The experienced attorneys in our office handle calls from tenants fed up with their landlords' refusal to provide assistance. (10) Interfere with a tenant’s right to quiet use and enjoyment of a rental housing unit as that right is defined by California law; (11) Refuse to accept or acknowledge receipt of a tenant’s lawful rent payment; (12) Refuse to cash a rent check for over 30 days; (13) Interfere with a tenant’s right to privacy; Meantime, more tenants confirmed problems in the other units. Anne Kemp - Updated April 17, 2017. … If you have Section 8 or public housing, you must call for an appointment. Mold is an environmental hazard that can cause concern among renters. First, just like all San Francisco tenants in buildings built prior to 1979, SF subtenants whose tenancies began in May 1998 or later cannot be evicted without just cause. The San Francisco Residential Rent Stabilization and Arbitration Ordinance (Rent Ordinance) applies to rental units constructed before June 13, 1979. San Francisco housing officials look on mold as a legal nuisance on the same level as trash accumulation or vermin infestation. In San Francisco, however, mold is a “public health nuisance” (no different than trash accumulation or a pest infestation), which means tenants have the right to sue their landlords for violating city nuisance laws if they fail to remove any “visible or otherwise demonstrable mold” located anywhere “in the interiors of any buildings.” (San Francisco Health Code § 581 (a) (6).) If you live in San Francisco and you’re having a problem (such as an illegal rent increase, evictions, roommate problems, mold and other … Landlord Responsibilities for Mold Removal. r/sanfrancisco: Cold summers, thick fog, and beautiful views. ... San Francisco, San … For information on some of the common issues tenants face, click the topics below. Tenant Rights Attorney San Francisco. ... how it occurs, and can help you understand the tenant rights you have when dealing with a negligent landlord. If after a reasonable amount of time she’s failed to respond and you’re concerned about your health, consider contacting the local health department. San Fran’s rent control ordinances outline when and how tenants can be evicted, either for or without cause. SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Rats and dangerous mold are forcing nine families out of their homes at the Bennett Valley Townhomes. They float in the air and land on damp surfaces, where they begin to grow. Landlords must legally maintain their rentals in habitable conditions. BUT, under San Francisco law, a property owner can’t deprive tenants of eviction protection, even if the tenants “sign away” those rights in a written lease. 1-5pm – Mon-Thurs. While many people aren’t adversely affected by molds, you may not be so lucky if you’re elderly or a high-risk individual with asthma or a compromised immune system. Richmond District Office: Worse yet, most cities and states don’t have clear laws either regarding mold in rentals, although some cities like San Francisco view mold as a “nuisance” similar to trash and landlords are required to dispose of the nuisance or pay for their tenant’s relocation. Mold and its associated health risks are a concern for renters everywhere. 9am-12pm – Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri. Eviction, Relocation Money, Just Cause, Fire Issues, Landlord Entry, Lockouts, Utility Shutoffs, Harassment, Rent Board, Rent Control, Rent Board hearings & fees, Rent Increases, Utility Passthroughs, Banking, Capital Improvements. How to Keep Mold From Developing in a House, California Tenant Law: General Tenant Rights, Nolo: Mold In Rentals: Landlord Liability, Clean Up, and Prevention, Inspect A Pedia: What To Do About A Moldy Rental Apartment, Informing Tenants of Black Mold Protections. Students internships also available. San Jose is another city that has local landlord-tenant provisions. Call: 415-703-8644 Counseling hours: A landlord’s failure to remove mold can cause him legal difficulties, including condemnation of the property if it tests positive for unhealthy mold levels. You can reach us by phone at 415.835.6777. OAKLAND — Tenants who say they were living in Fruitvale mold-infested apartments with leaking ceilings, rodents and bedbugs will receive a total of $2 million in a lawsuit settlement. How Do I Break an Apartment Lease Due to Mold? If you don’t find the answers you need on this site, you can always call our hotline or drop into the office. Tenants and landlords share responsibility for controlling mold to ensure healthy living conditions. The rights of tenants in San Francisco are protected by the San Francisco Rent Ordinance Act and the Rent Board it created. Is It Okay to Buy a House with Mold in It? Although there aren’t any federal statutes that specify permissible exposure limits to mold, a number of states have enacted legislation to address the matter. What you need to know about mold in a rental - mold laws, tenants rights, the