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How to Protect Yourself Against Mold-Related Lawsuits as a Landlord

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Hand pointing to mold growth on ceiling Mold damage in Fall City, WA

As a landlord in Fall City, WA, you are responsible for ensuring your tenant’s apartments maintain a habitable condition. So, when you’re made aware of a potential mold claim due to contamination or infestation, you should take proper action to protect yourself against potential lawsuits.

Who Is Liable?

If you’ve recently built or renovated your building and a tenant discovers mold, you may be able to pursue legal action against the contractor, especially if the mold insurance claims stem from their actions:

  • Using the wrong materials
  • Installing materials incorrectly
  • Damage caused by construction

If the mold issue is due to any of those reasons, it is worth exploring potential legal options to hold those liable responsible.

What About General Liability Insurance?
Purchasing general liability insurance is a good way to protect yourself should there be bodily injury or property damage on your property. However, insurers will often exclude damage caused by fungi or bacteria in these general liability policies. This means you may still be vulnerable to lawsuits stemming from damage caused by mold even if you have general liability insurance.
If you anticipate making multiple mold insurance claims, it may be wise to seek out environmental, or pollution, liability insurance. Some of these policies may still not cover all types of mold, so it’s essential to consult your agent or broker to ensure what is explicitly covered.

How Can You Protect Yourself?
Ideally, the best way to combat potential mold insurance claims is to prevent the growth of mold. You should be prepared to act immediately if you come across any common ways that allow mold growth:

  • The building is now used for a different purpose than originally intended
  • Interior standing water that lasts for more than 48 hours
  • Leaky pipes or windows
  • Noticeable musty odors
  • Sustained water damage

If your building is dealing with any of these issues, there’s a good chance that mold is present. Once mold is discovered, make sure to contact mold remediation specialists immediately to ensure a habitable environment for your tenants.

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