Monday, 24 November 2014

Getting sick from Mould in Apartments: What can be done?

Mould in an apartment can be an incredibly complex problem for a tenant to deal with.  A great number of tenants call me to say that they are suffering serious health problems from mould and that they can not get their landlord to fix the problem.  So what can be done? The presence of mold in a
rental unit is a relatively easy problem for a tenant to solve.  Getting compensated for injuries (health problems) that are caused by the presence and exposure to mould is much more difficult.  This article will focus on what a tenant can do to get mould problems fixed and deal only peripherally with the issues involved in proving a claim for injuries sustained due to the exposure to mould.  If I get enough questions about asserting mould claims for health problems I will tackle another article on that issue then.

When trying to fix a mould problem it is useful to understand the circumstances under which mould will typically grow.  In order for mould growth to thrive it needs moisture and high humidity, a medium to grow on (it likes porous materials), food,  heat and optimal temperatures (warm), and typically stagnant air.  Though mould will grow even in cool temperatures it is my experience that the majority of mould problems that trouble tenants arise in circumstances where warmth is a contributing factor to growth.   If you combine all of these factors it is quite likely that mould will not only begin to grow but flourish.  What kind of mould (from relatively harmless to toxic) will grow really depends on a great number of factors and specifically what kind of spores are in the environment.  However, in the presence of these factors you may reasonably expect that mould will grow as mould spores are all around us both inside and outdoors.  If the "right" conditions are created then mold will grow as the spores are around us.

The ability of a tenant to get rid of mould that is growing in a rental unit is tied to the ability to disrupt the moisture, growth medium, temperature and stagnant air that is encouraging the mold growth.  If these factors are disrupted it is entirely likely that mould growth will stop.  Unfortunately this does not mean that all of the mold that has grown will disappear from items that were covered in mould.  Mould likes to grow on pourous materials and these materials---including clothing, couches, beds, flooring, are sometimes impossible to clean of the mould that has already grown on them.  Often enough, these items simply have to be disposed of as it is impossible to clean them or too costly to do so.

Mould does not grow well in locations where there is a lot of air movement, where the relative humidity is low (under 50%), where the temperatures are cooler and nearer to regular room temperature and where the things that it would grow on are cleaned regularly. Changing one or all of these factors can have a dramatic impact on stopping mould growth.

WITHIN THE CONTROL OF THE TENANT

Some of the things that encourage mould growth are typically within the control of a tenant.  Where a thermostat is adjustable the temperature can be kept in a range that does not encourage mould to grow.  Where the environment within a rental unit is conducive to mould growth because of the tenant's lifestyle choices--such as lots of hot showers, not wiping down walls and floors, cooking a lot things that puts humidity in the air then the tenant needs to try to take steps to deal with those choices in such a way as to disrupt the mould friendly environment.  What can a tenant do?  Suggestions that I have seen in the past include: appropriately opening windows, turning down thermostats, wiping and drying walls and wiping places where mould grows with vinegar water, installing dehumidifiers, ceasing activities that encourage mould growth and using fans to circulate the air.  Where mould is growing in cupboards or closets or along the back walls of storage areas the primary culprit seems to be the lack of air circulation.  Getting items away from walls, opening the doors or even installing vents can help move air around thereby impeding mould growth.

OUTSIDE OF THE CONTROL OF THE TENANT

What can a tenant do if the things within the control of the tenant are "normal" and the mould still grows?  In these circumstances the responsibility for dealing with mould growth needs to be shifted to the landlord.  One would hope that a simple phone call or filling out a work order would result in the landlord attending the unit, figuring out the source of the problem, and addressing it.  Unfortunately, it is not always so simple.



