Mold is making people sick!

Don't be duped into renting an apartment until you check for mold first by testing the unit for excessive moisture. Click on PDF icon to learn how. If moisture is found, mold may be hiding!

Test For Mold

Moisture-mold connection

The massive amount of rain (moisture) has caused the OC soil to expand resulting in extensive damage to foundations under many Orange County homes, apartments, and other structures, including an explosion of mold. But because of the high cost of fixing the damage, apartment complexes have been using paint and putty to try to hide the damage (and mold) to protect their revenue streams and to avoid repair costs without regard to the safety of their tenants--it's all about the money! And now, the latest rains have made the mold problem even worse!

Rent-reduction "leverage"

The mold problem gives apartment owners two options: Pay to renovate their apartments to meet code requirements, or give renters a rent reduction like the Irvine Company has done. If landlords say 'no', tenants are encouraged to report the matter to code-enforcement officials which will require landlords to put tenants up in hotels (plus meals), pay for renovations, pay possible fines, and other costs. Simple math proves it's cheaper for landlords to provide rent concessions, instead. Tenants are encouraged to use this leverage to their advantage.

Before you sign/renew

When shopping for an apartment, prospective OC's tenants can now check if a complex has a mold problem BEFORE a yes/no rental decision is made by checking the mold registry on the home page of this site to see if the complex they are interested in renting from is on the list. If it is, renters can use this information to negotiate a break on rent, which the Irvine Company has offered to their tenants to try to keep them quiet about their mold problem (see article on the home page bottom). If you are considering renewing your lease, you can use this apartment mold list in the same way to negotiate a lower-cost renewal. This registry now gives renters an opportunity to make a more-informed rental decision BEFORE they sign a lease, instead of discovering the mold problem afterwards. For those who may be willing to take the risk of renting a moldy apartment, a significant rent concession may be available.

Beware lies and language

Leasing managers have been telling tenants that they just have to "deal" with mold by saying, "It's in your lease agreement", but that's just a line of BS to avoid the remediation costs. Thanks to California State Law (California Senate Bill 655), landlords MUST provide tenants with a habitable place to live (no mold or dampness) REGARDLESS OF WHAT THEIR LEASE SAYS or face penalties; landlords cannot use their own lease "language" to circumvent State Law. If landlords try to enforce their own rules with bogus lease language to avoid having to make repairs, they could be fined. If your landlord fails to provide a moisture and mold-free property for you to occupy, tries to deny the problem exists, or tries to blame you for causing the problem, remind them that your local code-enforcement office (and lawyers/advocates who often don't charge up front to take tenant cases) are just a phone call away.

Lease "escape" clause

Many tenants who rent apartments, condos, and homes never suspect that these places contain toxic mold, but many of these places in Orange County do. And if tenants and/or their children have asthma, eczema (skin rash) or other health issues, these conditions could worsen in a moldy environment. What's important to remember is that mold isn't always visible to the naked eye; mold likes to grow in dark and moist environments, such as under flooring and inside walls. In the event you do decide to lease a moldy apartment, make sure that there is a clause in your lease that will let you out without any penalties if the mold situation worsens, which it could over the lifetime of your lease. Asking for a month-to-month agreement may be the best option to explore so that in the event you or a family member becomes ill from exposure to the mold, you are not stuck in a long-term lease.

Damaged possessions

Most leasing companies have a mold addendum in which they expressly prohibit you from bringing in any personal possessions which have been exposed to mold. However, many of these same complexes are mold generators, mold which can damage new possessions purchased by tenants to furnish their new apartments. When new furniture is exposed to mold, taking it to another place may not be possible in cases where landlords test furniture and other possessions before they allow them into their living areas. In cases where you have moved into a moldy apartment without prior knowledge of the mold, your existing landlord can be held responsible for their mold damage to your new possessions.

Get in their face!

If your landlord says, "You have to deal with the mold—it's in your lease", this is a lie! Get in their face and point out that per California Senate Bill 655, landlords have a legal requirement in California to provide a habitable place to live free of moisture and mold REGARDLESS of what lease language says. Use Google to do your research and then put your leasing office on notice that you are in charge of the situation and not them. Don't let leasing management BS or "bully" you into submission. If you have been medically harmed by mold in your apartment, email us above to see if you may be eligible for recovery. Remember this: Your leasing office doesn't care about your health or safety. All they care about is getting your rent check!