CommunityStacy M. Brown

Council Member Floats Bill to Protect Residents from Mold

D.C. Council member Anita Bonds recently introduced two bills that would make the executive boards in common-interest communities responsible for mold remediation in common areas.

Bonds’ legislation would also make it easier for condominium owners to draw warranty funds for developer defects in newly-constructed or renovated buildings, according to a news release.

Like others, the council member has heard horror stories of tenants from across the District who have expressed concern with the city’s inaction regarding mold in housing.

Public health officials said mold can cause or exacerbate a wide range of health issues, including allergic reactions and skin rash.

In October 2018, residents at 1320 Nicholson Street NW began a rent strike to protest substandard living conditions. Reportedly, they described a litany of problems, including mold.

Last month, after more than a year into the rent strike, the building got a new landlord.

Bonds, who chairs the council’s Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization hopes that her bills will force all landlords to do better.

”The first bill, entitled the Common-interest Community Air Quality Amendment Act of 2020, makes the common-interest community’s executive board responsible for remediating mold problems within shared spaces,” Bonds said in a news release.

Under current law, owners and members of common-interest community homes are required to individually manage the removal of mold from within their homes but have no clarity around who is responsible for the removal of mold in common areas such as laundry rooms and hallways.

If passed into law, this bill would give these homeowners the same rights as renters regarding mold in common areas by requiring the residential board of such communities to be responsible for mold remediation in the common areas.

The bill would also give the association member or owner the right to take legal action for negligence by the board and provides financial assistance from the Indoor Mold Assessment and Remediation Fund to low-income owners.

Bonds’ proposed second bill, the Condominium Warranty Amendment Act of 2020, would clarify how the condominium warranties provided to repair structural defects in newly constructed or renovated condominiums will work better in the future.

When a condominium is newly built or renovated, current law requires that the developer set aside 10 percent of the cost in a warranty fund to address structural defects within the first two years.

”This bill fixes administrative and technical issues, making it easier for condominium owners to claim and use the warranty money for repairs due to defects left by the developer,” Bonds said in the release.

The bill also transfers the administration of the warranty bond from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), which lacks the infrastructure to administer the warranty and returns responsibility to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), Bonds said.

“These bills place greater emphasis on residential cooperation and provide financial support and protection to the homeowners in common-interest communities who need it most,” she said. ”Their introduction is significant because it shows that you are not on your own once you have decided to become a homeowner, particularly in a common-interest community.”

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Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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One Comment

  1. I live in the shaw howard , one known as Lincoln Westmoreland 11 as of now I live in a three bedroom unrenovated Inwas moves from a two bedroom 5 years ago after renovations started . I who’ve been taken to court for failure to pay rent and also for violations of lease said loietering and throwing trash . We have been harassed by the police department and a huge amount of survalliance has been added to my building camera facing my door. I need help. Please contact me I have pictures and a huge amount of paperwork to support my claims.

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