It is crucial to inform a potential tenant or buyer about the presence of mold in a property, as repeated exposure to black mold can have negative effects on one’s health.

Mold disclosure in rental properties is not strictly enforced in New York’s Real Property Law. Landlords are not required to disclose high levels of mold as they rent out their properties.

However, there are still some specific laws on mold remediation. They outline the responsibilities for the disclosure of mold present on the property, the landlord’s responsibility, and clarify the liability for the payment of mold remediation.

mold disclosure rental property New York

Landlords are legally responsible to make sure that their rental properties are habitable, and so they are required to provide an environment that is free from damage like water leaks on roofs, pipes, and gutters.

While there are no state laws that require landlords to disclose mold in the building, they are responsible for the following:

  • Make sure that the rental property is habitable
  • Clean and/repair the damages that may cause mold
  • Provide attention to the damages mold report by their tenants, particularly when the mold has caused damage

Landlords usually hire mold professionals to provide long-term solutions for their tenants. When hiring mold professionals, they should also make sure that the professionals follow the requirements of Mold Law Article 32.

The landlord’s mold responsibility cannot easily be overlooked because tenants have the right to take the situation up to court when the landlord is irresponsible regarding the problem.

Resource: See other state mold laws here.

Tenant Mold Responsibility New York

New York tenants are not obligated to fix the mold issues in their apartments and pay for the costs. Mold issues in the property are not placed on the tenants’ shoulders unless the tenants failed to maintain their rental unit.

Other tenant responsibilities and rights include:

  • Watch out for signs of mold, and promptly report it to the landlord
  • Reach out to their landlord and explain the situation
  • After an initial inspection by the landlord, the tenant may submit a formal notice
  • The tenant is expected to keep the property in a habitable state; thus, behaviors that may cause mold growth can make them liable for the mold remediation

Cases regarding mold in rental properties are only taken to court or the city by tenants when landlords are not responsive to their complaints and no official notices have been made to follow a repair.

The tenant also has the right to appeal for rent withholding, wherein payment of rent will be withheld because the mold has made the property uninhabitable. This is based on the state law that binds landlords to provide a liveable environment.

Another option for tenants is to take initiative in cleaning or fixing up the mold in their place and deduct the repair costs from their rent. Repair and Deduct is not an uncommon solution and could be helpful for both the tenant and landlord.

New York Rules Regarding Mold in Rental Properties

When handling mold in rental properties in New York, the following rules are followed.

  1. Landlord-tenant laws dictate that landlords that own three or more apartment buildings of any size where a tenant has asthma should keep their apartments free of mold.
  2. Although there are no laws in the state that address a landlord’s liability in mold prevention or remediation, New York has made it easier for tenants to report landlords who are not responsive in solving the unit’s mold problems.
  3. The city’s health and housing departments can be contacted by tenants especially when the mold issue has made it dangerous for the tenants’ health or has made the area inhabitable.
  4. Furthermore, the situation can be taken to court when the landlord remains negligent of the problem and the city health and housing department’s solutions are inadequate.

New York State Mold Law Article 32