Mold in Rentals: Landlord Liability, Responsibility, and Prevention 

Mold in rentals is a big concern for both landlords and tenants. It can cause serious health problems and damage to property if not properly managed. If you are a landlord, you must know your responsibilities and take proactive steps to prevent mold from becoming an issue.

Landlord Liability and Responsibility

Habitability Standards

In Arizona, landlords are required by law to ensure that rental properties are fit for human habitation. This means the property must be safe, clean, and free from health hazards, including mold. According to Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 33-1324, landlords must maintain the premises in a habitable condition. The plumbing, heating, and air conditioning systems must work properly to prevent mold growth.

For example, if a tenant reports a leak under the kitchen sink, the landlord must fix it promptly. Ignoring the leak could lead to mold growth, making the property uninhabitable and putting the landlord at risk of legal action.

Disclosure Requirements for Mold in Rentals

In some states, landlords must inform tenants if there is a known mold problem before they move in. While Arizona does not have a specific statute requiring mold disclosure, it’s good practice to be transparent with tenants about any past or present mold issues. This helps build trust and avoid potential legal disputes.

For instance, if a landlord knows there was a mold problem in the bathroom last year, they should inform new tenants and show proof that the issue was resolved.

Repair and Maintenance

Landlords are responsible for making necessary repairs to prevent mold. This includes fixing leaks, maintaining the roof and gutters, and ensuring proper ventilation. According to A.R.S. § 33-1324, landlords must keep the property in a condition that is fit and safe.

Hence, if the roof leaks, the landlord must repair it quickly to prevent water from seeping into the walls and causing mold.

Liability for Health Issues Caused by Mold in Rentals

  • Tenant Health If tenants suffer health problems due to mold and the landlord fails to address the issue after being notified, the landlord could be held liable. Tenants might seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. For example, a tenant develops asthma symptoms due to mold exposure in the apartment. If they had informed the landlord about the mold and nothing was done, the landlord could be held responsible for the tenant’s medical bills.
  • Legal Actions Tenants can take legal action if landlords don’t address mold problems. This might include breaking the lease without penalty or suing for damages. Therefore, if a landlord ignores repeated complaints about mold, the tenant might move out. He/she may also sue the landlord for the costs of relocating and any health issues caused by the mold.


Prevention Strategies for Mold in Rentals

Regular Inspections

Regular inspections can help identify and address potential mold-friendly conditions, like leaks and poor ventilation. Landlords should inspect the property at least once a year and after severe weather.

Maintenance and Repairs

Timely maintenance and repairs are a must to prevent mold in rentals. This includes fixing plumbing issues, maintaining the roof, and ensuring the HVAC system works properly.


Proper ventilation is key to preventing mold, especially in areas prone to moisture like bathrooms and kitchens. Installing exhaust fans and encouraging tenants to use them can help.

Education and Communication

Educating tenants about mold prevention is important. Landlords should provide information on how to prevent mold and encourage tenants to report any issues immediately.

Moisture Control

Using moisture barriers and waterproofing materials can also help prevent mold. Landlords should also ensure gutters and downspouts are functioning properly to direct water away from the building.


Remediation Steps for Mold in Rentals

Professional Mold Remediation

If mold is discovered, it’s often best to hire professional mold remediation services. Professionals have the tools and expertise to properly address the issue and prevent recurrence.

Temporary Relocation

If mold remediation requires extensive work, landlords might need to temporarily relocate tenants to ensure their health and safety during the process.


Keep detailed records of all maintenance, repairs, and communications with tenants regarding mold issues. This can help protect landlords in case of legal disputes.


Landlords have a legal and ethical responsibility to ensure rental properties are safe and habitable, including being free from mold. By implementing regular maintenance, timely repairs, proper ventilation, and educating tenants, landlords can prevent mold growth and avoid potential legal and health issues. By understanding and addressing mold issues proactively, landlords can provide a safe living environment for their tenants and avoid legal troubles.