Who is responsible for mold remediation in a rental Washington property?
In Washington, there are no tenant-landlord mold laws. However, landlords must keep the rental unit clean and habitable.
Tenants also have the responsibility to keep their homes habitable. Water and excess moisture cause mold. Tenants must report any leaks to the tenant for a quick repair to prevent mold growth.
- Keep the property safe and habitable.
- Make all repairs for problems reported within a reasonable time.
- Keep all electrical and plumbing appliances in good working condition.
- Meet all required local housing regulations.
- Lawful evictions.
- Collect rent in agreed-upon amounts and time.
- Supply heat and both hot and cold water.
Tenant rights and responsibilities in Washington
- To live in habitable conditions.
- Timely repair for all problems you report.
- Fix all damage that is your fault.
- Pay the required amount of rent at the agreed time.
- Use provided garbage disposal receptacles.
- Ensure quiet enjoyment of the property for other neighbors.
- No retaliation from the landlord for exercising legal rights.
- Keep the premises clean and habitable.
How long does a Washington landlord have to fix mold problems?
In Washington, landlords have 10 days upon receiving written notice of the presence of mold to have it repaired.
Washington tenants are encouraged to provide written notice of problems in their premises to their landlords. They can also include photos of the mold when giving notice.
Tenants are required to allow their landlords reasonable time to fix reported problems.
If they fail to fix the problem, Washington law allows tenants to fix the problem and deduct the cost from the rent.
According to Washington law, landlords have 24 hours to fix the heat, water, and electricity problems. They have 72 hours to fix plumbing and issues with home appliances and 10 days for other repairs.
Mold disclosure law in Washington
Washington law requires landlords and property sellers to disclose the actual conditions of the home. It also includes any material defects in the property.
Sellers and landlords should allow potential buyers and tenants access to the disclosure form before the conclusion of the purchase or rental agreement.
The landlord or seller needs a home inspector. The inspector will provide a report used to prepare the disclosure statement.
Disclosures offer only the information the sellers and landlords currently have. If the seller or landlord is aware of mold in the house, they will disclose it.
Landlords must remediate the mold before getting a new tenant for the unit. It ensures that they maintain the premises habitable.
Resource: See other states mold laws here
Can a Washington tenant break their lease due to mold?
You can break your rental lease in Washington due to mold.
Washington law allows tenants to break their lease if the unit is not habitable. Mold is one of the problems that will make homes uninhabitable.
In many states, tenants are legally not allowed to break the rental lease if the mold is their fault.
When tenants notice problems that can cause mold, they should report them to the landlord immediately.
If the landlord refuses to fix the reported problems and the unit is not habitable, you can consider it constructive eviction.
You can legally break your lease in Washington to start active military duty, the landlord discriminates against you and if you had an early termination clause on your lease agreement.
Can a Washington tenant withhold rent due to mold?
Washington tenants cannot withhold rent to compel the landlord to fix some damage in the unit.
However, if the landlord does not repair the problems after a reasonable time, the tenant can repair and deduct the costs from the rent. The tenant must also provide the landlord with a receipt for the cost of repairs.
For problems that tenants need to hire a professional, they can withhold up to two months of rent. If you DIY, you are only allowed up to the value of one month of rent.
You must also allow the landlord a chance to inspect the home before you start repairs. Afterwards, you must provide the landlord with receipts.
Can a Washington tenant seek justice in court due to mold?
In Washington, a tenant can sue the landlord for mold when;
- You have evidence the landlord refused to fix water leaks reported before the mold appeared.
- If you have spent money in a hospital or on medication due to mold exposure.
- Lost income due to a condition caused by mold exposure.
- If you have spent any money to remediate the mold.
- For mold-related damage to your property not covered by your renters’ insurance.
- For pain and suffering caused by the health effects of mold.
- The mold presence is not your fault.