Family says apartment's black mold caused health issues

Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Family says black mold caused health issues
The couple, who also have a year-old daughter, said they pried open an air vent cover in their apartment, and found mold.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Chris Baker returned to the apartment his family lived in, he said for less than one year, to look over what might be saved. He wore a hazmat suit to do it, and left behind many family mementos. He said he was concerned even family photos might transport the mold they were trying to leave.

The Bakers said they had been having health problems shortly after moving in. "A neighbor told me she wasn't feeling well either, and said she had found mold in her apartment," said Shelby Baker.

The couple, who also have a 1-year-old daughter, said they pried open an air vent cover in their apartment, and found mold. They hired a certified mold inspector last week. The report stated that there were high levels of mold in both the bathroom and the hallway, which included toxic black mold. The inspector also deemed the apartment 'uninhabitable' until extensive mold remediation was performed.

Office staff for the Skylar Pointe apartments would not comment on the family's concerns. An agent for the apartment owner's management was informed of the mold concern last week, and said the company hired a mold inspector of its own. The "third-party" inspection was completed last week, according to her statement. The report is not yet complete.

"The apartment will remediate any and all issues found," the statement reads.

The Bakers, according to the agent, will be allowed to terminate their lease. Shelby Baker said management has yet to inform her of that, or whether the rental deposit will be refunded.

Danielle Rock is the neighbor who told them she was concerned about mold in her apartment. Monday afternoon, she said she was told she can stay at a hotel while her apartment is inspected for mold by an inspector.

The Texas Attorney General's Office offers renters rights advice on its website. Renters may be able to terminate a lease if there are concerns about health, safety, or security. If the landlord fails to correct the issue, there can be consequences. Tenants are advised to document communication with apartment managers, and to send formal complaints by registered letter.

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