Mold Addendum

Last Updated: October 16, 2023 by Roberto Valenzuela

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A Mold Addendum is a contract added to a Lease Agreement that establishes certain requirements for tenants to prevent and report the growth of mold on rental property. It also confirms the landlord has inspected the rental property for mold before move-in.

Why Use a Mold Addendum?

Mold Addendums are useful for landlords because they:

  • Enact a Plan To Reduce Possible Mold Growth – A Mold Addendum mandates certain precautions and maintenance to reduce the chance of mold growth.
  • Specify Responsibility and Liability – An addendum specifies the tenant’s responsibility and liability for damages if their negligence is the cause of mold growth.
  • Protect the Tenant’s Health – A clear plan for inspection and treatment of mold helps keep tenants safe in the event of any issues.
  • Reassure the Tenant – An addendum usually specifies the property is inspected for mold and establishes a specific treatment policy.
  • Avoid Future Costs – Helps avoid unnecessary costs by ensuring that any problems are addressed in a prompt and transparent way that is clear and requires no litigation.

Overall, a Mold Addendum should help keep the tenants healthy, reduce costs and liability, and resolve disputes.

Important Terms To Include in a Mold Addendum

While a Mold Addendum is often a standardized form with set clauses, a landlord and tenant can agree to any set of standards as long as they cover the most important terms. These are:

  • Tenant Duty of Care – Specifies the tenant’s responsibility to keep property free of dirt, clutter, and any dampness that might encourage mold growth, including reasonable care to prevent water intrusion.
  • Tenant Duty To Report – Clarifies that the tenant is responsible for noticing any mold issues, and for immediately reporting them to the landlord.
  • Duties of Treatment – Allocates responsibility for treating mold issues. It’s common to require the landlord to handle the details of treatment, even if the tenant gets billed afterward for costs.
  • Indemnification – Makes the tenant responsible for costs that result from mold growth, including related lawsuits. (Depending on the state warranty of habitability, sometimes the landlord can only make the tenant pay for mold caused by the tenant’s own deliberate or negligent misconduct. This may indicate the need for a severability clause, if appropriate.)
  • Violations – A clause about violations usually specifies that breaking the terms of the Mold Addendum is equivalent to violating the lease.

Preventing Mold

Beyond a Mold Addendum, a landlord can take certain additional steps to help prevent mold growth.

  • Periodic Landlord Inspections – Periodic inspections let a landlord monitor for signs of mold growth or excess moisture, and check the property’s lighting and ventilation.
  • Providing the Tenant with Mold Prevention Instructions – In addition to a Mold Addendum, a landlord can provide additional instructions on preventing mold. This can include general cleaning and prevention tips as well as guidance (such as providing pictures) on spotting mold growth.
  • Maintaining the Property – Other than having a careful and responsible tenant, the best way to prevent mold is to keep the property in good general repair. Mold is much less common on weatherproofed property that’s properly ventilated and in good structural condition.