Sometimes mould grows because the factors that encourage its growth (moisture, food, heat, stagnant air) are present because of a breakdown of a building system.  What does this mean?  Examples would include water infiltration through foundation walls due to a crack occurring, or water entering the structure through a failing/leaking roof, blocked eavestroughs, leaky pipes and plumbing.  Sometimes, the problem lies in a breakdown of the HVAC system and parts of the system are broken.  The point is that the occurrence of mould can be the result of a breakdown (rotting wood in basements, exposure to the ground) in the building structure or in the mechanical systems in the building.  Unfortunately, these breakdowns can be incredibly expensive to fix and therefore the landlord may resist doing the necessary repair.

If a foundation has cracked and it is allowing water to enter the building the landlord may be faced with excavating the foundation to effect a repair or perhaps undoing a finished basement to get at the walls.  Roofing can be expensive to replace or repair and sometimes the trick lies in finding the source of leaks.  As anyone who has watched Holmes on Homes knows, and you have likely seen those scenarios where the source of the problem is an improperly constructed home in the first place, sometime the only answer is an extensive re-engineering and rebuilding of the premises.

Repairing or fixing the things that cause mould growth can be so expensive that a landlord would prefer for the tenant to simply live with it.  The solution that a landlord may propose is that the tenant wipe the walls more frequently and open a window notwithstanding that the mould continues to grow and the tenants begin to feel like the mould is affecting their health.  How do you force a landlord to deal with mould when they really don't want to do it?

FORCING A LANDLORD TO DEAL WITH A MOULD PROBLEM

The first step that I always recommend to tenants is to speak with the landlord.  If that does not work, then a tenant should start writing letters to the landlord setting out the complaint, explain exactly what the problem is, and attach pictures if possible.  These complaints should be delivered in writing via email or fax or in such a way that delivery can be proven.

Once the complaints have been made, and presumably no response has been received, a tenant should call the Property Standards Department of their city, town, or township and ask them to come to the property to inspect the unit.   The Property Standards Officer will typically state that they do not have any specific mandate with respect to mould from a health perspective.  While that may or may not be true, the Property Standards Officer does have a mandate to ensure that a building complies with the Property Standards By-law of the city/town/township.  Note that for unorganized areas the RTA has a regulation that imposes a property standards type of standard for rental units (O.Reg 517/06).

Every Property Standards By-law that I have ever seen provides sufficient tools for a Property Standards Officer to query and require the rectification of problems that give rise to the growth of mould.  A Property Standards Officer can make orders with respect to water infiltration and moisture presence in a rental unit (where that moisture is not the result of tenant lifestyle).  A Property Standards Officer can deal with ventilation, cleaning of walls, repair of roofs, foundations, etc..  The point is that the things which encourage the growth of mould are things that fall within the purview of a properly constructed and maintained property and as such the tools to deal with these issues are available to the Property Standards Officer.

You may expect that a Property Standards Officer, when responding to an issue about mould will conduct an inspection of the premises looking for these kinds of things:  roof failure, penetration of roof, roof drainage system (pooling etc.), gutters (eavestroughs), downspouts being blocked, inspect vents, flashing, skylights, chimneys and anything else penetrating the roof.  The Officer will also look at cladding, flashing and trim on the walls of the building, exterior doors, windows, decks, stoops, steps, stairs, porches, railings, eaves, soffits and fascia to see if any of these things are failing or damaged and allowing water infiltration.  Of further interest will be the grading of the land around the property and any features that are directing or keeping water close to the building.

With respect to the basement and foundation that Officer will inspect all visible portions for damage (cracks) and signs of water infiltration and in crawl spaces the officer will look for adequate ventilation.  Ventilation is of general concern as well and the officer may look at the HVAC system including the air handler, circulating fan, air filters and any duct work in the premises.

Plumbing is also an obvious source of moisture so the officer will likely inspect any visible water lines, supply lines, waste lines and drains, the hot water source and the fixtures including the toilets, faucets, showers, and tubs.  There are other parts of the building (attic) that may be inspected and often it is simply the officers experience and the nature of the problem that will guide and direct the officer to the likely problems.  Where no problem is apparent, but mould exists, the officer may consider ordering a landlord to open walls to inspect for problems if the officer is satisfied that all other reasonable steps have been taken to control the mould.

