Over the past decade, numerous provisions have been added to Virginia Law to protect tenants against the impacts of mold in a residential property. The standard leases used by Realtors in our area, and the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act, (VRLTA) allows tenants to reject/cancel their lease without penalty if they see visible evidence of mold in the property within 5 days of lease start date. The VRLTA also dictates that landlords and property managers must promptly address any reports of mold and to do so per EPA regulations, including specific timeframes and procedures to be followed.
Often when tenants report a concern of mold, they are actually seeing algae (which grows frequently on decks and siding) or mildew (which grows easily in tubs and showers). In order to comply with the law and to guard against a costly mold remediation job that could have been addressed at an earlier stage, we will promptly respond to any reported concern of mold, determine if the reported growth is actually mold, and take action to remediate if needed. Since the costs associated with any litigation related to mold can be astronomical, taking immediate steps which include the cost of a professional opinion are required to manage risk and to protect the owners interests.
See link below for additional information provided by Future Law, whose principal is the legislative counsel for the Virginia Association of Realtors and has been instrumental in authoring much of the VLRTA: http://virginiapmlaw.com/DOCS/Mold%20Liability%20Information.pdf