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Mold - plausible reason to terminate contract without losing deposit???

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Mold - plausible reason to terminate contract without losing deposit???

Postby conniebononie » 30 Jan 2012, 02:26

Yes, the dreaded black toxic mold is slowly, but surely invading my space. :fume: The studio had no indication of mold anywhere when I first viewed it. I signed my contract for a year about two and a half months ago. After one heavy rainstorm, black patches that I later identified as black mold appeared near the entrance of my studio. I understand that mold can be caused by high humidity that can be lowered by a dehumidifier. However, the night that it was raining heavily, there was water leaking from the edge of the ceiling so this is not a problem I can resolve with a dehumidifier. I have contacted my landlord regarding this patch of black mold on January 7. She stated that she will have the roof repaired so that water will stop leaking in and she will paint that area of the wall to cover the mold when the weather improves. It has yet to happen.

Since that incident, I started to notice that certain areas of my studio, alongside the mold, has patches of the wall looking extremely blistered and/or has pieces of the wall and cotton-like substance (insulation, I guess) spilling out. As a result, I'm convinced it's not the humidity of the air in my place causing this problem, but structural problems with the building leading to significant leakage causing mold growth within the wall that is surfacing on the wall. I'm extremely concerned about my health as mold is toxic and it seems to be pretty widespread around my tiny, not-well-ventilated studio. Even if she paints the wall and repairs the leakage, after this much exposure to moisture, how could the internal structure of the building not be compromised? I am confident I'm inhaling a lot of airborne mold as I type this and grow ever paranoid. :( I'm holding my blanket to cover my mouth and nose as much as possible. I can't live like this for 8 1/2 more months! :cry:

My question is whether or not I can terminate my contract without losing my deposit? :pray: Please advise. I welcome any suggestions, feedbacks, comments, etc at this point. Two cents, one cent, I take it all. Thanks in advance!
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Re: Mold - plausible reason to terminate contract without losing deposit???

Postby Taigottawanna » 30 Jan 2012, 14:12

conniebononie wrote:Yes, the dreaded black toxic mold is slowly, but surely invading my space. :fume: The studio had no indication of mold anywhere when I first viewed it. I signed my contract for a year about two and a half months ago. After one heavy rainstorm, black patches that I later identified as black mold appeared near the entrance of my studio. I understand that mold can be caused by high humidity that can be lowered by a dehumidifier. However, the night that it was raining heavily, there was water leaking from the edge of the ceiling so this is not a problem I can resolve with a dehumidifier. I have contacted my landlord regarding this patch of black mold on January 7. She stated that she will have the roof repaired so that water will stop leaking in and she will paint that area of the wall to cover the mold when the weather improves. It has yet to happen.

Since that incident, I started to notice that certain areas of my studio, alongside the mold, has patches of the wall looking extremely blistered and/or has pieces of the wall and cotton-like substance (insulation, I guess) spilling out. As a result, I'm convinced it's not the humidity of the air in my place causing this problem, but structural problems with the building leading to significant leakage causing mold growth within the wall that is surfacing on the wall. I'm extremely concerned about my health as mold is toxic and it seems to be pretty widespread around my tiny, not-well-ventilated studio. Even if she paints the wall and repairs the leakage, after this much exposure to moisture, how could the internal structure of the building not be compromised? I am confident I'm inhaling a lot of airborne mold as I type this and grow ever paranoid. :( I'm holding my blanket to cover my mouth and nose as much as possible. I can't live like this for 8 1/2 more months! :cry:

My question is whether or not I can terminate my contract without losing my deposit? :pray: Please advise. I welcome any suggestions, feedbacks, comments, etc at this point. Two cents, one cent, I take it all. Thanks in advance!


Well, she's already demonstrated to you that she won't fix the problem. Unless the contract has a clause guaranteeing your apartment to be mold-free, I doubt you'll get your deposit back. Mold is a common problem here, so be extra careful with choosing your next apartment.
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Re: Mold - plausible reason to terminate contract without losing deposit???

Postby Icon » 30 Jan 2012, 14:44

To make matters worse, dear, I do not think that white substance is insulation -I have yet to see insulation in any apartment here. Building structure should be OKish, as it is mostly either bricks and mortar or plain ol'concrete and steel. Whatever pipes are leaking -one hopes it is clean water- that is another story...

Now, the health hazard of mold is not what you see, but what you do not see. The real deal is where you cannot see, and I would recommend to run an air purifier/dehumidifier 24/7 while you're there.

I'd guess if push comes to shove, and you have a contract and such, you could ask for helop at a place like Tsui Mama -definetively a good choice next time, as if something of this sort happens again, they clear it up for you- or even a local intervention -having local friends talk to your landlady on your behalf. There could be a legal recourse of some sort, but not very likely. Yes, the damage of mold to helath is serious, but as stated, this problem is far too common to warrant teh real attention it deserves. In teh meantime, take pictures to document damage -she may counterattack saying you did the damage. And yes, do move teh earliest possible. Mold is worse in summer.
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Re: Mold - plausible reason to terminate contract without losing deposit???