It has been my experience that most Property Standards Officers, especially the experienced ones, tend to be practical about things.  They are solution oriented and before making orders requiring destructive testing or expensive renovations they will inquire whether the more traditional things have been tried---i.e., ventilation, opening windows, dehumidifiers, adjusting temperature.  Especially in rental units where there hasn't been a history of mould problems a Property Standards Officer is going to be cautious about making "expensive" orders unless of course the reason for mold growth is obvious and apparent (i.e. something broken and needing repair).

GETTING AN ORDER TO FIX

A tenant is entitled to file an application to the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board requiring a landlord to fix or repair a rental unit.  Those repairs or maintenance are required to bring the rental unit up to the standard where the unit is fit for habitation.  The standard is reflected in section 20 of the RTA which provides as follows:


20. LANDLORDS RESPONSIBILITY TO REPAIR---(1) A landlord is responsible for providing and maintaining a residential complex, including the rental units in it, in a good state of repair and fit for habitation and for complying with health, safety, housing and maintenance standards.

(2)  SAME---Subsection (1) applies even if the tenant was aware of a state of non-repair or a contravention of a standard before entering in the tenancy agreement.


This section of the RTA imposes the legal duty on the landlord which is the basis for an application to the Landlord and Tenant Board under section 29 & 30 RTA.



There are certain assumptions that I assume will be adopted by any adjudicator hearing a case.  That assumption is that the presence of significant mould (readily visible) in a rental unit, on the walls, flooring, ceilings, etc. is contrary to the requirement that a rental unit be "fit for habitation".   It is generally accepted that a rental unit in Ontario is not fit for habitation if it has uncontrolled and significant mould growth within the unit.

Proving the presence of mould is also fairly easily done by taking photographs of the walls, floors, ceilings, or wherever the mould is located.  Some people will argue that black marks on the walls, floors, ceilings are not proof of the presence of mould as one can only know that it is mould if it is tested by a certified lab.  While that may be technically true, I have never known the argument to carry much weight when a tenant testifies that the mould has recently appeared, can be wiped off with a rag, and that it grows back again seemingly out of thin air.  The argument is that whether it is mould or not, anything that grows on a wall and re-appears after being cleaned, is something that is not "normal" and therefore is inconsistent with a rental unit that is "fit for habitation".

The value of having approached the Property Standards Department about mould is that the reports of a Property Standards Officer, along with any Orders, are extremely useful as evidence of the condition of a rental unit.  The "fit for habitation" standard certainly includes compliance with the requirements of the Property Standards By-Law and therefore, any Order directing that repairs be made in relation to mould will be evidence of the Landlord's breach of its duty to maintain a rental unit.

While getting a Property Standards Order is very useful it is still possible to proceed without such an Order or without even trying to get Property Standards involved.    However, without this very useful evidence from Property Standards the tenant will have a higher burden in proving that the rental unit is not fit for habitation and that certain work needs to be done to fix the unit.   This burden may be discharged by hiring experts, contractors, mould remediators, to prepare reports describing what is observed, what the problems are, and what needs to be done to fix the problem.  These reports will need to be backed up with oral testimony at a hearing.  Further, as the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words and no hearing would be complete without high resolution photographs and perhaps video of the problems---including the mould and repair issues that are allowing the mould to grow (i.e. water infiltration, etc.).

An important point to note is that getting the Board to order the fixing of issues that are allowing mould to grow does not require the tenant to prove that the mould is causing health problems.  The mere presence of significant mould in the unit is unacceptable and in my experience the Board will Order it to be removed, cleaned, and the issue that is allowing the mould to grow to be repaired.

