Anderson is a licensed Virginia real estate broker and licensing instructor who studied electrical engineering at the University of Maryland. Become an HRCSF tenants rights counselor and help clients who call or come into our free tenants rights clinic either at our Mission or our Richmond offices. California was the first state to pass toxic mold legislation in 2001, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2002. Ultimately, they met behind closed doors. In a 2015 KPBS and Voice of San Diego investigation, one tenant said mold in her bathroom sent her son to the emergency room with an asthma attack. Landlords, in turn, count on renters to maintain their units free of spills and to keep their kitchen and bathroom surfaces clean and dry. This booklet focuses on California laws that govern the landlord-tenant relationship, Renters expect landlords to provide homes free of mold caused by leaky roofs and windows, faulty water pipes and contaminated heating and air-conditioning ducts. Tenant rights include specific rules that govern landlord and tenant conduct as well as remedies available to each when one party is in breach of the lease agreement. Mold is a common issue brought up by tenants, particularly because it carries a stigma of a dirty and unsafe environment. They float in the air and land on damp surfaces, where they begin to grow. The experienced attorneys in our office handle calls from tenants fed up with their landlords' refusal to provide assistance. If you have Section 8 or public housing, you must call for an appointment. Measures must also be taken to ensure the tenant's physical health and safety. Ray Anderson is a professional freelance writer who was the monthly real estate columnist for the “Northern Virginia” magazine and the weekly business columnist for the Maryland-based “Metropolitan Tribune” newspaper. Mold and its associated health risks are a concern for renters everywhere. The San Francisco Rent Ordinance (SFRO), enacted in 1979, is recognized for having arguably the strongest pro-tenant protections in the country Download PDF: Click here View Bay Area Reporter Click here Tenants Rights Seminar for Chinatown Newcomers Center Meantime, more tenants confirmed problems in the other units. info@hrcsf.org See the Texas Tenants’ Rights Handbook for more ... New York follows Department of Health ordinances, and San Francisco considers it a legal nuisance. When mold is present in a unit, often it is due to improper ventilation in the bathroom or inadequate cleaning of the unit, both of which are controlled by the tenant. But, if the tenant is unable to repair and deduct themselves and cannot vacate, the tenant may want to consider this option. Students internships also available. If mold is the landlord’s responsibility, send her a registered letter explaining the problem. San Francisco, CA 94103 at 7th Ave Indoor mould spores can be toxic and cause a variety of health problems including sneezing, runny nose and eye irritation. Tenants have rights when it comes to the accumulation of moisture and water inside your home, since these are the conditions conducive to mould growth. He has written for internet websites and has developed business literature for different companies. However, no one will be denied counseling without it. Also check the air conditioner’s condensation pipe, which is known to spill its condensate onto the basement floor, where mold can also grow. Renters expect landlords to provide homes free of mold caused by leaky roofs and windows, faulty water pipes and contaminated heating and air-conditioning ducts. Health and Safety Code section 26147 requires residential landlords who know of mold in their rental units to disclose it to tenants. 1663 Mission St, Suite #504 "The mold is a problem, a big problem," said Alanna Wise. Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act Exception for Rent vi San Francisco Tenants Union–Tenants Rights Handbook Table of Contents Items and page numbers in italics refer to the text in boxes on the corresponding page. (10) Interfere with a tenant’s right to quiet use and enjoyment of a rental housing unit as that right is defined by California law; (11) Refuse to accept or acknowledge receipt of a tenant’s lawful rent payment; (12) Refuse to cash a rent check for over 30 days; (13) Interfere with a tenant’s right to privacy; Is It Okay to Buy a House with Mold in It? A landlord’s failure to remove mold can cause him legal difficulties, including condemnation of the property if it tests positive for unhealthy mold levels. San Francisco Tenants Union | 558 Capp Street San Francisco, CA 94110 Tenants and landlords share responsibility for controlling mold to ensure healthy living conditions. Your landlord can therefore be sued if she fails to clean up the mold. Anne Kemp - Updated April 17, 2017. Landlords must legally maintain their rentals in habitable conditions. San Jose is another city that has local landlord-tenant provisions. