(NEWS CENTER) -- On NEWS CENTER now, we work to respond directly to your questions.
We got an email from a viewer asking about mold in apartment buildings. The writer said he found green and black mold in his apartment and it is causing major respiratory issues for his wife. He said when he complained to his landlord and officials in his hometown of Arundel, he was told there are no laws to protect renters, and no real recourse he could take.
Officials at the non-profit Maine Indoor Air Quality Council said that response is basically true. They say there aren't many options for tenants when it comes to mold.
"Mold in rental units is an issue here in the state of Maine. I hear it over and over," says Christine Crocker, Executive Director of the Maine Indoor Air Quality Council.
Crocker says mold is prevelant in Maine and is challenge for landlords because every tenant reacts differently to it. Even very small amounts can make a sensitive person sick. She says some towns will take action against landlords when mold like this turns up, but if a code enforcement officer is not willing to take a look, there's not much the tenant can do.
If you're suffering with health issues, Crocker says moving is the quick answer. Otherwise, you may end up waiting a while and spending a lot of money on lawyers before something is done.
"It's just a problem," says Crocker. "If the landlord is not willing to fix the problem and the tenant doesn't have the resources to do it on their own, I don't know what recourse they really have."
That's something Maine Indoor Air Quality is hoping to change. Crocker believes mold management is the responsibility of both the landlord and the tenant. Her organization plans to hold a symposium where all involved parties can share ideas on best ways forward, whether that means taking legislative measures, or helping landlords with mold removal costs.
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