In my experience, the reason that tenants have difficulty winning mould cases is that not enough thought is given to discharging the burden of proof.  Many tenants are so disgusted by the presence of mould, and having a picture in hand, that they think showing the picture of mould is enough to win their case.  They think that by showing a picture of mould on a wall and saying that this has been there for months that this will be enough to win an Order requiring a Landlord to fix/remove the mould and for an abatement of rent.  The fact is, this is not sufficient to discharge the burden.

WHAT A TENANT SHOULD DEMONSTRATE

A tenant must demonstrate that they tried to deal with the mould.  They must demonstrate that they tried to adjust their lifestyle (reasonably) to address mould growth.  It is reasonable to expect that a tenant would try to wash walls, open windows, install a dehumidifier and operate a fan.  Be ready to prove that these things were tried.  Then, be ready to prove that the landlord was given notice of the problem, repeatedly, and that the landlord had specific knowledge of what the complaints were and the impact of the presence of this mould on your use and enjoyment of the property.  Then, be prepared to prove to the extent possible the reason for why the mould is in the rental unit.  While this should not be your obligation, it is indeed necessary as the Landlord will likely try blame you for the presence of the mould if no explanation for the presence is provided----so, show the broken pipe, hole in the wall, curling shingles, hole in roof.  If you have lost property as a result of the mould be prepared to show that property in pictures, provide the cost of acquisition (receipts) and estimates for repair or replacement.  Depending on what the item is, it may be important to get an appraisal from a recognized appraiser of the value of the item at the time of loss.

If you do these things--which is a lot more than just showing a picture of mould, you should have success at the Landlord and Tenant Board in getting an order fixing your mould problem.


Michael K. E. Thiele
www.ottawalawyers.com 






     




15 comments:

  1. In a court of law, what would I need to provide as evidence to get compensation? The water leaking from the upstairs unit caused the ceiling to get damp and created an atmosphere for the mould to grow on the washroom ceiling.

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    1. Micheal wow so estatic I found u.I live in a federal non profit co op.have now for 23 yrs.same unit.I have no idea were to begin...Im praying u can help me.A long story short alot has gone on to much to get into on here but im going to email you tomorrow.we now have a mngement company as the board has no clue n the place is falling apart.well since they have redone our bi laws that were just passed at AGM.n let me tell u i have never seen the likes of it.so for now just a couple questions untillI can get into details and hopefully u can help me or stear me in right direction as ive done everything n have been to every possible governing agentcy.Pure corruption every which way u go.so with new bi laws they are saying every member has to have house insurance,with a special clause in it so say mould which is major problem or if the unit beside u caught on fire n my unit was destroyed then the co ops not liable n then my insurance covers there damage????can they possibly make us do that??.Also this new long term guest n occasional guest crap which ive never herd of in my life.my own child over the age of 18 is classified as long term guest.therefore they want there financial information n credit check.??insain.Ive bin to legal aid n they r saying they can absolutly do this.also we have had two rent increases in last yr n again increase jan 1 2016.but if were now with rta would we not have to follow the guidelines for on.???heres hoping u can shed some light on these concerns if so ur going to become very popular.very quick.thnks

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  2. Excellent article, Thank You Very Much! Gordon King Welke

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  3. It states in the artical to send a fax or email or send in a way it can be proven, is an inbox that has had a reply say a negative reply to the letter proof?

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    1. Hi Patricia: I think anything you get back--even an auto-reply that has your email in the chain is great as proof of delivery.

