Maintaining a home is always difficult. Often, the list for your house or apartment’s upkeep seems never-ending, and just as often, environmental factors contribute to the problems you as a resident will face. With April showers in full swing here in Indianapolis, you may be facing the issues that come with more humid climates.
What happens, then, if the apartment complex you’re living in has a mold problem? What if you get sick because of it? Does your landlord bear any responsibility for that mold’s existence, and can they bear some of the financial burden you’ll face for treating both yourself and the mold problem?
It’s sometimes a complex issue. Fortunately, we’re here to break down some of the complexities and give you an idea of what your options are.
A Tenant’s Responsibility
Right away, it’s important to understand that you, as the tenant of an apartment, are part of a two-way agreement between you and your landlord. You signed the lease and therefore bear some of the responsibility for maintaining a healthy living space for you and anyone you house—in either the long or short term.
If your actions resulted in the conditions necessary for mold, then proving your landlord’s liability will be difficult, if not impossible. Some of these actions might include neglecting to clean your apartment regularly, keeping the environment more humid than necessary, or shutting your apartment too tightly and preventing fresh airflow.
Remember, your landlord can’t control everything you do. If you’re negligent with your living space, your landlord isn’t responsible.
Landlords also can’t fix problems they don’t know about. Another part you can play is letting your landlord know of any problems as soon as you encounter them.
When the Landlord Is Responsible
Generally, when a landlord signs a lease, they agree to uphold a certain standard of living within the whole apartment complex. They should prevent outright the conditions that spawn mold: leaky roofs and pipes, poor ventilation, and unclean public spaces within the complex.
A leaky roof over the apartment next door can create mold problems for you, and if the landlord was aware of the issue (in a situation where either you or your neighbor informed your landlord of the issue, as responsible tenants should), then your landlord may be liable for any illnesses you may have encountered as a result of the mold.
In some scenarios, even if your lease included a clause that attempted to exempt your landlord from responsibility in mold-related situations, courts may still hold your landlord accountable anyway. Every situation varies.
Help from an Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer
Mold is the last thing you should have to worry about as spring reaches its peak—much less mold that results from someone else’s negligence. If you or someone you know has fallen ill because of mold growth entirely out of their control, Hensley Legal Group may be able to help. Call us today or contact us online for a free conversation about your claim. Our Indiana personal injury lawyers are here to help.