As soon as Christine LeClaire moved into her new Christiansburg rental home, she said that she stared to develop concerning symptoms. Her symptoms included a runny nose, itchy eyes, a sore throat, chronic and severe headaches, and more. LeClaire also said that she developed a nosebleed the first day she was in her new rental home.
LeClaire leased the house, a 1,716-square-foot rental on Plateau Drive, sight-unseen. She was moving from Las Vegas to the New River Valley area to begin a doctoral program in business with a concentration in hospitality and tourism management at Virginia Tech.
She claimed that she immediately noticed a sour scent when she first entered the house. Two days later, LeClair said that she discovered water damage underneath the kitchen sink. Mold thrives in moist locations, so it’s no surprise that water damage can spark potentially toxic mold growth, and according to LeClaire, parts of the cabinet underneath the sink were covered with black mold.
After making the grim discovery, LeClaire decided to learn all that she could about the possible health effects of indoor mold. She found tons of information from viable sources, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She also found a fact sheet that was published by the Virginia Cooperative Extension. The fact sheet stated that people have different sensitivity levels to different types of mold, and that exposure to mold can irritate the nose, eyes, and airways.
LeClaire also researched Virginia state law to determine the obligations of landlords when mold is found to be growing in rental properties. She was curious what landlords in a humid climate – like the new one she was living in –knew about indoor mold growth and their responsibilities to tenants if mold is present in their rental properties.
After conducting extensive research, LeClair contacted a local mold inspection company and he performed a visual inspection of her rental home. The inspection confirmed the presence of mold growth, though the inspector did not determine the type or the extent.
After the inspection, LeClaire contacted her landlord, TNT Flinchum Property Management, to let them know that mold was found in her house.
A few weeks after moving in, LeClaire’s symptoms worsened and she was forced to seek medical attention at the emergency room at LewisGale Hospital. The doctor who treated her advised her that she should not remain in the rental house.
After her ER visit, LeClaire stayed in hotel for five days until she could find a new home. She was able to lease a townhouse from a different landlord. The landlord of the mold-infested property did not return her calls, so she filed a complaint with the Montgomery County Department of Building Inspections, who inspected the rental house. It was determined that there was extensive water damage and high levels of mold contamination.
Mold Testing & Inspection Charlottesville has years of experience performing mold inspections in rental properties. We strongly recommend that landlords have their rental properties inspected for mold on a regular basis to ensure the safety of their tenants. To speak with an MI&T representative, please call 434.463.8732.