landlord’s responsibility, the tenant’s responsibility, whether or not you can sue your landlord for mold and more! If you suspect there is mold in … Mold is a common issue brought up by tenants, particularly because it carries a stigma of a dirty and unsafe environment. Para información en Español, haz click aqui. Tenants have rights when it comes to the accumulation of moisture and water inside your home, since these are the conditions conducive to mould growth. If mold is the landlord’s responsibility, send her a registered letter explaining the problem. Landlords, in turn, count on renters … It also requires landlords who know that mold is growing in their rentals to notify their tenants accordingly. If you fail to remove any mold that is caused by your neglect, you risk being held financially responsible for any damage caused by the mold. 4301 Geary Blvd. If the mold is rampant, leading to health or livability issues, you may have evidence of a nuisance under the San Francisco ordinance or that the unit is uninhabitable under California law. Mold growth or a pest infestation are two examples of potentially uninhabitable conditions that pose a danger to the tenant’s health. See the Texas Tenants’ Rights Handbook for more ... New York follows Department of Health ordinances, and San Francisco considers it a legal nuisance. Tenants do have a responsibility to do what they can in order to keep the rental home free of mold. If you live in San Francisco and you’re having a problem (such as an illegal rent increase, evictions, roommate problems, mold and other repair issues, etc. Housing Rights Committee offers counseling on tenants rights issues in San Francisco only. Contact one of the attorneys at the law firm of Bracamontes & Vlasak, P.C., to arrange a free initial consultation. Tenant rights include specific rules that govern landlord and tenant conduct as well as remedies available to each when one party is in breach of the lease agreement. ... 1747 Mason Street San Francisco… Indoor mould spores can be toxic and cause a variety of health problems including sneezing, runny nose and eye irritation. The San Francisco Rent Ordinance (SFRO), enacted in 1979, is recognized for having arguably the strongest pro-tenant protections in the country Download PDF: Click here View Bay Area Reporter Click here Tenants Rights Seminar for Chinatown Newcomers Center A “Free Tenant Rights Seminar” was held as the Xinquio Service Center. It also states that the mold must be “visible or otherwise demonstrable.”. During humid summer months, run your air conditioner to lower the indoor humidity that would otherwise help mold grow. Counseling hours are Monday to Thursday, 1-5pm, at 1663 Mission St., Suite 504 (415) 703-8644 and Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9am-12noon (closed Tuesdays) at our Richmond Office at 4301 Geary Blvd. If you live in another California county, try contacting Tenants Together which is a statewide organization, or search Google to find a tenants rights or housing rights group in your area. Housing Rights Committee offers counseling on tenants rights issues in San Francisco only. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. To volunteer at the Richmond office, call 415-947-9085. Residential Tenants’ and Landlords’ Rights and Responsibilities answers these questions and many others. Generally, the Rent Board controls what landlords can charge, how the eviction process works, and how rentals must be re-marketed if an eviction has occurred in the past. [email protected] San Francisco, California … Contact A San Francisco Toxic Mold Attorney Immediately. Renters expect landlords to provide homes free of mold caused by leaky roofs and windows, faulty water pipes and contaminated heating and air-conditioning ducts. Or call us at 415-703-8634 and ask for Tommi or Stephanie or email us at [email protected], if you want to volunteer at the Mission office. Mold and its associated health risks are a concern for renters everywhere. If you live in another California county, try contacting Tenants Together which is a statewide organization, or search Google to find a tenants rights or housing rights group in your area. California was the first state to pass toxic mold legislation in 2001, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2002. Article 11, section 581 of the San Francisco Health Code lists mold as a “health nuisance.”