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Avoiding Legal Liabilities: Importance of Basic Maintenance Services and Mold Remediation for Property Owners and Landlords in the Rental Industry

Property owners and landlords in every state are required to provide basic maintenance services for heating and plumbing systems, ensuring clean running water, and maintaining the structural integrity of rental units. Neglecting any of these areas can lead to legal liability, obstacles for property managers, and severe health issues for tenants. Monica Gilroy, a real estate lawyer and founding principal of The Gilroy Firm in Atlanta, emphasizes the importance of adhering to these requirements to avoid legal issues.

Gilroy recently discussed ways to reduce risks associated with lead-based paint and mold with property managers. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed an update to the rule in July that requires property managers to hire certified professionals for repair, renovation, and remediation involving lead-based paint. If implemented, property managers may need certification for dealing with lead-based paint repair and remediation. Gilroy suggests that property management firms could have one person become certified to ensure compliance.

When tenants report mold in their living space or the building, Gilroy stresses the importance of investigating the situation promptly. It is crucial to review any test results obtained by the tenant and develop a checklist and written procedures in response to mold reports. Additionally, provide clear instructions to tenants on what steps they should take if they suspect they have encountered mold.

The information provided in this content was adapted from a webinar titled “How to Avoid Legal Liabilities When Dealing with Property Owners and Investors,” which was moderated by Rental Beast, the National Association of REALTORS®’ recommended software provider in the rental industry.

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