      Michael K. E. Thiele
      www.ottawalawyers.com

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  4. Interesting article. I have been having water issues in the basement for years and extreme smell in the house especially in the spring summer. I ventilate the house, use dehumidifiers in the basement all my cloths smell even after washing and I do notice mold growing on the fridge and around a few doors and the cloth chesterfield smelt musty. I sent letters over the years to the landlord and asked them to investigate the water problem in the basement and the smell in the house and they never. This year I had severe migraines and overall not feeling well and I had a mold specialist come in and he told me that there was a sever case of mold and recommended that the house be condemned, I mentioned this to the landlords and they still ignored the situation. It was 4 months later after constant complaining of the situation did the landlord themselves have mold specialists and air quality come in. It has now been another month and they are just starting to take care of the issue. They have not told me the result of their air quality test (i have found out through another source it was not good), the landlords have not given me accommodations to live at or paid for any of my expenses that I have acquired over the past few months. Are they obligated to cover these costs? This whole process has affected my life, work, animals and volunteer work.

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    1. Hi Wendy: The landlord does not have any obligation under the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) to provide you with alternate accommodation in the circumstances that you describe. The RTA speaks to the landlord's obligation to maintain and repair a rental unit and keep it in a state of good repair and fit for habitation and be in compliance with health and safety standards.

      It certainly seems that the landlord has breached its obligation to repair and maintain the premises. To that end you could seek compensation through the Landlord and Tenant Board using a Form T2 and T6. You could indeed seek an abatement of rent, compensation for damaged property, other expenses, and compensation generally. The key of course, is to collect solid evidence of the problem, the mold problems, proof of your complaints to the landlord, the mold testing, photographs, and evidence generally about the condition of the house. For example, get the City or township into the premises to inspect the place in accordance with their property standards bylaw. Given the comments of the inspector you had in, perhaps contact the health department and ask if they would inspect the place as well. These reports can be valuable evidence in proving the condition of the premises.

      Then you need evidence of your losses and evidence of the effect of the condition of the premises on your quality of life, use of the premises and on your health. You need this evidence to establish the extent of your losses. You need this evidence to also link to the condition of the premises--i.e. be able to show that the evidence of your losses is tied causally to the condition of the premises which condition reflects non-repair and a breach of the landlord's obligations.

      The Residential Tenancies Act has a one year limitation period to file before the Board. If you plan to take your case to the Board you need to act soon as the passage of time extinguishes your claims.

      Another thought and consideration is that you are describing person health affects from living in the premises. Query the extent of the health problems that you are suffering. It is possible that a claim against the landlord for damage to your health will far exceed the jurisdiction of the Landlord and Tenant Board. Depending on reports and investigations from medical professionals---i.e. what they say about your health due to mold exposure, your claim may be more appropriately made in the Superior Court of Justice. If your claim is more appropriately in the Superior Court then you should not file a claim with the Landlord and Tenant Board. Filing with the Landlord and Tenant Board may take away your right to sue in the Superior Court based on the same facts and issues that are raised in a Landlord and Tenant Board application.

      The facts you describe are complicated. You should see a lawyer or paralegal, if even just for a consult, to lay out the evidence you have, the impact of all of this on you, and discuss what your options are. You certainly don't have to pursue a big claim but you should know all of your options before deciding on how to proceed. In speaking with lawyers you will note that there is a big emphasis on not giving up rights before you know the full extent of the issues (i.e. health problems) that you are suffering. I expect that any lawyer you would consult would ask you whether you had a good conversation with your doctor, whether testing was done, and whether your doctor and you are satisfied that the implications of the mold exposure are fully known.


      Good luck to you.

      Michael Thiele
      www.ottawalawyers.com

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  5. Great article - I hope that you can provide some urgent guidance on a situation. Last Wednesday, septic waste backed up into house and overflowed onto bathroom floor and down into heating vent. Landlord had been advised of slow drainage the previous Sunday. They called insurance and the adjuster came and said it was category III waste and that it was an emergency situation, walls need to be cut to 12 inches, baseboards and floor replaced, heating system assessed given the amount that went down the vent.

    Landlord's brother came and told him they would not be filing a claim, but would deal with it themselves. I cannot begin to describe the horror of the job that they did - and how many ways it defies every piece of guidance available on how to manage sewage back flow.

