New legislation has been introduced by North Carolina lawmakers concerning health hazards in rental properties. The legislation, if passed, would allow local governments the power to better handle health hazards in apartments and other rental properties; particularly mold.
House Bill 102 allows local governments to proclaim that properties are “unsafe” when the presence of “harmful fungal growth” is found.
Introduced by Rep. Chaz Beasley and Rep. Mary Belk, House Bill 102 would grant the Department of Health and Human Services the authority to set state-wide restrictions and guidelines in regard to exposure to fungal growth that could lead to health complications. The bill would also permit local governments the use of tax dollars to conduct testing in affected properties.
According to Rep. Beasley, House Bill 102 is “About keeping families safe and making sure that people with respiratory issues and kids are not living in difficult situations where they can’t even breathe the air in their apartments.”
If passed, the bill would require that tenants let their landlords know about the presence of any obvious or apparent fungal growth within their rental property. For example, if obvious signs of mold growth have been detected, such as spots on the walls or musty odors, tenants should alert their landlords. They should also notify their landlords if they begin suffering health complications that are consistent with mold exposure; respiratory infections, chronic cough, nasal congestion, skin and eye irritation, excessive fatigue, and chronic headaches, for example.
The proposal of House Bill 102 was the direct result of a collection of investigations that were launched by a local North Carolina news network. These investigations explored the uninhabitable conditions at Lake Arbor Apartments, as well as a number of other rental properties throughout the area.
Residents of the rental properties had contacted the news agency to bring to light their complaints about indoor mold growth and the impact is was having on their health and well-being. The residents also wanted to bring to light how their landlords were responding to the problem and what type of help they were – or rather, weren’t – receiving.
According to Rep. Beasley, the bill is the perfect example of what happens when people speak up about the problems they are experiencing and when people who care actually advocate for them and give them the platform to share their stories. Beasley also added, “I know what it’s like to grow up in a home with mold. I know what it’s like to not necessarily know the dangers of growing up in a home with mold – but I also know that, many times, we as legislators get our best inspiration from other people’s stories in addition to our own.”
Mold Inspection & Testing Charlotte has years of experience conducting mold tests and assessments in rental properties throughout the city of Charlotte and the surrounding areas. To ensure the safety of
residents, all rental property owners should have their apartments tested for mold on a regular basis. To speak with an MI&T representative, please call 704.457.9255.