While Georgia does not have a specific law that addresses specific landlord obligations or liability in relation to mold, landlords are required by law to maintain and repair the facilities, as well as to the “implicit guarantee of habitability”, which means that they must provide tenants with a habitable residence. There is no federal or Georgia law that establishes the permitted levels of indoor mold. Local laws may exist, but state environmental officials say that these codes generally do not contain or enforce mold regulations. The Environmental Health Section of the Department of Public Health serves as a resource for sharing educational information on indoor air quality (IAQ) published by renowned professional associations, academic institutions, and government organizations.
IAQ is not a regulated program and the branch office does not offer any specific services related to indoor mold growth. Mold inspection, testing, or remediation practices have no applicable state or federal regulations. Georgia's landlord and tenant laws regarding mold do not currently exist. There are no state or federal laws or regulations that require landlords to clean up mold on a rental property.
Landlords have a responsibility to keep the tenant's home safe and livable. According to NOLO, currently, no federal law covers the landlord's responsibilities when it comes to mold. We've prepared a comprehensive resource that will provide tenants and landlords with valuable information to understand why mold is harmful, how to recognize mold in a home, and how best to eliminate and prevent mold. However, tenants who believe that they have been harmed by the presence of high concentrations of mold in their apartment can try to recover damages from the landlord in court to compensate them for their loss.
Medical News Today continues to explain that there is no evidence that any type of mold causes health conditions such as lung disease or cancer. Symptoms of inhaling mold spores include, but are not limited to, sneezing, runny nose, irritated eyes, skin rashes, and severe asthma attacks. NOLO goes on to explain that, across the country, tenants have won multimillion-dollar cases against landlords for notable health problems due to the suspicion of “toxic mold” in their homes. Tenants who find mold in their homes don't have a safety net in the Atlanta metropolitan area and elsewhere in Georgia, putting them and their children at risk of chronic respiratory problems, infections and missing school days.
Some molds cause serious health problems, especially in young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems. Courts have recognized two common self-help legal strategies that some tenants choose to follow after a mold outbreak in their rental apartment or home. Most landlords want to provide a safe and livable home for their tenants and will take the necessary steps to help alleviate the mold problem. Unfortunately, not all mold is visible and can be hidden or covered in areas such as a vent, under a refrigerator, radiator, or sink, under the floor or ceiling, or behind a wall.
The best scenario for treating mold is to be proactive in preventing mold, maintaining a rent and keeping the property in good condition. Tenants have the same responsibility to keep mold under control as the landlord and may be held responsible in the event of mold for their negligent behavior. Visit the Georgia Division of Public Health to learn more about mold and what you can do to protect yourself.