Postby Belgian Pie » 30 Jan 2012, 17:25

Your cotton like substance is saltpeter coming from the cement in the concrete, they don't use insulation in Taiwan ...
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Re: Mold - plausible reason to terminate contract without losing deposit???

Postby Mucha Man » 30 Jan 2012, 17:27

Belgian Pie wrote:Your cotton like substance is saltpeter...


Handy if she wants to blow the place up in protest. :noway:
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Re: Mold - plausible reason to terminate contract without losing deposit???

Postby baberenglish » 30 Jan 2012, 18:06

if she doesn't fix it then it is plausible-not the mold but the structural damage.
1. document the damage-take pics/recording
2. don't pay rent until it's fixed-you'll see how fast it's fixed
3. if point 2 doesn't work start looking for a place
4. mold is your problem, structural damage is hers, use some bleach.
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Re: Mold - plausible reason to terminate contract without losing deposit???

Postby conniebononie » 30 Jan 2012, 21:13

Taigottawanna wrote:Well, she's already demonstrated to you that she won't fix the problem. Unless the contract has a clause guaranteeing your apartment to be mold-free, I doubt you'll get your deposit back. Mold is a common problem here, so be extra careful with choosing your next apartment.


I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt since the weather has been clearing up, but still a bit sporadic (in my spoiled always sunny Californian eyes). I still think you're right though, but I'm trying to be hopeful! :aiyo:

Icon wrote:I'd guess if push comes to shove, and you have a contract and such, you could ask for helop at a place like Tsui Mama -definetively a good choice next time, as if something of this sort happens again, they clear it up for you- or even a local intervention -having local friends talk to your landlady on your behalf. There could be a legal recourse of some sort, but not very likely. Yes, the damage of mold to helath is serious, but as stated, this problem is far too common to warrant teh real attention it deserves. In teh meantime, take pictures to document damage -she may counterattack saying you did the damage. And yes, do move teh earliest possible. Mold is worse in summer.


AGH! How can mold possibly get any worse than this?! :noway:

Never heard of Tsui Mama, but Google-d it after your recommendation. Definitely seems helpful, thanks!

Belgian Pie wrote:Your cotton like substance is saltpeter coming from the cement in the concrete, they don't use insulation in Taiwan ...


Thanks for the correction and identification. Nice to know that at any moment now, I can easily go up in flames. I can, right? :ohreally:

Handy if she wants to blow the place up in protest. :noway:


Yep, thanks for volunteering to be my partner in crime. Tomorrow after the sun sets? :discodance:


BTW, yes, I do have a slight obsession with emoticons. Yes, I avoided home all day and wandered the streets to avoid being in this mold infested box. Yes, I was in a great mood, but it's declining as I breathe. :neutral:
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Re: Mold - plausible reason to terminate contract without losing deposit???

Postby Mucha Man » 30 Jan 2012, 21:27

If you contacted your landlord on Jan 7 she may not have been able to get anyway in before the new year to work on the place. It's a pretty busy time of year. Give her the benefit of the doubt and say you really need this fixed or you will have to move out.
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

http://hikingintaiwan.blogspot.com/
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Re: Mold - plausible reason to terminate contract without losing deposit???

Postby conniebononie » 30 Jan 2012, 22:03

baberenglish wrote:if she doesn't fix it then it is plausible-not the mold but the structural damage.
1. document the damage-take pics/recording
2. don't pay rent until it's fixed-you'll see how fast it's fixed
3. if point 2 doesn't work start looking for a place
4. mold is your problem, structural damage is hers, use some bleach.


Muzha Man wrote:If you contacted your landlord on Jan 7 she may not have been able to get anyway in before the new year to work on the place. It's a pretty busy time of year. Give her the benefit of the doubt and say you really need this fixed or you will have to move out.


Baberenglish and Muzha Man, you both seem to favor not moving out and saving it as the last resort. However, with the structural damage (mold within the walls and on the walls), do you really think it is healthy, or at least not damaging, to stay? I'm not asking to question you, rather, I really am wondering. Is it worth the battle or is all the other apartments in Taiwan similar to mine in terms of mold? I'm just stumped and trying to figure out a solution for this.
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Re: Mold - plausible reason to terminate contract without losing deposit???

Postby Mucha Man » 30 Jan 2012, 22:09

I'm not suggesting you stay at all if you think it is a serious mold problem. I suggest you move out asap and suck up the loss of a deposit if need be. My point was simply that the fact the landlord has not done anything over the past few weeks, 9 days of which were holidays is not a sign that she will never do anything.
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

http://hikingintaiwan.blogspot.com/
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