Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Help Me Howard: Mold
Are you coughing a lot? Not feeling well in the morning? You might not have a cold, your home might have a mold problem, which can hurt your health but if you are a renter, is it enough for you to get out of a lease. Its why one couple called Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- Jason Iglesis was once in the mold removal business.
Jason Iglesis: "There's all kinds of mold, but they are all dangerous every single one is dangerous."
So when a couple of neighbors complained about mold in their condos, Jason decided to check out his unit.
Jason Iglesis: "And I went looking for myself to see if I could see mold in my apartment."
Patrick Fraser: "Did you."
Jason Iglesis: "Yes lots."
Jason first looked behind the dishwasher.
Jason Iglesis: "I went ahead and I pulled his out and thats what I found all that stuff is mold."
Black mold in the kitchen then Jason went to a bathroom.
Jason Iglesis: "I was able to take off the two screws and pop off this wood and look what I found."
Jason says discovering the hidden mold explained why he and his girlfriend have been coughing so much.
Amanda Bleier: "It's chunky kind of coughing its horrible."
Jason Iglesis: "We have been dealing with a lot of chest congestion's a lot of headaches, a lot of really cant breathe properly."
And the mold is in several condos in the complex. We walked over to see the most amazing examples. Take a look at this empty condo where a worker was stripping the place. Then go over to this one that had been in foreclosure. So much mold it looks like someone splattered the place with black paint.
Jason says with so many units battling mold he wants out.
Jason Iglesis: "It's killing us both, but its not doing us any good staying here in this apartment."
Well Howard, they have a lease if you find mold can you break the lease and move out?
Howard Finkelstein: "A spot of mold on a wall is not enough to get you out of your lease unless it's toxic. In other words, it makes you sick. If it does send the landlord a letter giving them seven days to correct the problem. If they can't then legally you can break the lease and get your security deposit back."
While we were at the complex their landlord showed up.
Max Eida: "Anybody complain about mold we take it seriously, and we fix that apartment right away."
Max Eida says he just bought these two units in foreclosure that they had been empty for years and a breeding ground for mold.
Max Eida: "This unit had bad water heater, bad water heater and no air conditioner for four years. It create mold if you want it or dont want it."
We then took him over to Jason and Amandas to show him the mold. He says it will be fixed.
Max Eida: "If I have to take the wall down I take the wall down."
Max says he had no idea there was mold there. The tenant before Jason and Amanda moved out because of mold. Max says he cleaned it up, it came back and even if its cleaned up again Jason and Amanda still want out.
Patrick Fraser: "What about his lease? You want him to just go ahead, give him his security deposit back and let him leave?"
Max Eida: "Absolutely he want he can get out now."
Patrick Fraser: "You will let him out of his lease?"
Max Eida: "Absolutely, no question."
Jason's landlord did the right thing. And if you are tenant with mold you need to let your landlord know.
Howard Finkelstein: "If you get sick and run up doctor bills and you never sent the landlord a letter telling him that you had mold, they have no obligation to do anything and are not responsible for your medical bills."
Jason Iglesis: "I thank Patrick very much cause if it was for him he would have never given me my deposit back."
Max kept his word, let them out of the lease and gave them back their security deposit. They used that to move into a house leaving Jason happy and healthier.
Jason Iglesis: "tremendous difference. You can tell by the smell inside the house, you can tell by the way we are breathing she is hardly coughing right now and its only been three days. It's a huge difference."
Patrick Fraser: "Glad we could help, and what causes mold in a building is moisture usually from a leak . In Jasons case its probably came from a cracked pipe in the condo above or a small roof leak. And unless you fix the leak, the mold will keep coming back no matter how often you clean it out."
Got problems you want to clean up? Need someone to mold a solution for you? Contact us, hopefully our suggestions will grow on you.
CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please include your contact phone number when emailing)
REPORTER: Patrick Fraser at email@example.com