    I have told them that it must be dealt with properly. Bathroom still smells like an outhouse and today when they took the baseboard off, surprise surprise - it is still soaked, as was the drywall behind it. The landlord tells me that the problem is that if they start to tear apart the bathroom, they will have to tear the whole house down and then I won't have anywhere to live because of vermiculite.

    Please tell me that it is possible for specialists to do work in a contained area in a way that does not require the entire house to be taken down?

    Here is a fun fact for you - if you call the Landlord Tenant Board with an emergency, they advise to call the Municipality's Property Standards to report and have them assess. Did you know that in the City of Ottawa, the ONLY thing they respond to as an emergency vis a vis Landlord and Tenant situations is a lack of heat? That raw sewage Category III waste will be prioritized, but not considered an emergency?

    I just don't know what to do. We won't go near the washroom that they claim to have cleaned properly. My home smells like an outhouse. I have two dogs so finding an alternate living arrangement on short notice is not an easy task. I've lost two days of work (I work from home - which also contributes to the frustrations). Taking more time from work to pack a 3000 sq ft house and move is not going to be easy. If I find accommodations and hire full movers/packers - is that a cost that could likely be recovered?

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    1. Hi: I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, I can't answer your question about the repair work and the extent required. The notion that a house would need to be entirely torn down to fix a bathroom sounds exceedingly farfetched. It seems that the insurer was prepared to do the work and mentioned nothing about tearing the house down. The route to go is the one you have already identified. Call property standards, get them in, they can make an Order. If the landlord is unwilling to do anything and the property standards orders the work to be done or determines that the premises are not habitable then you have the basis to seek an order terminating your tenancy. You can claim moving costs and expenses if you can link the expenses to the landlord's breach of his obligations under the RTA (repair and maintenance is a landlord obligation).

      Good luck

      Michael K. E. Thiele

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  6. I have a lot of leakage coming from my roof and they said they had fixed this 4 times now yet my ceiling is now falling apart in my closet and drooping down in the bathroom with a bunch of black mould growing around it all how do i go around getting them to fix this.

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    1. Hi: Given the obvious damage one would expect that the landlord would be on top of this with a simple phone call? If that is not the case and the landlord simply doesn't care (or seem care), I would recommend contacting the Property Standards Department of you town, city, township and ask them to send an inspector to have orders made to repair the property. If that is unsuccessful, then take a look at the T6 application, available on the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board website. It is a maintenance application that you can file requiring the landlord to do the repairs. There are a few different kinds of orders you can ask for, including an abatement of rent. Depending on the extent of the issues you may also want to combine the T6 with a T2 application (likely worth doing) which is a tenant's rights application. The trick for you will be to collect solid evidence of the problem (pictures and videos) and provide proof of notifying the landlord of the continued issues. If you have suffered losses ( to property?) you will need evidence of what was lost and the value or replacement cost of those items.

      Good luck to you.

      Michael K. E. Thiele
      www.ottawalawyers.com

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  7. Are the laws different concerning low income housing?

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    1. Hi: In Ontario the courts have been clear that tenants in low income housing have the same rights as tenants in other rental housing. You have the same right to expect repair and maintenance of the rental unit as in any other rental unit.

      There is an exception of course. The RTA does not apply identically to tenants in low income housing in relation to rent and in relation to transferring a rental unit through assignment or sublet. The rent rules are different because you are normally dealing with subsidies so the rent goes up and down more.

      If there is something specific you were wondering feel free to ask.

