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. This includes disclosing knowledge about present water leaks and mold infestations. Generally, most landlords will offer the information to avoid any potential liability, and if a prospective tenant asks about these issues a landlord must answer truthfully.
Does a Landlord Have a Duty to Remove Mold from a House or Apartment?
The Texas Property Code requires landlords to remedy and repair certain conditions. Landlords must make a diligent efforts to fix an issue when all the following are met:
- The tenant gives notice of the condition to the person who normally accepts rent
- The tenant is not delinquent in rent payments at the time
- The condition materially affects the physical health or safety of an ordinary tenant
- The tenant, a member of the tenant’s family, or a guest of the tenant did not cause the condition
What If the Tenant Caused the Mold Problem?
Landlords are typically not responsible for fixing mold damage if the tenant or someone the tenant knows. Similarly, landlords are not responsible if a water leak caused by a tenant results in mold growth. The landlord’s desire to protect their property by preventing or stopping mold problems should be more important than placing blame on the tenant. However, an at-fault tenant should not be surprised if the landlord confronts them with a repair and removal bill.
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 a Tenant Sue a Landlord If They Get Sick from Mold?
If the landlord knew, or should have known, about a water leak in the dwelling, they could be liable for any personal injuries, health problems, and damage to 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 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.