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Finding Mold in a Potential Property Purchase

Home with mold on the walls

There are few issues in a home or building that can send potential buyers running quite like mold. Home buyers and real estate investors have been taught that mold is a major liability and should be avoided at all costs. But is this always true? Read on to learn more about the potential risks involved when buying a property with mold and what can be done to reduce those risks, and contact a knowledgeable San Diego real estate attorney with any additional questions.

Health risks associated with mold

The reason mold has become such a hot-button issues for real estate investors is the risk of illness associated with mold. While the research is not entirely settled on when and to whom mold is or isn’t dangerous, it’s well-established that certain types of mold can cause symptoms similar to those of an allergic reaction, such as congestion, coughing, or a rash on the skin. However, vulnerable individuals such as children, the elderly, those with respiratory problems, or pregnant women are more vulnerable to mold’s ill effects. Additionally, certain types of mold can cause serious respiratory or cardiac health issues after long periods of exposure.

California laws on mold

California has some of the strictest laws in the country when it comes to real estate disclosures. This includes a requirement that property seller disclosures include a mold disclosure when applicable. If sellers make a material failure to disclose, then the buyer may need to consult with a seasoned real estate attorney to explore their legal options for a remedy.

If you plan on renting out the property you purchase, it is also important to know that California considers mold to be a violation of a rental unit’s habitability. California law defines visible mold growth as a dangerous health condition that makes a rental property “substandard housing” under California’s Health & Safety Code.

Is it worthwhile to try and remedy a mold problem?

With the legal risks involved, is there any case where it might be worthwhile to purchase a home in California that has mold? While every buyer may have a different tolerance for risk, there are many cases where a mold problem can be remedied entirely. Mold only grows where there is an issue with leaking water or moisture accumulation. If the services of a professional mold remediation company have been used and the issue causing moisture to accumulate is fixed, then mold should not recur. Fixing a mold issue can cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars to fix. Buyers may therefore want an attorney’s help in addressing an undisclosed mold problem in a San Diego real estate purchase.

If you’re in need of skilled, knowledgeable, and professional legal help with a real estate transaction in California, contact the San Diego offices of Jon Alan Enochs at  619-421-3956.

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