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MICRO wants to keep you up to date with information pertinent to your interests on indoor air quality and specifically what's happening in the mold industry.
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Who is responsible for mold in a Texas rental home?
Landlord-tenant laws in Texas ascribe the duty to remove conditions that materially affect the health or safety of a tenant to the landlord. However, tenants must not have defaulted on rent, not caused the problem, and must report the problem to the landlord in writing.
Tenants must ensure to keep their homes in habitable conditions. Cleanliness and proper ventilation help to keep mold from forming in a home.
Landlord Rights And Responsibilities In Texas
- Keep the property safe and habitable.
- Make all repairs for problems reported within a reasonable time.
- Keep all electrical and plumbing appliances in good working condition.
- Meet all required local housing regulations.
- Lawful evictions.
- Collect rent in agreed-upon amounts and time.
- Supply heat and both hot and cold water.
Tenant Rights And Responsibilities in Texas
- To live in habitable conditions.
- Timely repair for all problems you report.
- Fix all damage that is your fault.
- Pay the required amount of rent at the agreed time.
- Use provided garbage disposal receptacles.
- Ensure quiet enjoyment of the property for other neighbors.
- No retaliation from the landlord for exercising legal rights.
- Keep the premises clean and habitable.
How Long Does A Texas Landlord Have To Fix Mold Problems
In Texas, landlords have 7 days upon receiving written notice of the presence of mold to have it repaired. Texas tenants are encouraged to provide written notice by sending it via certified mail or other methods with tracking. Also, include photos of the mold when you give notice.
Tenants are required to allow their landlords reasonable time to fix reported problems. If they fail to fix the problem, Texas law allows tenants to fix the problem and deduct the cost from the rent.
Tenants can also sue their landlords for the courts to compel them to fix the mold or for damages. Consult a lawyer for help before you sue or choose to repair and deduct.
Mold Disclosure Law In Texas
Texas does not have any laws that require landlords to disclose the presence of mold in their units to new tenants. Federal law requires property sellers to disclose the presence of lead paint for homes built before 1978. Additionally, landlords have to disclose any environmental hazards they are aware of in or around the house.
Can You Break Your Rental Lease In Texas Due To Mold
In Texas and many states, tenants are legally not allowed to break the rental lease if they are the cause of the mold. When tenants notice problems that can cause mold, they should report them to the landlord immediately.
Leaking pipes, taps, floods, and spills are causes of mold in the house. Report these to your landlord before they cause more problems in your unit. Document the problems in photos and inform your landlord in writing. Also, record all the discussions and promises that the landlord offers.
If the landlord does not fix the problems you report and mold gets too unmanageable levels, you are allowed to withhold the rent until the landlord repairs it. However, you must first report to the city official who will compel the landlord to fix the mold while you hold on to the rent.
Constructive eviction is when you break your lease since the unit is no longer habitable because the landlord refused to fix the problems.
Can A Texas Tenant Withhold Rent Due To Mold
A Texas tenant can withhold rent to compel the landlord to fix some damage in the unit. Additionally, if the landlord does not repair the problems after a reasonable time, the tenant can repair and deduct the costs from the rent.
Can A Texas Tenant Seek Justice In Court Due To Mold
In Texas, a tenant can sue the landlord for mold when:
- You have evidence the landlord refused to fix water leaks reported before the mold appeared.
- If you have spent money in a hospital or on medication due to mold exposure.
- Lost income due to a condition caused by mold exposure.
- If you have spent any money to remediate the mold.
- For mold-related damage to your property not covered by your renters’ insurance.
- For pain and suffering caused by the health effects of mold.
- The mold presence is not your fault.
Does a Mold Assessor and/or Mold Remediator Have to be Licensed in Texas?
Texas prohibits a person from engaging in mold assessment or remediation, as defined in the law and regulations, unless that person holds a license from the state. The law prohibits license holders (except those employed by school districts) from performing both mold assessment and mold remediation on the same project. It establishes certain minimum work practices and record-keeping requirements for licensed mold assessors and remediators. The law requires the Board of Health to adopt rules governing the licensing program, including minimum performance standards and training requirements (25 Texas Admin. Code 295.301-295.338).
The law authorizes the board to adopt rules that facilitate reciprocity and communication with other states that have a similar licensing program. It directs the Department of Health to administer the program, and requires the department to investigate complaints regarding mold-related activities. The law also provides for administrative and civil penalties and requires the department to conduct a statewide education and outreach program on IAQ and mold.