Tarantulas 2, Mold 1, Humans Zero

The battle between the North and South is playing again, and this time it is located in a two bedroom apartment in upstate New York. Or maybe it’s a different war. Maybe the kind of war it is all depends on your point of view. So here are some ways of looking at it:

It’s the Haves vs the Have Nots.

It is New York vs Texas.

It is landlord vs animal lover.

It is the owners and managers of Philip Street Realty vs Ms. Rose Brundige and her 4 legged friends.

So what is this war about? Ms. Brundige is concerned because she has an apartment that’s filling up with mold. Philip Street Realty is concerned that Ms Brundige is filling up the apartment with creatures, and they’re causing the mold.

I would have to say the articles I’ve read so far appear to blame Ms. Brundige for having pets, and seem to let the landlord off scot free even though the apartment clearly has some real mold issues.

Anytime you’ve got animal tenants who live in an aquarium, it seems like both the landlord and the tenant need to make concessions. Maybe Ms. Brundige needs to run a dehumidifier. Maybe the landlord needs to do some cleanup (on the walls and in their contract.) But they haven’t asked me to mediate.

As much as I love animals, I expect I might understand having a cat–but might have second thoughts living with fire belly toads, water dragons, turtles, snakes and a tarantula. I know I would have second thoughts living with the mold that is growing on her walls.

And more power to Ms. Brundige’s human roommate, who has more starch than I do, living with a tarantula in the house.

As easy as it is to blame a quirky woman and her menagerie, there’s more here than meets the eye. Because the landlords are boasting about how they just installed a gutter and drainage system. Which means they didn’t have it before. Which means before there were gutters, that rain gutter water was going somewhere bad for years. And I am guessing the place that water was going may well be what is really behind the mold that is there now. The mold which is being blamed on the moist pets may well have a source that predates the pets; and if that is the case, if Ms.Brundige has the resources to fund a good mold attorney, then she may well have a case.

Of course, she’ll have a lot to prove, and some of it may have to come from research and contacting the residents of that apartment building who lived there before she did to see if there was some kind of pre-existing condition. Then again, Ms. Brundige’s mold lawyer might not have to work very hard, because Albany County Health Department has already publicly announced that the landlords failed to get a city inspection proving the place was mold free to begin with before Ms. Brundige moved in.

Because when it comes down to it, the war we are talking about is also man vs mold.

Of course, did I mention that the tenant is on workman’s compensation, unable to work, and where ever she goes, she’s taking her pets?

Whatever happens, hopefully she’ll eventually find somewhere dry and mold-free to live—and get a dehumidifier.

If you’re in California, you might want to give us a call and see about getting an assessment from Byebyemold.

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