Does Florida Have a Mold Law? An Expert's Perspective

The state of Florida has no specific mold laws that protect residents from exposure to mold. However, there are current guidelines in the published literature that can be used to help a person who has mold problems on their property. You can also use existing laws for tenants that govern real estate and leasing under Florida landlord and tenant laws and for homeowners under seller confidentiality laws and laws on construction defects. The summer months often bring an increase in Google searches for “Florida Mold Renters Rights”.At present, there are no federal laws that cover a landlord's liability in the event of a mold issue.

Similarly, the state of Florida does not have any specific laws that directly address the obligations or liability of the owner when it comes to mold remediation, or even mold prevention. All mold that grows indoors must be eliminated immediately, regardless of the type of mold present or if it can produce mycotoxins or not. Mold and other issues can make managing rental properties a time-consuming task. The toxic effects of certain molds are not well understood and are currently a controversial topic in the medical and scientific community. Mold is one of the major environmental hazards, developing in warm, humid places and often growing rapidly in basements, attics, and other parts of buildings with poor ventilation and humidity problems.

If you purchase a home and discover that there is mold which the seller did not disclose to you, you may be able to take legal action against them due to the state and history of the property. Mold is considered one of the major environmental hazards and, if left untreated, can spread quickly and cause physical illness in those who live or work nearby. If mold returns quickly or spreads, it may indicate an underlying problem such as a water leak. The Florida Department of Health has developed information to address some of the most common questions and concerns about indoor mold, how it affects human health, and ways to prevent or eliminate it. For example, if a tenant claims that mold made a unit unlivable, they can simply stop paying rent.

If you are a renter, you should first contact your local county code office to see if your county considers mold to be a reason to label a property as “unrentable”.On one hand, there will always be some form of mold in your home in the form of spores and pieces of mold cells. Keeping humidity levels below 60% and evacuating moisture from the shower and cooking to the outside are several ways to prevent conditions that can cause mold growth. Printable versions of these and other guidance documents are available on the EPA's Publications on Mold website. Controlling humidity is key to stopping indoor mold growth as all molds require water to grow. If you think you have a mold problem in your home, you don't need to identify what type of mold you might have.

Instead, focus on eliminating it as soon as possible by controlling humidity levels and removing any sources of moisture.

Cassie Ulery
Cassie Ulery

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