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No Idaho law to stop mold

Each week, Boise State student Katy Hudson and her husband are forced to bleach and wipe down the walls of their apartment in order to prevent large pockets of mold from forming.

“We just have mold everywhere,” Hudson said. “Now we have to use this special mold spray that doesn’t smell super great.”

Hudson contacted her property management company about the problem, only to be told leaky windows and construction material was to blame.

“They said that since it’s a brick building, that’s how it’s going to be. We kind of think they are full of it,” Hudson said.

After several failed phone calls to the property management company to have mold outbreaks addressed, Hudson and her husband decided to throw in the towel.

“We were really aggressive about it at first and they kept telling us ‘Nope, that’s just how the windows work, that’s just how brick is,’” Hudson said.

Unfortunately for Hudson and those facing similar circumstances, provisions requiring landlords and property management companies to address mold problems aren’t found in Idaho’s law books.

“When it comes to things like toxic mold or a mold invasion, that’s not in there,” said Idaho Deputy Attorney General Stephanie Guyon.

State laws require property owners to repair damages to basic infrastructure that threaten tenant safety.

“The list in that statute is fairly specific, things like plumbing, wiring, tampering with smoke alarms, that kind of stuff,” Guyon said.

Tenants who feel landlords are not maintaining adequate living conditions can attempt to have their way in court.

“The tenant certainly could try that. They could do the three day notice to the landlord and if the problem isn’t taken care of, then they can go to court,” Guyon said. “Whether or not they will be successful, that’s another matter.”

Guyon said Idahoans frequently contact the Office of the Attorney General with questions regarding mold outbreak and damage, but without laws to ensure the issue is addressed, tenants are left with few options.

“It’s an unfortunate situation for a lot of Idahoans,” Guyon said.

According to the Center for Disease Control’s website, there is “sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough and wheeze in otherwise healthy people.”

Hudson said she and her husband have experienced frequent coughing and respiratory issues but aren’t sure if indoor mold is to blame.

“Both of us have been sick and have had coughs but it’s hard to say it’s definitely because of the mold,” Hudson said.

As for now, Hudson is too busy and broke to take her property management company to court to have the mold issue fixed.

Since Hudson and her husband have a few months left on their lease, they have decided to wait it out and prevent potential tenants from considering the space.

“We might try to put up fliers to warn people not to rent from them,” Hudson said.

About Ryan Thorne (0 Articles)
Ryan Thorne was born and raised in the beautiful city of Twin Falls, Idaho. He now lives in Boise where he enjoys being a student at Boise State University. As the Investigative News editor, Thorne is always hot on the trail of the next big story. In his free time, he can be found playing the guitar, reading, or exploring scenic outdoor Idaho. Follow him on Twitter @ryanthorne86 or friend him on Facebook.
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2 Comments on No Idaho law to stop mold

  1. Katy and her husband should contact Idaho Legal Aid Services. ILAS provides free legal services for qualifying individuals for a number of civil legal issues – including landlord/tenant issues. ILAS may be able to assist the Hudsons terminate their lease.

  2. <div class="idc-message" id="idc-comment-msg-div-890733039"><a class="idc-close" title="Click to Close Message" href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(890733039)"><span>Close Message</span> Comment posted. <p class="idc-nomargin"><a class="idc-share-facebook" target="_new" href="; style="text-decoration: none;"><span class="idc-share-inner"><span>Share on Facebook</span></span> or <a href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(890733039)">Close Messageit is more than unfortunate. it's killing people and idaho legal aid doesn't deal with mold or landlords anymore. i was exposed to toxic mold for 7 years, i had several water damage issues that were never addressed by my landlord other than to send a plumber out. it turned out it had nothing to do with plumbing, it had to do with a crappy shower enclosure in the apartment above me where water was running behind the wall and literally pouring water into my bathroom. the ceiling and walls were mushy and i suspected that there had been water issues in that apartment before i ever moved in. there was mold around the carpet in the bathroom (real smart) and i started getting sick after about 6 month in there and no one could figure out what was wrong with me. my cats died, my hair fell out in handfulls, i have lung damage, a full body fungal infection, memory loss, eye problems, i had to throw away thousands of dollars worth of clothes and furniture and artwork. i have tried to get someone to help me and it's a nightmare. i know it was mold that made me sick, i had a home inspector come out and do testing. even after i presented that to the property management, they said i would have to move out. they should have paid for all of my stuff, they should have put me in another apartment until they fixed the one i was in, they did nothing and then had the nerve to send me a bill for carpet cleaning when the carpet was full of mold. to the people above… bleach doesn't do anything for mold. and if you are coughing, you are sick. do you realize that this stuff can kill you? and depending on how long you have lived in the toxic soup, you may have permanent damage? it can literally change your dna. i've been out of that place for 6 months and i'm still sick and can't get any help. your landlord is negligent and they are well aware that water damage creates mold and can make people very very sick and even kill them. idaho needs to pull it's head out. in the bsu area, there are a lot of "slumlords" we have students, trying to get an education that are getting sick because of mold in their crappy apartments that don't even know it. i didn't. i thought mold was just unsightly. people can't get an education or study or work when their brains and being eaten up by mycotoxins created by mold. this needs to be addressed and landlords need to be held responsible for negligence. i'm not giving up, i continue to look for someone to help me. i have all the data. don't think moving will solve your problem. also note again.. your belongings are toxic and anything that is porous, you need to get rid of because if you don't, you will cross contaminate to your next place. "unfortunate"… yes, very unfortunate that this state chooses to turn it's head on something that is so serious. it's pathetic!

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