Mold testing for Washington, DC, rental properties is now a very real legal consideration for landlords with multi-unit rental properties in the District of Columbia.
The D.C. Council unanimously passed The Air Quality Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-365) to address growing controversy over the dangerous and expensive damage a severe mold outbreak can quickly cause. This legislation closes a serious legal loophole regarding responsibility for monitoring, managing, and treating mold in rental housing in the District.
When it comes to mold inspection and mold testing in Washington, D.C., the law establishes The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) as the managing authority to establish a licensing and accreditation program for professional mold contractors, along with minimum mold work practice standards and guidelines.
From landlord disclosure of mold conditions to the 30 day time limit a landlord has to remedy mold contamination, the law is designed to ensure Washington, D.C., tenants are living in a mold and contaminate-free environment. The first step to assessing and treating a mold outbreak is mold testing in Washington, D.C.
While we often associate mold growth with old, dank, moist basements and bathrooms, modern research has shown this to be in error. In fact:
- Energy-efficient construction techniques and “whole-building” engineering practices have created the perfect environment to incubate mold spores.
- Scientific findings and statements regarding the causal link between mold and certain upper-respiratory, nervous system, and immune response conditions have elevated public awareness.
- Recent multimillion-dollar court settlements place mold in the same legal category as asbestos, lead, and other potential toxic and damaging environmental threats.
We now know that, depending on DNA and the environment, mold affects different people on different levels – as an allergen, infectious agent, irritant, and a toxin. But most states are slow to legislate the ubiquitous issue of mold in indoor spaces. When it comes to mold testing in Washington, D.C., most players involved would agree – the District sits poised on the cutting edge of mold legislation in this country. Stay tuned for updates.