Renters, Landlords, and Mold


Mold problems in buildings are a result of water and moisture problems. Renters need to operate the heating and ventilation systems to reduce water condensation. Renters need to notify landlords promptly, in writing, of any water leaks or moisture problems. If there is a water leak or moisture problem, it should be fixed by the landlord. Your local building and code enforcement official may take action if building problems are not addressed - they won't respond to mold complaints, so it's important to stress the source of the water problem.

If you rent your home, you are covered by the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act. Understanding your rights and responsibilities as a renter can help you resolve problems. For informational recordings on residential landlord-tenant matters, call the State Attorney General's Office Consumerline at 1-800-692-5082, option 8.


Landlords are responsible for maintaining rental units, including fixing building problems such as water leaks and ventilation or heating defects which may lead to moisture problems. Landlords must notify their tenants about the health hazards associated with exposure to indoor mold and ways to control mold growth in their dwelling units. Posting this information in a visible, public location at the dwelling unit property is allowed. The following materials can fulfill the notification requirements:

Mold Guidance

Mold Guidance for Tenants and Landlords, Northwest Clean Air Agency - Understand why mold problems start and who's responsible for fixing the problem.

Resources for Resolving Problems

Landlord-Tenant, State Attorney General's Office - Tenant help resources, including legal advice.

Northwest Justice Project - Free legal assistance and representation to low-income people.

Solid Ground Tenant Services - Housing counseling services, best practices, and frequently asked question about landlord-tenant laws to help tenants understand their rights and responsibilities as a renter.

Washington Law Help - Housing - Resources on tenant rights and landlord repair and maintenance responsibilities. Materials in multiple languages.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) - Federal HUD rental housing contacts.

Dispute Resolution Centers, Resolution Washington - Use a neutral third-party mediator to resolve conflicts. Mediation is faster, cheaper, and often more effective than going to court.

Content Source: Indoor Air Quality Program