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. If you live in another California county, try contacting Tenants Together which is a statewide organization, or search Google to find a tenants rights or housing rights group in your area. If you live in another California county, try contacting Tenants Together which is a statewide organization, or search Google to find a tenants rights or housing rights group in your area. Do I Have a Responsibility as a Tenant to Keep My Home Free of Mold? r/sanfrancisco: Cold summers, thick fog, and beautiful views. If you don’t find the answers you need on this site, you can always call our hotline or drop into the office. San Francisco Tenants Rights Rent Control, Buyouts, Condo & TIC Conversions, Habitability & Repairs, Harassment by Landlord, Sales of Buildings, Security Deposits, Short-Term Rentals Sexual Harassment and Housing: Rights and Remedies of Tenants More info can be found on the San Francisco Rent Board website. Tenants do have a responsibility to do what they can in order to keep the rental home free of mold. We have clients throughout Northern California who have been victims of toxic mold in their homes. We understand mold, how it occurs, and can help you understand the tenant rights you have when dealing with a negligent landlord. Prevent mold from establishing itself in your kitchen and your bathrooms by regularly wiping surface areas with a weak bleach solution or with an anti-fungal product. Simply put, yes. You can reach us by phone at 415.835.6777. Tenants should consult with a tenant lawyer with experience in San Francisco, Berkeley, Richmond, Hayward or Alameda to determine if filing a petition is an option worth pursuing. How Do I Break an Apartment Lease Due to Mold? In San Francisco, however, mold is a “public health nuisance” (no different than trash accumulation or a pest infestation), which means tenants have the right to sue their landlords for violating city nuisance laws if they fail to remove any “visible or otherwise demonstrable mold” located anywhere “in the interiors of any buildings.” (San Francisco Health Code § 581 (a) (6).) During humid summer months, run your air conditioner to lower the indoor humidity that would otherwise help mold grow. If you fail to remove any mold that is caused by your neglect, you risk being held financially responsible for any damage caused by the mold. San Jose Landlord Tenant Rights. Become an HRCSF tenants rights counselor and help clients who call or come into our free tenants rights clinic either at our Mission or our Richmond offices. Click here for more info. The rights of tenants in San Francisco are protected by the San Francisco Rent Ordinance Act and the Rent Board it created. For information on some of the common issues tenants face, click the topics below. Contact … It authorized the state Department of Health Services to set permissible exposure limits for toxic molds and determine remediation standards for those molds. 415-947-9085 Mold and its associated health risks are a concern for renters everywhere. Contact one of the attorneys at the law firm of Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., to arrange a free initial consultation. Mold can be black, white, green or gray and is known by its various scientific names: stachybotrys, penicillum, aspergilus, paecilomyces and fusarium. Counseling hours: SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Rats and dangerous mold are forcing nine families out of their homes at the Bennett Valley Townhomes. As a tenant, you have the right to have any issues in your apartment that lead to mold fixed and have any present mold cleaned out. The San Francisco Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance (Rent Ordinance) applies to rental units constructed before June 13, 1979. The Toxic Mold Protection Act was codified under the California Health and Safety Code and the California Civil Code. While many people aren’t adversely affected by molds, you may not be so lucky if you’re elderly or a high-risk individual with asthma or a compromised immune system. Counseling hours: Para información en Español, haz click aqui. San Francisco housing officials look on mold as a legal nuisance on the same level as trash accumulation or vermin infestation. To volunteer at the Richmond office, call 415-947-9085. Landlord Responsibilities for Mold Removal. BV Law serves clients in the San Francisco, California, Bay Area as well as the East Bay and South Bay communities. If you live in San Francisco and you’re having a problem (such as an illegal rent increase, evictions, roommate problems, mold and other … … Many molds can be seen while others grow undetected in attics, basements, behind walls, air ducts and in other hidden areas. 