The purpose of this information is to help tenants better understand the facts on mold growth and the options available to resolve mold problems as a tenant of a rental property.
Other useful resources:
NOTE: No Federal, State of New Mexico or City codes exist defining or regulating the limits of mold. Therefore, the City’s assistance with mold problems is limited.
The City of Albuquerque does not test, clean, or conduct environmental health assessments for mold. For testing assessments and/or clean-up, check local “yellow pages” under Laboratories-Analytical, Environmental Testing, or Mold Inspection. Please note that the commonly used testing methods are limited in what they can detect and measure. Testing for mold is not the same as testing for “mycotoxins”, toxic substances produced by some molds which may harm a person.
What is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that can be found indoors and outdoors. Mold creates tiny spores to reproduce. Spores are like tiny seeds that allow the mold to spread and grow.
In order for mold to grow it needs:
- Moisture which can come from leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding, steam or humidity build up in kitchens/bathrooms with poor fan ventilation
- Nutrition Source such as paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.
We are all exposed to some amount of mold every day. Not everyone is sensitive to or bothered by mold.
What Can I Do As A Tenant?
Fix any leaks or other water problems first. Mold will not grow without moisture!
If you are the tenant of a rental property and have a problem with an ongoing uncorrected water leak, please call 311 to report the uncorrected leak to Code Enforcement.
There are no legal requirements specific to mold in most residential settings. However, New Mexico law (New Mexico Statutes, Chapter 47, Article 8, Owner-Resident Relations)) requires that a landlord must provide an apartment that is habitable and in reasonable repair. If an apartment becomes uninhabitable, the landlord has violated or breached the lease.
What Are My Options If The Owner Refuses To Help?
If you are the current tenant of a rental property, do not have an active leak but are experiencing an unresolved mold problem, follow these steps:
- Submit a written notice of the problem to the property owner or manager and allow at least 3 days for a response.
- If after submitting written notice and allowing a reasonable response time you are unsatisfied with the owner or manager response, please call the New Mexico Landlord Tenant Hotline at 505-983-8447 to report the problem. You should try to document the problem with letters, photographs, evidence of health problems, and any other documentation that would help the case.
City of Albuquerque, Environmental Health Department
New Mexico Department of Health
Minnesota Department of Health, Environmental Health Division
United States Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Law Help New Mexico/New Mexico Legal Aid
City of Albuquerque, Building Codes
New Mexico Attorney General’s Office