Topeka family struggles with rental house overrun by mold

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A Topeka mom is struggling with mold in places all over her rental house. She said to make matters worse her landlord won’t clean up the mold, and they believe it’s making the whole family sick.

Josie Warriner and her family moved into their Topeka home in May of 2019. Then a heavy season of rain led to flooding in their yard and basement. That’s when they started noticing mold.

“I got my flashlight out and I’m like looking everywhere and that’s when I’m like wow it’s really bad,” Warriner said.

It’s a problem they think might have something to do with why both of Josie’s young daughters and her wife Gina have been in and out of the Doctor’s office several times with respiratory issues.

“It scares me really bad. It can basically prolong and last your whole life. It can have effects on you for your whole life in your lungs,” Warriner said.

The landlord sent the maintenance man who left a note telling them to clean it themselves with bleach.

Teresa Baker with the Housing and Credit Counseling‘s Topeka office said there are things tenants like Josie can do.

“Landlords should deliver houses in habitable condition, in safe condition. city of Topeka code enforcement does cover mold. Depending on the severity of it they may cite the landlord for the issue,” Baker said.

For Toepka tenants, there’s good news.

“Topeka has a wonderful ordinance that protects tenants who contact city code. Sometimes landlords want to terminate a lease agreement or treat the tenant in a disparaging manner because they contacted code. This ordinance is unlike any other in our state and it protects tenants,” Baker said.

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