What Are My Legal Rights After Finding Mold in a Newly Purchased Home?

Before buying an existing home, it is imperative to have a home inspection performed. That way, potential problems are identified and corrected. A check for mold or mold-related problems should be included in the inspection.

Once the inspection is complete, ask the inspector whether any mold or potential mold dangers were identified. If the answer is yes, that information should be detailed in the official report. This is important because some inspectors will not list issues pertaining to mold as a way of avoiding liability. Therefore, always hire a reputable and licensed inspector.

In addition to an inspection, request a seller’s full disclosure covering any mold problems that are not visible. If the seller does not want to provide a full disclosure, you can always have a mold-related contingency added to your offer. If the offer is accepted, the seller would be fully or partially responsible for the cost of mold testing, as well as removal and/or remediation.

If no discloser was provided nor a contingency offer made, and you suspect a mold problem after settling into your home, you can hire a professional mold testing company on your own. Sometimes, mold is visible and its odor distinguishable, but often, it hides under floors, behind ceiling tiles, between walls, and so on.

There are several different types of mold, including white, green, gray, and black. Of those, black mold is the most dangerous. Typically, as long as mold is not disturbed, even black mold, it poses no real danger. However, once disrupted, toxic spores become airborne and then inhaled. This creates risk for developing respiratory problems and even cancer. As part of mold testing, the expert will advise you as to the best course of action.

If the inspection report did not mention the presence of mold even though it was found, and/or if the seller failed to disclose a mold problem knowing one existed, you need to talk to a reputable attorney who deals with these situations.

Keep in mind that a homeowner’s insurance policy sometimes covers mold-related issues. Therefore, you need to read your policy carefully or talk to your agent to determine what perils are covered. If you have protection but the insurance company decides to drag its feet on eradicating the problem, an attorney may be able to speed things up.

If a problem with mold develops due to having construction performed before or shortly after moving in, you definitely need to hire a qualified attorney. This could be from improperly installed ventilation or because moldy construction materials were used. Your attorney will help determine the responsible party, whether the architect, engineer, builder, or contractor.

Regardless if you are dealing with an uncooperative insurance company or you want to sue the responsible party for the mold problem, a qualified attorney will provide the legal assistance needed to reach an agreed-upon outcome. Especially if you or a member of your family became ill because of a mold infestation, it is critical that you hire an attorney with experience and expertise with this issue.

Posted on:
December 16th, 2016

Category:
Real Estate Law