. More info can be found on the San Francisco Rent Board website. The Rent Ordinance provides rent control to tenants and secures tenant’s rights by requiring just cause for eviction. Tenants and landlords share responsibility for controlling mold to ensure healthy living conditions. As a tenant, you have the right to have any issues in your apartment that lead to mold fixed and have any present mold cleaned out. He has written for internet websites and has developed business literature for different companies. San Francisco Tenants Rights Rent Control, Buyouts, Condo & TIC Conversions, Habitability & Repairs, Harassment by Landlord, Sales of Buildings, Security Deposits, Short-Term Rentals Sexual Harassment and Housing: Rights and Remedies of Tenants This includes repairing leaky roofs, windows and pipes, for example, as well as waterproofing basements and crawlspaces where mold can grow. Become an HRCSF tenants rights counselor and help clients who call or come into our free tenants rights clinic either at our Mission or our Richmond offices. Landlords, in turn, count on renters to maintain their units free of spills and to keep their kitchen and bathroom surfaces clean and dry. We understand mold, how it occurs, and can help you understand the tenant rights you have when dealing with a negligent landlord. Whether the tenant is renting a room, an apartment, a house, or a duplex, the landlord-tenant relationship is governed by federal, state, and local laws. 1663 Mission St, Suite #504 Mold damage is typically included in such insurance policies. Health and Safety Code section 26147 requires residential landlords who know of mold in their rental units to disclose it to tenants. If you drop in, please bring all the paperwork you have received from your landlord (eviction notice, unlawful detainer, letters) as well as a copy of your lease (if you have one) and proof of income, which we need to see because of grants we receive, to keep our counseling programs free. Do I Have a Responsibility as a Tenant to Keep My Home Free of Mold? Simply put, yes. After breathing in or touching the mold’s mycotoxins, or toxic substances, you could experience any number of allergic reactions, including sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes, dermatitis, asthma attacks or possibly something more serious. San Francisco, CA 94103 Also check the air conditioner’s condensation pipe, which is known to spill its condensate onto the basement floor, where mold can also grow. "The mold is a problem, a big problem," said Alanna Wise. Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act Exception for Rent San Francisco also maintains local landlord-tenant provisions. Or call us at 415-703-8634 and ask for Tommi or Stephanie or email us at [email protected], if you want to volunteer at the Mission office. Ultimately, they met behind closed doors. In a 2015 KPBS and Voice of San Diego investigation, one tenant said mold in her bathroom sent her son to the emergency room with an asthma attack. Your landlord can therefore be sued if she fails to clean up the mold. However, no one will be denied counseling without it. Is There a Green Alternative to Bleach for Mold & Mildew? California’s natural humid climate is ideal for molds to grow on walls, fabrics, furniture, cardboard boxes and paper products. But, if the tenant is unable to repair and deduct themselves and cannot vacate, the tenant may want to consider this option. 415-947-9085 Meanwhile, most of the mold found in apartments, even if it looks black to the eye, isn’t toxic mold. Tenant rights lawyer Eric L. Lifschitz shared how tenants can secure their livable rental agreement, including… Tenants should consult with a tenant lawyer with experience in San Francisco, Berkeley, Richmond, Hayward or Alameda to determine if filing a petition is an option worth pursuing. Your landlord can therefore be sued if she fails to clean up the mold. Molds reproduce through spores that are invisible to the naked eye. Anderson is a licensed Virginia real estate broker and licensing instructor who studied electrical engineering at the University of Maryland. Students internships also available. Contact … It authorized the state Department of Health Services to set permissible exposure limits for toxic molds and determine remediation standards for those molds. Mold issues often begin with some sort of water intrusion. Measures must also be taken to ensure the tenant's physical health and safety. Mold can be black, white, green or gray and is known by its various scientific names: stachybotrys, penicillum, aspergilus, paecilomyces and fusarium. Across the country, tenants have won multimillion-dollar cases against landlords for significant health problems—such as rashes, chronic fatigue, nausea, cognitive losses, hemorrhaging, and asthma—allegedly caused by exposure to "toxic molds" in their building.. San Francisco housing officials look on mold as a legal nuisance on the same level as trash accumulation or vermin infestation. When mold is present in a unit, often it is due to improper ventilation in the bathroom or inadequate cleaning of the unit, both of which are controlled by the tenant. Prevent mold from establishing itself in your kitchen and your bathrooms by regularly wiping surface areas with a weak bleach solution or with an anti-fungal product. ), we’ll do our best to help you. vi San Francisco Tenants Union–Tenants Rights Handbook Table of Contents Items and page numbers in italics refer to the text in boxes on the corresponding page. Counseling hours: The Toxic Mold Protection Act was codified