In August of 2019, Brianna Newham and her family were forced to move out of their home at the Timberlake Apartments in Altamonte Springs. She had suspected mold growth in the apartment, but as soon as it was confirmed, she and her family backed their bags and moved out.
Since their move, Newham has paid thousands of dollars in rent for an apartment that they can’t even live in. She continues to pay the rent because she fears breaking the lease.
Newham contacted a local news station for help. When a reporter told her that she’s been through a lot, she replied, “Especially just trying to live our lives, do our work, and support our family and ourselves.”
Newham claims that her children were constantly sick and that she suspected the cause was mold growth in their apartment, so she asked the managers of the apartment for help. They sent a carpet cleaning company and a technician offered to disinfect the AC vents.
A reporter asked, “Did he think you had mold in your vents?”
Newham responded by saying, “No, he didn’t think so.”
She said that she didn’t believe what the technician told her, so she hired a mold inspection company. They suggested that the AC system was contaminated by mold growth and he wanted to test the air quality in the apartment. Newham said that the apartment managers refused to allow testing.
Newham said that she couldn’t understand why the managers wouldn’t allow testing. She also said that she continued to pay the rent after the family moved out because she felt like she was trapped by the lease.
The local news station she contacted get in touch with an air quality company, who ran a series of mold tests in the apartment. The tests revealed that mold was growing inside the air vents and duts.
“Those can circulate through the house and it can make some people sick,” said an employee of the air quality testing company.
A news reporter as the air quality testing professional if he thought the apartment managers handle the situation appropriately after Newham complained.
“Absolutely not, from what I’ve seen now. This is an obvious issue that was easily identifiable by anybody trained, qualified, and licensed,” the expert said.
The news reporter spoke with management at the Timberlake Apartments to inquire about the results of the mold test.
When the manager was asked if he could really ban renters from having the air quality in their own units tested, the manager said, “I really don’t want to answer at this point”.
Timberlake’s corporate office said that it sent a certified mold remediation company to test the apartment and that no mold was found and air duct cleaning was offered.
Mold Inspection & Testing Orlando has vast experience performing mold tests in the city. We strongly urge Timberlake Apartments to arrange for regular mold testing to ensure the safety of their residents. To speak with an MI&T representative, call 321.236.0087.