Landlord's Duties Regarding Mold in Texas Lawyers

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What are Landlord's Duties Regarding Mold in Texas?

The Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act  requires landlords to disclose known facts about the property that may influence a prospective tenant’s decision to rent or not.  This includes disclosing knowledge about present water leaks and mold infestations.  However, the courts have not decided whether a landlord is obligated to inform prospective tenants about prior water leaks that were repaired, or mold infestations that were properly dealt with in the past.  However, if a prospective tenant asks a direct question about these issues a landlord must answer truthfully.

Does My Landlord Have a Duty to Remove Mold From my House or Apartment?

The Texas Property Code requires landlords to remedy and repair certain conditions after being informed of them by the tenant.  Landlords must make a diligent effort to repair or remedy certain conditions when all the following requirements are met:

What if I Caused the Mold Problem?

Legally landlords are not responsible for fixing mold damage if the tenant, a member of the tenant’s family, a guest or invitee of the tenant or a lawful occupant caused the water leak that resulted in mold.  Similarly landlords are not responsible if a water leak caused by a tenant results in mold growth that does not materially affect the health of an ordinary tenant.  However, the landlord’s desire to protect their property by preventing or stopping mold problems should be more important than placing blame on the tenant.

Can a Landlord Obtain a Waiver to Avoid Repairing Mold Problems?

No.  The landlord’s statutory duty to make repairs and remedy certain condition cannot ever be waived by the tenant.

Can I Sue My Landlord if I Get Sick From the Mold?

Even if the blame or duty to remedy can be shifted onto the tenant by the landlord, the landlord can still be sued for personal injuries and property damages caused by the mold under the common law.  If your landlord knew, or should have known, about a water leak in your dwelling, they could be liable for any personal injuries (health problems) and damage to your personal property from the resulting mold infestation.  This is true even if the landlord is not liable for repairing the water leak or fixing the mold problem.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Deal With My Mold Problem?

A good landlord-tenant lawyer will be able to help you decide on a course of action.  Mold can be a serious problem, affecting not only your property but your health as well.  If you are sick due to mold in your dwelling you should contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

For more local legal information, please see these pages:
Texas Lawyers

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Last Modified: 05-27-2010 10:39 AM PDT

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