Mold issues become personal in tenant-landlord squabble

For Morgan and Jesse Davis it is a story they say did not have a good resolution. The young couple insist they have been encountering a problem with mold in their apartment on Stonewall Avenue in Fayetteville for four months and have health concerns for their 6-month-old daughter.

Their landlord tells a different story, saying the substance looked more like mildew and that the couple might have been using their claims of mold as a reason to break the lease.

Twenty-year-old Morgan said she and 21-year-old Jesse and their 6-month-old daughter Caroline moved into the apartment on Stonewall Avenue in December. Prior to that time Morgan did a walk-through at the apartment in mid-November. It was then that she noticed what appeared to be black mold on one of the ceiling tiles over the bathtub. Morgan said she was told by the landlord that the tile and the other repair items on the list would be handled prior to their moving in.

Morgan said the work to mitigate the mold was not done when they moved in so she subsequently removed the ceiling tile and cleaned it with bleach, something she later learned does little good. Once she began looking around the apartment Morgan said she found the black substance on the wood framing surrounding the windows in others room and on the “visibly black” seal around the entry door to the apartment.

Jesse and Morgan said they sent a total of four letters to the landlord pertaining to the issue, adding that at one point they were told the issue with the ceiling tile looked like mildew and water stains. Morgan said the landlord also came to the apartment in response to her concerns.

Jesse purchased mold test kits from Lowe’s and said the substance tested positive for mold. The test results were photographed and a video was made of the tub and ceiling area.

Morgan said she called the Fayette County Health Department and was told the department had no jurisdiction in place to address the problem, a position echoed recently by Rick Fehr at Fayette Environmental Health.

Then she called the state branch of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, saying she was told that if she had a problem and to “leave the apartment and contact a lawyer.”

The main concern expressed by Jesse and Morgan dealt with what they said were health issues relating to 6-month-old Caroline.

Prior to moving into the apartment, “Caroline had nothing wrong except for one time she was constipated for several days,” Morgan said, adding that her daughter has sounded congested with coughing and sneezing since mid-December. “Since we’ve been here she’s had sinus and ear infections in both ears and she had a fever for five days in February.”

Morgan said that she and Jesse have experienced flu-like symptoms in the few months in the apartment.

“This just won’t go away. We can’t stay here,” Morgan said of the black substance that continues to reappear on the wooden window frames that surround the moist window panes. “We’re moving to live with my (relatives) at the end of the week.”

From her perspective, landlord Connie King sees things different than Jesse and Morgan. King said she visited the apartment, as did her husband and one of their repair staff.

“What I saw didn’t look like black mold spores. My husband and one of our workers checked it. It look like mildew and I suggested (using) bleach. The vent fan (in the bathroom) could also be used to mitigate the problem,” King said Tuesday.

Addressing the issue of Morgan and Jesse’s intent to move, King said she believes there is more to the story.

“It appears to me that they’re trying to find a way to break the lease,” King said. “There’s no substance to this. It’s all smoke and mirrors.”

Meantime, a check of the bathroom on a recent Monday afternoon and the location where the ceiling tile that had been removed showed a slow leak in a pipe directly above where the ceiling tile had been positioned.

Whether mold or mildew, there was also a blackish substance on a few areas above the ceiling, including on the insulation above the tiles.

And what’s the difference between mold and mildew? Both are types of fungus and both like moist areas. From a scientific point of view — and despite the common misnomer — mildew is a mold that grows only on plants and mostly outdoors, while mold grows on non-organic materials like tile and plastic and thrives both indoors and outdoors. Both can cause health problems in humans and animals.

bad_ptc
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Mrs. King, the lease is "broken" just like your plumbing
Quote:

“What I saw didn’t look like black mold spores. My husband and one of our workers checked it. It look like mildew and I suggested (using) bleach. The vent fan (in the bathroom) could also be used to mitigate the problem,” King said Tuesday.

Quote:

"mildew is a mold that grows only on plants and mostly outdoors, while mold grows on non-organic materials like tile and plastic and thrives both indoors and outdoors. Both can cause health problems in humans and animals.

Mrs. King

Be sure to forward the Davis's security deposit, in full, to their new address.

The management.

Robert W. Morgan
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So what does Rick Fehr actually do?

Any time I have seen his name in the paper it i always about him saying that nothing can be done. Is this another useless, spineless public service worker?

Fix the problem, you dork. Do something for these people. It is not their fault.

ptctaxpayer
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Have you ever even met Rick Fehr ????

C'mon Bobby, what was your problem--- a failed septic tank? Do you even know what Rick Fehr does? He and Kurbes and Fayette Health do their jobs.

Funny how now you are pleading with government to solve your problems when just a day ago, Bobby, you were complaining about PTC and their sign regulations. You said, and I quote:

"Actually dar, the number one problem in PTC is-----
is the lack of real problems causes busy-body citizens to invent imaginary problems for our busy-body politicians to regulate. Enough with the walking signs. Enough with tree removal ordinances. Enough about parking on-street (or off-street, never can remember which one they think is bad). Enough about gas golf carts. Next you are going to try and tell me what color to paint my house. Why can't you people just leave us alone? I have an idea for the city as well. Stop harassing the citizens and the businesses and go work on economic development. Or is that too complicated for you?"

What are ya gonna do if the government shuts down--- weep tears of sadness?

Bottom line--- ya can't have it both ways.

On Fehr---- the guy does his job.

PTC Observer
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Joined: 04/23/2007
What are ya gonna do?

Save money, especially if it doesn't start up again too soon.

Here's what we fund, and I am sure we have enough tax revenue to do it.

1. Law enforcement - FBI, etc.
2. The courts
3. The Military
4. The legislature (limited)
5. Limited Executive

Every thing else we shut down, and we only bring them back up if they receive specific funding by function. Let's debate them all.

I think that about covers it. Oh, and we will do just fine.

PTC Observer
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Joined: 04/23/2007
RWM - Come on

Mr. Morgan, you can do better that this.

Let's be civil, the fact that Rick Fehr doesn't do anything about it is because government is a social engineering shame. Mr. Fehr is simply acting in his own interest....which is to do nothing. Nothing is easy to defend, saying no is also better than saying yes in government positions, moving slowly so the problem goes away on its own is also a good career move in the government. Service is something that private enterprise does not the government.

But of course you know this already don't you? So, don't take it out on Mr. Fehr, he's only doing his job.

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