CA SB 655

California Mold Law for Property owners and occupants.

Local agencies are mandated to enforce State Housing Law and have authority to issue notices to property owners to abate qualified mold growth as routine code enforcement.

Confirmation: The mold must be determined by a health officer or code enforcement officer to rise to a level that endangers the life, limb, health, property, safety or welfare of the public or the occupants.

Condition Severity & Location: The mold growth must be visible, but excludes ‘minor’ mold found on surfaces that can accumulate moisture as part of their properly functioning & intended use — such as bathroom showers and window sills — such mold is a ‘housekeeping’ task that is the occupant’s responsibility.

Notification & Accessibility: Landlord must receive notice that the mold exists in order to have any obligations under the law and has the right to enter the property to make repairs and clean up any mold.

Landlord is not on the hook if the tenant caused the mold by failing to properly clean the unit or failed to use fixtures (like bathroom fans) to prevent mold accumulation. However, State Housing Law requires landlords to keep their units safe, habitable and free from violation — this now includes mold.

Provided they have notice and it’s beyond a ‘housekeeping’ issue, landlords are now required to remediate mold. Dwellings with unlawful mold may be deemed uninhabitable and required to be vacated and/or subject to other remedies including fines and penalties.