Although there are certain exceptions, the safety and maintenance of a property is shouldered by the landlord or property owner. They have the responsibility to adhere to rules and regulations put on building codes, city or state ordinances and statutes. If you ask a Tennessee personal injury lawyer, you will likely hear that generally, the landowner has the power and authority over their property, and thus can be held liable to any damages or injuries that may occur within their property.
There are certain states or cities that do not have definitive laws regarding mold infestation, but this does not necessarily rule out their responsibility of repairing and maintaining the safety of the property. All the states in the US (except Arkansas) require landlords to be responsible in keeping up a fit and livable housing and fixing any issues on their rental property. These responsibilities include (but are not limited to) repairing broken or leaking pipes, roofs, windows, known causes of molds. If you can prove in court and to the judge (or jury) that the mold infestation was significant enough to have caused health problems, you may be able to hold the property owner or landlord liable, especially if he did not take any action to fix the leaks which lead to the growth of the molds.
One of the ways that the landlord is free from any responsibility is when the mold growth results from your own behavior – if you failed in keeping your own apartment or area clean and created an environment conducive for the growth and spread of molds, then the landlord will not be held liable. A personal injury claim will only be accepted if the injury or damage was a direct cause of another person’s negligence or carelessness.
When trying to rent a property, make sure that clauses in the agreement will not remove their liability from mold infestations. In fact, one court in Tennessee has already banned this type of clause, stating that doing so would be a violation of public policy. The only way to avoid any damages and injury claims on bases of mold infestation is by having shared responsibility with your landlord: he or she has to ensure that the property is properly maintained, and you have to make sure you prevent any factor that can contribute to mold growth as well as to report any infestation or property issues in order for the landlord to take action.