Landlords must ensure that their tenants live in safe and habitable conditions. In many states, mold remediation is the landlord’s responsibility.
In Missouri, mold removal is only the landlord’s responsibility if the tenant moves into a house with mold problems. Specific laws for landlords to remove mold in homes do not exist in the state. However, rental leases imply that it is the landlord’s duty.
Mold presence in a house is concerning. Remediation should take place as soon as it appears on the walls. Otherwise, it will destroy the appearance and structure of the home and cause respiratory illnesses to the occupants.
- Remove mold from a house before tenants move in.
- Ensure that their tenants live in sanitary conditions.
- Making and paying for repairs on time.
- Refrain from turning off water, electricity, or gas in an occupied home.
- Provide written notice to tenants on change of landlord
Tenant responsibilities in Missouri
- Pay rent on time
- Take reasonable care of the property and not damage it.
- Proper garbage disposal.
- Not to sublease the house without the landlord’s authority.
What Should A Tenant In Missouri When There’s Mold In Their Home
- Document the problem. Take pictures of mold on the walls.
- Keep records of the results of any mold testing.
- Check for prior mold presence in the house.
How long does a landlord have to fix a mold problem in Missouri?
Landlords have fourteen days to fix a problem after a tenant reports it.
Call your landlord and let them know of the problem you need fixing. Then, write a letter to your landlord to confirm the details of your phone conversation.
Also, send photo evidence of the problem to the landlord.
If your landlord does not fix the problem after 14 days, communicate to them that you will pay for the repairs and deduct it from the rent owed.
Mold disclosure law in Missouri
In Missouri, sellers must disclose to potential buyers the condition of the house.
Sellers must inform the buyer of previous use of the house. It is compulsory to disclose if a house was used as a drug laboratory.
Additionally, sellers must inform the buyer if the house has a waste disposal site. For homes built before 1978, the seller must also disclose if they have any lead paint on the walls.
Property sellers must also disclose any material defects on the house.
An exception set in Missouri law is that sellers are not obligated to disclose information that may change the mindset of potential buyers. For example, it will not be disclosed that the house was the site of murder or suicide or that the previous owner had a specific medical condition that cannot be transmitted to the new owners.
Can you break the rental lease in Missouri due to mold?
These are some of the instances allowed by the law to break your rental lease:
- Starting active military duty
- When the house is unsafe and violates the health code.
- Landlord harasses you
- The landlord violates your privacy rights
Moldy homes are a risk to the health of the occupants. If you notify your landlord and they do not remediate the mold in time, you can break your lease based on the health code violation.
Breaking the rental lease means that you will have to lose your rental deposit. In Missouri, the law sets the deposit to a maximum of two months’ rent.
For a landlord, a rental lease break means that they will lose rental income before they get a new tenant.
Landlords must fix mold and other problems in the house before a new tenant moves in.
Can a Missouri state tenant seek justice in court?
Yes. If you rent a home in Missouri, you can sue your landlord for the following reasons.
- Your landlord does not return your security deposit. However, your landlord can hold your deposit for non-payment of rent or use it to pay to fix any damage you made to the house. Or, to clear any utility bills you left pending.
- When your home is uninhabitable. If the home is unsafe and unlivable from mold or another problem and your landlord has refused to fix it, you can sue them.
- Interferes with your right to quiet enjoyment. Once you sign the rental lease, the landlord should allow you the freedom to enjoy the property in peace. They should always give notice if they want to access the property
- Wrongful eviction.
- When you get injured at the property.
Resource: See other states mold laws here