and getting sick are “not likely to be happy.” Tenants are even more “not likely to be happy” when they find the mold was concealed by the landlord.
From the article: “Though the NAA has argued in court that scientific evidence does not support a link between mold and sickness, the group provides members with a lease addressing mold. It also strives to educate tenants and maintenance workers on how to avoid mold.”
Here is exactly what the NAA says:
Thank You National Apartment Association. I will do my best to get this very important information out ASAP to numerous owners, investors, huge property management companies (e.g., Riverstone Residential), attorneys, and judges, AND, of course, to the MANY people who are currently living in MOLD-INFESTED APARTMENT COMPLEXES right now! katy
More landlords addressing mold
BY DONNA ROLANDO
SPECIAL TO THE RECORD
It’s everywhere, and its presence can be a financial nightmare — resulting in an explosion of litigation over the past 20 years.
It’s mold, and since it’s here to stay, many in the apartment industry are tackling it on a variety of fronts, including spreading the word that complaints — not silence — are golden whenever a tenant finds mold.
To ward off health concerns and the lawsuits they might trigger, many apartment communities are not only responding quickly to mold reports — they are seeking them out.
“It’s a Catch-22 about this subject,” said Mike Beirne, executive vice president of Englewood Cliffs-based Kamson Corp., which manages apartments in North Jersey. Of the many types of mold, “many are not dangerous to anyone,” he said. “On the other hand, there are people sensitive to different kinds of mold. There are some cases where mold can be a serious issue, and for that reason, many in the apartment industry have established policies on how to deal with mold.”
At Kamson Corp. buildings, which include Treetop Apartments in Bloomingdale, this means mold is on the checklist for daily site inspections. Also, a hot line has been established for residents to report mold, and the staff knows to act quickly, Beirne said. A policy of fast action on mold can not only spare a landlord the cost of litigation, it can also rein in cleanup costs.
“Mold is fairly easy to get rid of in minute portions,” Beirne said. Larger cases can also involve removal of sheet rock, experts say.
John McDermott, general counsel for the Arlington, Va.-based National Apartment Association, said: “It’s best to have a happy tenant who pays the rent.” And a tenant blaming a landlord for sickness is not likely to be happy or timely with payments, he said.
Though the NAA has argued in court that scientific evidence does not support a link between mold and sickness, the group provides members with a lease addressing mold. It also strives to educate tenants and maintenance workers on how to avoid mold. When it comes to mold and how courts might view this issue, landlords and tenants are often dealing with the unknown.
“There is much ambiguity between what is ‘pollution’ and what is not — and it is constantly changing,” said John Butler, vice president of HUB International Northeast, which deals in risk management. “It is debated whether mold, for instance, physically affects humans. Litigants are finding themselves defending against the unknown. New precedents are set every day.”
Christine Messina, vice president at allRisk Property Damage Experts in Somerdale, said: “Mold has been around since the beginning of time. However, the health concerns about mold, litigation and media attention that followed barely existed until the ’90s.”
That’s when mold-related health concerns resulted in lawsuits and highlighted the importance of tackling indoor mold. Also at that point, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took the lead, she said, in developing guidelines for how mold should be treated.
“To prevent mold growth in buildings, it is critical to be vigilant and address any water intrusion immediately, as mold can grow in 24 to 48 hours,” said Messina, whose company performs mold remediation.
“So for example, if you are a tenant in an apartment building, and you experience a leak caused by a plumbing pipe, ice line or condensation line, it is extremely important that the water source is stopped, repaired and that the building is properly dried down,” said Messina. She said an independent hygienist should test air quality before and after a cleanup to make sure the pollutant is gone.
Because of the potential for health problems, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises tenants:
“If you feel your property owner, landlord or builder has not been responsive to concerns you’ve expressed regarding mold exposure, you can contact your local board of health or housing authority. Applicable codes, insurance, inspection, legal and similar issues about mold generally fall under state and local [not federal] jurisdiction.”
Political Action Committee – National Apartment Association (NAA) files Amicus Brief in mold case (two infant deaths in mold filled apt – Wasatch Prop Mgmt) citing US Chamber/ACOEM ‘litigation defense report’ to disclaim health effects of indoor mold & limit financial risk for industry
“Changes in construction methods have caused US buildings to become perfect petri dishes for mold and bacteria to flourish when water is added. Instead of warning the public and teaching physicians that the buildings were causing illness; in 2003 the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, a think-tank, and a workers comp physician trade organization mass marketed an unscientific nonsequitor to the courts to disclaim the adverse health effects to stave off liability for financial stakeholders of moldy buildings. Although publicly exposed many times over the years, the deceit lingers in US courts to this very day.”
Sharon Noonan Kramer
Information about Riverstone Residential, the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, and the owners of Jefferson Lakes Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana allowing tenants to be exposed to extreme amounts of toxins from molds by intentionally concealing evidence
Irrefutable evidence indicates that Riverstone Residential, Guarantee Service Team of Professionals, & plaintiffs’ attorney, J Arthur Smith III, must have agreed to exclude evidence that would have shown the owners of Jefferson Lakes Apartments & Riverstone Residential had knowledge of the severe MOLD INFESTATION at the complex before we moved in