Engage Members in Mold Prevention in Community
Mold in any property can present multiple serious health issues. It has been a controversial issue at residential properties in particular, because it can cause serious health problems and be expensive to remediate. Mold prevention techniques and effective remediation of existing mold should be high on your list of maintenance and safety concerns. But perhaps the biggest concern for the community association is the issue of responsibility for mold-related problems.
It’s not uncommon for a member who finds mold in his unit to claim that the mold has caused health problems. And that member could threaten to sue the association for damages. If your association’s governing documents have a clause that provides that the association isn’t liable to any member for damage or injury resulting from a leak—with water damage being a cause of mold—you might think that you’re off the hook for damages. But in some cases, associations are liable for members’ mold-related injuries notwithstanding the clause.
Aside from protections in your governing documents, you can also preempt mold issues by asking members to perform simple maintenance tasks. This doesn’t have to be complicated. Members can do their part to ensure that rainwater drains properly from their windows, outdoor balconies, or patios. Because they’re in their units on a daily basis, they have the first opportunity to stop a mold problem before it gets out of hand. It’s important for them to know that they can prevent mold problems using simple maintenance tasks. This should bring peace of mind to the association and homeowners.
For more ways to avoid mold claims altogether and a Model Letter with specific maintenance tasks you should ask your members to perform, see “Take Steps to Protect Association from Mold Claims, Lawsuits,” available to subscribers here.