      Michael K. E. Thiele
      www.ottawalawyers.com

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  8. JoAnne July 11 2016
    Tomorrow my landlord is coming for another years worth of post dated cheques. This will be my third year in this duplex. The attic is full of mold. I can get copies of e-mailed complaints and pictures of damage to some property a lot I just took to the dump.My landlord contacted a building inspector last year who came in and found the source of the mold in the attic. Although my landlord put a new roof on before renting he failed to clean the mess underneath.The building inspector recommended what he called a dry ice removal. A few days later my landlord contacted me and told me he was bringing in a specialist...ha ha. This guy knew he was checking the attic and could not produce a business card telling me the mold was my fault because I'm not getting enough air circulation and I have too much 'stuff' and that the mold in the attic was harmless and in his word 'inactive'.I am 63 and in ill health and my 22 yr. old son lives with me. I have been looking for almost a year for something we can afford that will accept pets and has some sort of yard. That's the only reason I have stayed. I've build a lovely garden and grounds here. However the mold is making me sick...headaches etc I live on antihistamines we both do. Our mattress the couches everything smells musty and awful. I have pictures of black mold running up walls and across ceilings at the back of the unit in the bedrooms. I run a dehumidifier in the basement and one upstairs as well as every ceiling fan and I even bought a small ozonator. We spray then scrub with so called mold killer then paint (provided by landlord) for the ceilings They help a little but I'm paying almost a thousand a month plus utilities for what amounts to a moldy wet basement dump. I live between Mt.Brydges and Delaware Ontario. So exactly who is it I contact that will come in and inspect this property for me and make my landlord do what he is suppose to do?? I'm just running in circles here. This property has been for sale since we moved in and several times we have had to sit down the road while it's being 'shown' but I think people can smell all the mold as soon as the door is opened. I know I can. When we moved in the unit had been thoroughly dried out scrubbed sprayed and painted by the landlord after the previous tenants.As well as air fresheners cleverly stashed about.The mold started coming through the walls and ceiling abut three months later in the mid fall. Please...PLEASE tell me who it is I contact in my area to help me...thankyou so much JoAnne

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    1. Hi JoAnne: Without an address it is very difficult to know for sure. Based on your general coordinates of Mount Brydges and Delaware you could be in Strathroy-Caradoc. If so, check this link--give them a call http://www.strathroy-caradoc.ca/en/city-hall/By-laws.aspx If you're not in that township they should be able to tell you where your address is and then you can call there. It is likely easiest if you explain your problem and then ask if they have a Property Standards By-Law or something similar that allows them to inspect a property and order the owner to keep it to a certain standard.

      If you live in a location where there isn't this kind of help the Residential Tenancies Act does contain standards and a provincial inspection is possible. For this you may wish to contact a local community legal clinic---also something to ask about at the townhall, township office, library, etc.. If there is no community legal clinic then you may very well have to see if you can consult with a local lawyer--even if you pay only for a consult. A local lawyer should be able to give you the lay of the land, let you know where the Landlord and TEnant Board sits in your area and what the best course of action might be based on where you are and the services available.

      Sorry couldn't be more helpful but you're not in my neck of the woods and I haven't had any cases out your way.

      Good luck

      Michael K. E. Thiele
      www.ottawalawyers.com

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IMPORTANT NOTICE

Any answers provided are intended to reflect the Law of Ontario, Canada. The answers are not legal advice and no one should rely on the answers provided as legal advice. The answers are intended to be general information about Ontario Law and are the personal view of the author based on the limited facts provided to the author. The answers may not be legally accurate and may indeed be contrary to the law of Ontario. Answers and conclusions drawn may have been different if facts had been shared that have not been disclosed in the comment/question. This blog is intended to assist people in learning about Ontario Landlord and Tenant Law. However, if you have actual legal problems this blog should under no circumstances replace proper legal advice obtained by retaining a lawyer or licensed paralegal to advise you. Nothing in this blog, comments submitted or answers provided, gives rise to a solicitor and client relationship. Comments are published as submitted and commenters should be aware that if they identify themselves in a comment that their identity will become public upon the comment being published. Comments that have been published may be deleted upon request to the author.

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Ottawa lawyer and partner at Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP.  Graduate of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.  Called to the bar in Ontario in 1997.  Undergraduate degree at Colby College, Waterville Maine, U.S.A.