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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Can a Property Manager Be Sued for a Mold Claim?

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

Mold damage in Geneva, IL
Mold insurance claims are on the rise. In one major case, a Texas couple was awarded $4 million due to mold damages. Tenants are getting more litigious by the year, so it behooves property managers to know what their responsibilities are regarding mold remediation.

What Can Cause a Mold Claim?

A building owner in Geneva, IL, may be responsible for situations leading to property damage in the case of provable negligence. Most mold claims against property managers revolve around three issues:

  • Improper building materials
  • Improper repair techniques
  • Damage caused during repairs

Residential landlords are held to the highest standard and are strictly required to maintain a “habitable” dwelling. Business tenants are not typically held to the same standard since they’re assumed to have a higher level of sophistication and responsibility for their own fate.
Any of these three issues are the property manager’s responsibility, even if you used a contractor to do the work. You may be able to sue the contractor for damages, of course. If the mold damage is the result of a water leak, it may be covered by mold insurance claims, especially if you have a rider for mold.

What Is Your Liability?
For business tenants, your liability is typically described in your contract. However, even if your contract makes your tenants responsible for maintenance, some problems may still be considered your responsibility. Your attorney can help you determine where this sometimes-obscure line is.

How Can You Reduce Your Liability?
Since the building is your asset, you should arrange for a yearly mold inspection by a local mold restoration company. Black mold can eat away at construction materials and even weaken the structure if it’s made of wood. Don’t assume the tenants will care about your building!
You should also review your contract with your attorney. However, the best way to reduce liability and prevent the stress of making mold insurance claims is prevention. If you have a water leak, regardless of the source, get it fixed immediately to avoid future mold damage and claims.

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