Mildew and Mold in Rental Properties: Landlord Gurus Experience

When it comes to property cleanliness, mildew and mold can cause hazardous conditions. As addressed in this video, Chris Lee and Eli Secor, founders of Landlord Gurus, discuss how to prevent mildew and mold in your units. 

Eli’s experience with remodeling and building provides him with knowledge on how to deal with and remove mildew and mold. 

“Surface mildew or mold, especially if it’s on a higher gloss paint, is not terrible if it’s dealt with. The longer that type of thing is left, the more it’ll damage the finishes. It’ll stain, and it is then difficult to paint over. You have to cover it with a sealer. You have to put a primer again before you repaint,” Eli said.

This can also pose a health issue as well because some people are allergic to mold, leading to costly repairs and people not being able to be in their places. The most important thing to have is good clauses within your lease that deals with issues such as mildew and mold. Such clauses hold tenants responsible for preventing the growth of mildew and mold. If not, and it becomes hazardous, landlords may need to issue a notice to comply with the terms of their lease or vacate the premises. Websites such as EZLandlordForms offers state-specific notices that are lawyer approved. 

“In this case, I needed a 10-day comply or vacate. They’ve got all of that, as well as other notices that you need if you want to do an inspection, which we briefly touched on last time. But, you do have to give notice. They got all kinds of stuff that you can either purchase or some are free or you can just subscribe to a lifetime subscription so that you always have them,” Chris said.

Tips to Avoid Mildew and Mold

To prevent mildew and mold, Eli suggests that you take care of ventilation in the building, including bathroom and kitchen fans. He has also installed moisture-detecting switches to turn fans on when moisture levels become elevated. In newer buildings, he has installed fans that are moisture and/or motion-detecting. 

In Seattle, where Chris and Eli reside, they need to provide tenants with information regarding what mold is, how it occurs, and what to do about it. Tenants are also given another form to say that it is their responsibility to take care of problems like mildew and mold and to notify the landlord if it’s happening. 

“Essentially, the responsibility’s on the tenant to not allow moisture issues to happen in their unit. Having the right forms is really important no matter where you get them, that are up to date,” Eli said.  

Chris also sends out a reminder at the start of winter about ventilating units. 

“In my case, I’ve got tenants who like to seal up the building when it’s cold out, right? They close all the windows, close all the doors, but then they don’t run the fans. Then they cook and things just get wet inside. I know that it’s cold, but you may have to turn the fan on or you may have to open windows,” Chris said.

An additional tip is to be proactive in preventing leaks. This means replacing your water heaters according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Eli also suggests a draining pan that drains outside and a leak detector for under your sinks. His leak detector sits in the cabinet under his sink and has an alarm that goes off if there’s any water. 

Mildew and Mold: Landlord Gurus Takeaway

Be proactive. Make sure that you prevent mildew and mold from occurring in the first place. Avoid leaks by replacing equipment when needed and install moisture detectors where you can.

“One of our best resources I think is an article that we wrote on managing rental property maintenance using property management software. And then we’ve done a three-part series on rental maintenance checklist. One of them is on plumbing, there’s electrical and HVAC and pest control. It’s all broken down into three,” Eli said.

  • With a range of free rental applications and lease templates, landlords can easily create legally binding documents in minutes using EZ Landlord Forms.
  • Strength: Leases & e-Signing

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and Landlord Gurus may earn a commission. Our mission remains to provide valuable resources and information that helps landlords manage their rental properties efficiently and profitably. We link to these companies and their products because of their quality, not because of the commission.

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About Landlord Gurus

Here at Landlord Gurus, our commitment is to provide expert advice on the complex and important issues faced by landlords and property managers. Together we have over 30 years of experience in residential property ownership and management. In addition to sharing our own expertise and experiences, we call on specialists in fields including maintenance, law, tenant management, and more. Where we see topics that require more in-depth discussion, we create insightful articles that provide valuable information and guidance.
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