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Mold Problem/Legal Recourse?

Posted by Shara on June 06, 2001 at 01:35:27:

We live in Queens, NY, in a rent-stabilized apartment in a building with probably 100 tenants or so. I'm not sure when it was built.

We have had a problem with recurring mold growth both inside and outside the vents in our kitchen (we moved in last October). The super has cleaned the vent a couple of times, but it keeps coming back (thick, furry and disgusting -- and right above our stovetop!) and he tells me that there is nothing we can do to stop it. The handyman told me that it is probably due to people cooking below us (which, from my perspective, implies inadequate ventilation), and we should just clean it, periodically, ourselves.

I know that household mold has been linked to a number of health problems. I, despite treatment, have had almost chronic sinus and respiratory symptoms, as well as frequent headaches and fatigue since December. I can't prove that it is definitively because of the mold, but I do strongly suspect that the mold has exacerbated/prolonged my symptoms.

I am planning to send a letter to the landlord demanding that whatever problem is underlying the recurring mold growth be investigated and resolved immediately -- but I'm wondering what my options are in case the landlord is as negligent as our super.

Do I contact the health department? If necessary, do I have any legal recourse, given that mold growth is a known health hazard?


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