Mold Addendum

Last Updated: January 23, 2023 by Robert Bailey

A Mold Addendum is a legal contract incorporated into a Lease Agreement that requires the tenant to follow certain requirements for preventing and reporting the growth of mold in their rental property. It also confirms that the landlord has inspected the rental property for mold before the tenant’s move-in date.

Why Use a Mold Addendum?

Mold growth in a rental property can cause serious health issues for a tenant and can be a costly problem for landlords to fix. Here are some specific reasons why landlords should take the presence of mold seriously and always include a detailed Mold Addendum when entering into a new lease with a tenant:

  • Reduces the Chance of Mold Growth – The growth of mold in a rental property can cause damage to the property as well as serious health concerns. A Mold Addendum requires the tenant to take certain precautions and preventative maintenance. Requiring these preventive and proactive measures can help reduce the chance of mold growth at a tenant’s rental property.
  • Specifies Responsibility and Liability – Mold can also be an expensive issue to handle. As a result, landlords must address expectations and who will be at fault if there is mold growth in a rental property. Having an addendum places the responsibility and liability for damages or lawsuits with the tenant if their negligence was the cause of the mold growth.
  • Reassures the Tenant – This addendum can also give the tenant confidence that the landlord was thorough in inspecting and making sure that there was no mold present before leasing the property to them. It also reassures the tenant that there is a policy in place to take care of any potential mold growth.

Landlords need to remember that they also have a responsibility to prevent and take care of mold growth. Most states have laws that require landlords to provide tenants with a safe and livable home (known as the implied warranty of habitability).

If it’s the landlord’s neglect or actions that cause a mold problem or they fail to remedy mold growth, a landlord may violate state law. Depending on the state, a tenant may be able to:

  • Withhold their rent
  • Pay to remove the mold growth and deduct the cost from their rent
  • Terminate the lease
  • Sue the landlord

What to Include in a Mold Addendum

A Mold Addendum does not stand on its own. Rather, it becomes a part of and is incorporated into a lease agreement. This addendum should focus on the prevention and handling mold and include the following:

  1. Type of Addendum – The heading and opening should state that this is a Mold Addendum
  2. The date the addendum is being signed and goes into effect
  3. Landlord’s name
  4. Landlord’s business address
  5. Tenant’s name
  6. Tenant’s rental property address
  7. Date of the original lease agreement
  8. Introductory information about the addendum and the original lease agreement it is incorporating
  9. Landlord Affirmation – This section confirms that the landlord inspected the rental property, and they did not find any mold, mildew, or other types of fungal growth
  10. Presence of Mold – In this section, both parties acknowledge that it is impossible to completely eliminate potential mold growth. This section also provides examples of what types of things can lead to mold growth
  11. Tenant Agreement – This section is an acknowledgment by the tenant that they will take certain actions to prevent the growth of mold such as eliminating sources that produce excess moisture and continually monitoring for the presence of mold
  12. Mold Prevention Requirements – This section provides specific steps the tenant is required to take to prevent mold growth. The list includes the following:
    1. Clean the bathroom, kitchen surfaces, and walls
    2. Use fans in the bathroom, kitchen, and whenever water is being used
    3. Clean and dry any visible moisture in the rental property
    4. Close windows to prevent water from getting into the rental property
    5. Open windows for cross ventilation
    6. Provide adequate space between furniture and walls
    7. Properly operate the heating and cooling syste,
  13. Tenant’s Duty to Report – In this section, the tenant agrees to immediately notify the landlord if mold is found, if an item designed to prevent mold stops working, or if there is any circumstance involving excess moisture or water leakage
  14. Landlord Access – In this section, the tenant agrees to allow access to the landlord and a professional mold removal company if mold is discovered
  15. Cooperation. This section requires the tenant to cooperate with all requirements for getting rid of mold. This could include temporary evacuation and certain post-treatment requirements to help prevent future mold growth
  16. Renter’s Insurance – The tenant is notified in this section that the landlord is not responsible for any loss of personal property as a result of mold growth. The tenant is instructed to make sure they have the appropriate renter’s insurance to cover any loss or damage to personal property as a result of any mold growth
  17. Violations – This section notes that a violation of this addendum is a violation of the entire lease agreement. That means, if there is a violation of this addendum, the landlord can take any actions authorized in the lease agreement for violations, including eviction and payment for damages
  18. Indemnification – For this section, the tenant explicitly agrees to be responsible for any costs or damages, including any potential lawsuits, that result from mold growth.
  19. Governing Law – The law governing the lease agreement will also apply to this addendum
  20. Landlord’s signature and date
  21. Tenant’s signature and date

This addendum may need to be modified depending on any specific situations for a landlord’s rental property and any state or local laws. For instance, some states require landlords to provide new tenants with a mold disclosure. Landlords need to ensure that this addendum and any actions taken to address mold are in full compliance with these laws.

Just like with the original lease agreement, both parties should have a signed copy of this addendum. The addendum is part of the lease agreement and should be kept with it. If a tenant refuses to sign this addendum with the original lease agreement a landlord can deny renting to them.

Tips to Help Prevent Mold

Beyond providing a thorough addendum, a landlord can take certain additional steps to help prevent mold growth.

  • Periodic Landlord Inspections – By conducting periodic inspections, the landlord can monitor the state of the property. Specifically, the landlord can use this inspection to ensure there are no signs of mold growth or excess moisture. The landlord can also check that important mold prevention items such as exhaust fans are working properly.
  • Provide Tenant with Mold Prevention Instructions – In addition to the addendum, a landlord can provide tenants with additional instructions on preventing mold. This can include general cleaning tips to prevent mold as well as how to spot mold growth. These instructions should also include pictures to help identify mold, signs of mold growth, and basic prevention tips such as drying wet clothes and watering plants outdoors.
  • Maintain the Integrity of the Property – A landlord can help prevent instances of mold by maintaining the integrity of the property. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring that essential parts of the property such as the roof, plumbing, and windows are in good working condition.