1-5pm – Mon-Thurs. Or call us at 415-703-8634 and ask for Tommi or Stephanie or email us at tmecca@hrcsf.org, if you want to volunteer at the Mission office. BUT, under San Francisco law, a property owner can’t deprive tenants of eviction protection, even if the tenants “sign away” those rights in a written lease. Across the country, tenants have won multimillion-dollar cases against landlords for significant health problems—such as rashes, chronic fatigue, nausea, cognitive losses, hemorrhaging, and asthma—allegedly caused by exposure to "toxic molds" in their building.. Housing Rights Committee offers counseling on tenants rights issues in San Francisco only. Counseling hours are Monday to Thursday, 1-5pm, at 1663 Mission St., Suite 504 (415) 703-8644 and Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9am-12noon (closed Tuesdays) at our Richmond Office at 4301 Geary Blvd. 4301 Geary Blvd. Mold issues often begin with some sort of water intrusion. San Francisco also maintains local landlord-tenant provisions. California’s natural humid climate is ideal for molds to grow on walls, fabrics, furniture, cardboard boxes and paper products. Worse yet, most cities and states don’t have clear laws either regarding mold in rentals, although some cities like San Francisco view mold as a “nuisance” similar to trash and landlords are required to dispose of the nuisance or pay for their tenant’s relocation. What you need to know about mold in a rental - mold laws, tenants rights, the landlord’s responsibility, the tenant’s responsibility, whether or not you can sue your landlord for mold and more! Tenant Rights Attorney San Francisco. Your landlord can therefore be sued if she fails to clean up the mold. Mold growth or a pest infestation are two examples of potentially uninhabitable conditions that pose a danger to the tenant’s health. Richmond District Office: Article 11, section 581 of the San Francisco Health Code lists mold as a “health nuisance.”. Phone number is 415-947-9085. If the mold is rampant, leading to health or livability issues, you may have evidence of a nuisance under the San Francisco ordinance or that the unit is uninhabitable under California law. San Francisco, California … Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities answers these questions and many others. ... San Francisco, San … A “Free Tenant Rights Seminar” was held as the Xinquio Service Center. First, just like all San Francisco tenants in buildings built prior to 1979, SF subtenants whose tenancies began in May 1998 or later cannot be evicted without just cause. It also states that the mold must be “visible or otherwise demonstrable.”. Tenants Rights Seminar for Chinatown Newcomers Center. Meanwhile, most of the mold found in apartments, even if it looks black to the eye, isn’t toxic mold. San Fran’s rent control ordinances outline when and how tenants can be evicted, either for or without cause. Molds reproduce through spores that are invisible to the naked eye. Tenants and landlords share responsibility for controlling mold to ensure healthy living conditions. Although there aren’t any federal statutes that specify permissible exposure limits to mold, a number of states have enacted legislation to address the matter. Tenant rights lawyer Eric L. Lifschitz shared how tenants can secure their livable rental agreement, including… If after a reasonable amount of time she’s failed to respond and you’re concerned about your health, consider contacting the local health department. It also requires landlords who know that mold is growing in their rentals to notify their tenants accordingly. Landlords, in turn, count on renters … ), we’ll do our best to help you. Is There a Green Alternative to Bleach for Mold & Mildew? Call: 415-703-8644 Contact A San Francisco Toxic Mold Attorney Immediately. How to Keep Mold From Developing in a House, California Tenant Law: General Tenant Rights, Nolo: Mold In Rentals: Landlord Liability, Clean Up, and Prevention, Inspect A Pedia: What To Do About A Moldy Rental Apartment, Informing Tenants of Black Mold Protections. ... 1747 Mason Street San Francisco… This includes repairing leaky roofs, windows and pipes, for example, as well as waterproofing basements and crawlspaces where mold can grow. 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