Picture this scenario: One of your neighbors in the building is doing some serious renovation to their unit just to update their place. Beyond all the hammers and nails that you hear from the opposite side of the wall, one thing that you cannot help but notice is that there have been some weird water marks appearing on your drywall. Now, those marks are being accompanied by a mold-like growth. As it turns out, when your neighbor was redoing their kitchen, they installed the sink incorrectly, and it’s resulted in water damage and mold growth into your unit.
It’s obviously crucial to have the damage repaired and the mold remediated in order to avoid more significant structural issues and health consequences, but who is supposed to pay for it in such a situation? The landlord? Your renter’s insurance? Your neighbor?
The answer isn’t so cut and dry, and things may not always lead to a favorable outcome. But largely, who is responsible for the cost of damage in a situation such as this depends on who was responsible for the damage in the first place. For example, if a contractor installed the sink that led to the water damage and the mold growth, that contractor’s insurance would cover the damages. If it was the apartment resident that was responsible for the damages, then that’s who is on the hook. If they don’t take responsibility, then that’s where you should get management involved with settling the dispute.
Here’s some tips for renters that come across mold growth they weren’t responsible for:
Contact your insurance agent and have them get in touch with your neighbor’s insurance company. Often times, this is all it takes to accelerate the process.
If the mold remediation costs exceed that of what their insurance covers, your neighbor will be on the hook to pay for the remainder out of pocket. Involve management if they do not agree to pay for it.
Check your mold insurance limits in your renter’s policy. You never don’t want to be covered for something as serious as mold. Many recommend making sure any policy has more than just the minimum coverage amounts.
Just communicate: Hopefully you already know your neighbors. If you don’t, get to know them. Communication is key when it comes to something like resolving mold growth in an apartment building without making the process more complicated than it needs to be.