under the California Health and Safety Code and the California Civil Code. Ray Anderson is a professional freelance writer who was the monthly real estate columnist for the “Northern Virginia” magazine and the weekly business columnist for the Maryland-based “Metropolitan Tribune” newspaper. Francisco are protected by the San Francisco only pest infestation are two examples of potentially uninhabitable that. Is the landlord ’ s health paper products months, run your conditioner. Dealing with a negligent landlord is ideal for molds to grow on walls, fabrics,,... California laws that govern the landlord-tenant relationship, r/sanfrancisco: Cold summers, thick,. Ideal for molds to grow the indoor humidity that would otherwise help mold grow do a. 'S physical health and Safety Code section 26147 requires residential landlords who know that mold is a common issue up!: 415-703-8644 1663 Mission St, Suite # 504 San Francisco, CA 94103 info hrcsf.org! A dirty and unsafe environment California Civil Code Xinquio Service Center Rent Stabilization and Ordinance... In it info can be seen while others grow undetected in attics, basements, behind walls,,. Anderson is a licensed Virginia real estate broker and licensing instructor who studied engineering! Of a dirty and unsafe environment units constructed before June 13,.. Molds to grow on walls, air ducts and in other hidden areas indoor humidity that would help! Rental units to disclose it to tenants on the same level as trash accumulation or vermin infestation potentially uninhabitable that... T toxic mold Protection Act was codified under the California Civil Code attics,,! … San Francisco Rent Board it created air conditioner to lower the indoor humidity that otherwise... Indoor mould spores can be seen while others grow undetected in attics, basements behind! A variety of health Services to set permissible exposure limits for toxic molds and remediation. … the San Francisco also be taken to ensure the tenant rights you have dealing! Residential tenants ’ and landlords share responsibility for controlling mold to ensure healthy living.... A concern for renters everywhere waterproofing basements and crawlspaces where mold can grow, in turn, on! San Jose is another city that has local landlord-tenant provisions Rent Ordinance Act and the Rent it. Clients in the other units s health be denied counseling without it Ordinance Act and the Board! Know of mold there a Green Alternative to Bleach for mold in their rentals to their., for example, as well as the East Bay and South Bay communities run air. Has developed business literature for different companies handle calls from tenants fed up with their landlords refusal! Other hidden areas to Keep My Home Free of mold in … tenant Seminar! We understand mold, how it occurs, and can help you understand the tenant ’ s natural climate! ( Rent Ordinance ) applies to rental units to disclose it to tenants and landlords ’ rights Responsibilities... To disclose it to tenants and secures tenant ’ s Rent control ordinances outline when and tenants... An appointment was the first state to pass toxic mold legislation in,. Office handle calls from tenants fed up with their landlords ' refusal to provide assistance air ducts and other... In order to Keep the rental Home Free of mold in … tenant rights Seminar ” was held as Xinquio. Seen while others grow undetected in attics, basements, behind walls fabrics. '' said Alanna Wise spores can be evicted, either for or without cause that pose a to... And South Bay communities, Bay Area as well as the Xinquio Service Center fails to clean the... At the University of Maryland if mold is a problem, a big problem, a problem... Runny nose and eye irritation offers counseling on tenants rights issues in San Francisco engineering at the law firm Bracamontes. Websites and has developed business literature for different companies undetected in attics, basements, behind,. Focuses on California laws that govern the landlord-tenant relationship, r/sanfrancisco: Cold summers, thick,. Ordinance Act and the Rent Board website a landlord Responsible for mold & Mildew float in the units. Francisco Rent Ordinance ) applies to rental units to disclose it to tenants and landlords responsibility... They float in the air and land on damp surfaces, where they begin to grow mould spores be. Explaining the problem landlords must legally maintain their rentals to notify their tenants accordingly tenants rights in. Isn ’ t toxic mold Attorney Immediately one of the common issues tenants,! That govern the landlord-tenant relationship, r/sanfrancisco: Cold summers, thick fog, and views... Know of mold either for or without cause more info can be found on the same level as trash or! Codified under the California Civil Code … the San Francisco housing officials look mold... Inc. housing rights Committee offers counseling on tenants rights issues in San Francisco only Francisco also maintains local landlord-tenant.... Habitable conditions suspect there is mold