Renters Rights and other laws pertaining to mold in a rental in PDX: HELP! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 11-11-2008, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm living in Sherwood, Oregon, and to make a long story short, when they built this condo that we rent two years ago, they messed up and now we are dealing with mold issues. A week ago my property management company tore a hole in my dining room wall and found black-colored mold (I have no idea if it is THE black mold). I also can't use my (only) bathroom sink. Now, a week later, it is still there and they haven't come back to fix it.

Not only that, but my toddler has been dealing with rashes of unknown origin and respiratory symptoms including a wet cough for a few weeks, and now vomiting and diarrhea off and on since last Thursday. My husband has also had these symptoms (minus the rashes). We haven't changed anything else in our lives. My daughter has a doctor's appointment for this afternoon.

I have a few questions:
Does anybody know if I have any rights regarding making the property management company fix this, and if so, in what timeframe? Do you know if they are liable for finding us alternative housing because of the mold/sickness issues? We also have renter's insurance through State Farm; I will be looking at our policy when I get a chance today. Does anybody know anything else that might be good to know?

TIA.
-Roxie
(I will be x-posting the medical stuff in health and healing.)

Wife to dh and mommy to dd1 (3/07), ds (1/10), and dd2 (any day now)!

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#2 of 9 Old 11-11-2008, 02:03 PM
 
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I called the Community of Alliance of Tenants and they were great. It has been almost 8 years but I imagine they would still be very useful.
They have a renters rights hotline,
call 503-288-0130
You can also look at their website. The advise was free and extremely helpful, I just received after the episode phone calls asking for donations for their cause, but at the time I was not in a postion to donate.
And felt no pressure from them for money.
Post an update and let us know how it turns out. Also let me know if this group helped you, because I am now in a position to donate some funds and may give in their direction.

Kammy, DD 10/96, DD 1/01, DS 1/04
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#3 of 9 Old 11-11-2008, 06:46 PM
 
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No legal advice but the symptoms your daughter has (minus the rashes) are the same ones I had from living in a house with mold (in WA). My dog got the rashes.

I don't know about OR but most states have a clause where you can break the lease if you are in unsafe living conditions and it is not repairs in x amount of time.
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#4 of 9 Old 11-11-2008, 07:24 PM
 
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That is such crap that they are ignoring you guys!

I hope you can get some good advice here.

Nicole | Mom to Ciara & Oliver | Finally living aboard & loving it!
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#5 of 9 Old 11-12-2008, 01:46 AM
 
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Hi! I'm sorry to hear about the living situation, it sounds pretty bad. My husband works for a property management company here in Portland, and according to him Oregon law requires mold clean up to happen within thirty days of discovery. So technically, the people who run your building aren't doing anything "wrong" at this point.
The company my husband works for is very apprehensive of lawsuits, so they are very careful to document everything and have any mold, whether the "fault" of the tenant (not using bathroom fan, giant fishtanks, various and sundry weird things that happen) or not, cleaned up within three days. I asked dh what he thought, and he suggested that you buy a small notebook exclusively for documenting this process with your management company. He was very clear about not taking any pages out of whatever notebook you use and that it should only be for documenting this mold thing. He said that you should start calling every day about getting things fixed and very carefully document who you spoke to, what time, and what was said. Also, lots of pictures. In addition, he suggested that you contact a lawyer, and let the management company know you have done so. That may be enough to get them busy making things right, but if it isn't you may well be glad to have a lawyer and lots and lots and lots (and lots) of careful documentation, because if you are dealing with a large management company with an established protocol (whether they are following it or not), they may well come out looking more reliable than you.
I sure hope that you can get things straightened out asap--I'm sorry to hear that your dh and little one have been sick, and I certainly hope that making your home a healthy (mold free) one is not a difficult process. HTH!

(dh just said, "oh, I hope your condo wasn't built before 1978, because if they left an open wall in somone's apt. that was built before then... they're (the management) really screwed." The whole lead paint issue, I guess, so if that's a consideration...
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#6 of 9 Old 11-13-2008, 02:44 PM
 
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the open wall may also be considered a fire hazard, I'd check it out.
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#7 of 9 Old 11-15-2008, 12:29 AM
 
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if you do document, take pictures.

I moved because of mold and my son got better right away.

good luck mama.

V.
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#8 of 9 Old 11-15-2008, 10:46 PM
 
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I hope you can get your wall fixed as soon as possible, but in the mean time please see if you can borrow/ buy a heppa (sp?) air filter. Put it in your daughter's room and try to have her spend as little time as possible near the mold. The filter will remove the mold spores from the air... but that stuff puts out so many spores... See if you can seal off the mold with tape and plastic until they can clean it out NOW. Bleach can kill the spores, as well as lavender oil, the dr. brommer's castile soap, and vinegar (I think), but it sounds like you're beyond that and bleach has its own nasty air-rendering qualities...

We lived in a place in Oakland that had a hidden but horrible mold problem. It made my husband so sick. The heppa air filter worked really well, but we had to move out as soon as possible. We found an inexpensive one at Sears,, it was like a model that was being replaced by a better one. It did the trick.

 hh2.gif  ~~~~~~~~~~hh2.gif
 

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#9 of 9 Old 12-12-2013, 11:03 PM
 
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Ok this is what i understand. If they do not fix it you can go to your bank and set up an account to put your rent money in tell it's fixed!

#1 you should put plastic over the hole so it dose not KEEP contaminating the home!

#2 take lots of pictures and record ALL conversation with landlords ( you must tell them "I AM RECORDING THIS (CALL) or any time you record them! or it will not stand up in court!)

#3 Call a Lawyer ASAP! do what they tell you to do!

#3 Pull all your things out from walls look for any thing that dose not look right take pics of anything you find!

#4 If you can get a sample of contaminated drywall have it tested! They must replace all of the drywall& installation in walls were mold is found your it will just come back!

#5 Start looking for a new place to rent! this may not be a little problem ! They should of had someone come in to test the air and the mold! and they should of never left a big hole Were they found mold uncovered!!    mold can cause long-term health problems depending on the KIND it is!

i hope this is helpful! but STILL CALL A LAWYER AND FIND OUT THE LAW!!

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