It is crucial for landlords to understand their liability when tenants report the presence of mold in both older and newer rental properties.

Massachusetts doesn’t have any laws that specifically address mold prevention and remediation as a landlord’s duty or liability.

This article will try to help landlords and tenants to get familiar with rights in obligations due to mold in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts State Mold Laws

A landlord must provide the tenant with habitable premises and common areas for the entire tenancy in accordance with the minimum standard of the State Sanitary Code, which requires protecting the health, safety, and well-being of the tenants and members of his/her family and guests.

The landlord must maintain the foundation, floors, walls, doors, windows, ceilings, roof, stairwells, porches, chimneys, and all structural elements to exclude wind, rain and snow, which can lead to mold growth. In short, the rental unit must be in good repair and fit for human habitation at all times.

You can find a full resource list of mold laws by state here.

Special mold requirements in Massachusetts

The State Sanitary Code says that the apartment can’t have excess moisture. Also, there is a level of proof needed for any case, and the level of proof differs greatly for personal injury from mold compared to basic conditions claims related to the sanitary code. The personal injury requires proving that the mold injured the tenant.

The following steps are required for every single case when mold injuries are claimed by the tenant.

Step 1

The tenant must test the premises to be sure what type of mold is present in the apartment.

Step 2

When you find out what type of mold is in the apartment, the tenants must be tested themselves and be known to have an allergy to that particular type of mold.

Step 3

There must be a clear causal connection to how the mold caused the harm.

Step 4

There must be expert testimony in-person, otherwise, it’s hearsay.

Mold disclosure laws in Massachusetts

Landlords in Massachusetts who rent or sell properties do not have to voluntarily disclose defects and anomalies like mold infestation, termites, or water leaks.

Massachusetts law places a higher burden on real estate professio