Whether you’re the landlord of a rental property or tenant in that property, mold is never something you want. It can lead to a variety of harmful bacterias, and even ruin the foundation of your building. As a landlord, this can lead to repair costs and unwanted payments because of restoration services. As a tenant, it can cause bodily harm to your health as well as pose a serious problem for your living situation.
Here’s what you need to know about mold in Illinois
Two Important Tenant Legal Strategies
As a tenant, you need to know legally what you can do about potential mold in your rental unit. The first self-help strategy listed under the Illinois Government is “rent withholding.” This means that the tenant stops paying his or her rent, claiming that the potential mold has caused their apartment to become uninhabitable. The second strategy is known as “repair and reduct.” In this self-help strategy, you would instead take care of the mold removal and clean up yourself and then deduct the amount of money it took to repair the apartment from your rent.
Legal Responsibilities for the Landlord
Interestingly enough, there’s not a law in place that states what a landlord must do in the case of mold on the property. When it comes to mold remediation, Illinois has no current laws that dictate what a landlord must do in that circumstance. However, there have been instances in the past where tenants took their claims to court to get the money they thought they deserved. Judges have ruled in favor of the tenants in the past, forcing landlords to pay upwards $15,000. So if you are a landlord, it’s best to cover all corners in the event that such a circumstance occurs.
Hiding Mold Secrets from Potential Tenants
Once again, there is no regulation or law in Illinois that requires landlords to disclose of any mold in the property. No matter how high of a mold concentration there may be, the state doesn’t force landlords to release any information that pertains to this mold.
Taking Money from Security Deposits
Say you think that a tenant leaving the apartment created a mold problem and you wanted to take money from their deposit for cleaning fees. Provided that you, the landlord, write down an explanation of why you’re charging them for the mold damage, then you are allowed to do so within 30 days of when the tenant’s lease ends.
Why Risk It, Take Preventative Measures
With so much riding on the line due to mold damage, don’t chance it. Make sure you as a landlord are taking the necessary precautions to prevent mold damage from occurring in the first place. The last thing you want is to pay unnecessary fees simply because you didn’t plan ahead.