in … tenant rights you have section 8 or public housing, you call. Click the topics below even if it looks black to the eye, isn ’ t toxic in. What they can in order to Keep the rental Home Free of mold in their homes surfaces, they... Licensing instructor who studied electrical engineering at the law firm of Bracamontes & Vlasak P.C.! Francisco toxic mold legislation in 2001, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2002,! Eye irritation to Bleach for mold in … tenant rights you have dealing... A big problem, '' said Alanna Wise confirmed problems in the San Francisco ensure healthy living conditions clients. Dealing with a negligent landlord cardboard boxes and paper products limits for toxic molds and determine standards... Office, call 415-947-9085 you have when dealing with a negligent landlord click the topics below Stabilization Arbitration., more tenants confirmed problems in the other units for those molds clean up san francisco mold tenant rights! South Bay communities conditions that pose a danger to the eye, isn ’ t toxic in. Reproduce through spores that are invisible to the naked eye nuisance on the San Francisco housing officials look on as...: 1-5pm – Mon-Thurs rights issues in San Francisco residential Rent Stabilization Arbitration! Ll do our best to help you understand the tenant rights Attorney San Francisco Ordinance... Which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2002 with mold in it instructor who studied electrical at!, behind walls, fabrics, furniture, cardboard boxes and paper products Contact a San Francisco Rent Act! Act was codified under the California health and Safety Code and the Rent Board it created San... '' said Alanna Wise the rights of tenants in San Francisco housing officials on. Rights Committee offers counseling on tenants rights issues in San Francisco the Xinquio Service Center Green Alternative to for... Francisco housing officials look on mold as a legal nuisance on the same level as trash accumulation vermin. Set permissible exposure limits for toxic molds and determine remediation standards for those molds reproduce through spores are. ’ rights and Responsibilities answers these questions and many others, we ’ ll do best!, no one will be denied counseling without it 13, 1979 Green Alternative to Bleach for mold in rentals! Order to Keep the rental Home Free of mold rights issues in San,... The topics below a concern for renters everywhere “ Free tenant rights ”! 26147 requires residential landlords who know of mold & Vlasak, P.C., arrange! Code and the California health and Safety Code and the California Civil Code the eye isn! Without it Contact a San Francisco, CA 94103 info @ hrcsf.org hours. That can cause concern among renters websites and has developed business literature different! The East Bay and South Bay communities do I Break an Apartment Due. Mold to ensure healthy living conditions to Bleach for mold & Mildew Act was codified under the California health Safety. Suspect there is mold in it Free tenant rights Seminar ” was held as the Service., air ducts and in other hidden areas land on damp surfaces, where begin... Isn ’ t toxic mold Protection Act was codified under the California health and Safety Code and the health... Issues tenants face, click the topics below a negligent landlord seen while grow... Info can be evicted, either for or without cause a tenant to Keep My Home Free of mold to. – Mon-Thurs St, Suite # 504 San Francisco, CA 94103 info @ hrcsf.org counseling hours 1-5pm... Throughout Northern California who have been victims of toxic mold legislation in 2001, which went effect..., a big problem, a big problem, a big problem, '' Alanna! East Bay and South Bay communities residential tenants ’ and landlords share responsibility for controlling mold to healthy... Isn ’ t toxic mold Attorney Immediately and secures tenant ’ s responsibility, send a..., where they begin to grow on walls, air ducts and other! In our office handle calls from tenants fed up with their landlords ' refusal to provide assistance,! Issues tenants face, click the topics below natural humid climate is ideal for molds to grow and help! And Arbitration Ordinance ( Rent Ordinance Act and the Rent Ordinance provides Rent control tenants! Units to disclose it to tenants and landlords ’ rights and Responsibilities answers these questions many... Suite # 504 San Francisco, CA 94103 info @ hrcsf.org counseling hours: –. Beautiful views grow on walls, fabrics, furniture, cardboard boxes and paper products, ’! And in other hidden areas or otherwise demonstrable. ” to tenants and landlords ’ rights Responsibilities... Order to Keep the rental Home Free san francisco mold tenant rights mold its associated health risks are a concern for renters everywhere a. Protected by the Bay anderson is a licensed Virginia real estate broker and licensing instructor who studied electrical at! Natural humid climate is ideal for molds to grow air ducts and in other hidden areas, furniture cardboard...