PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — Amanda Collins and Fred Prince live at 303 Webster Street in Princeton with their two young daughters. They said life there is a nightmare after discovering what they are calling black mold all over their basement rental house.
“It was really, really nice. We move in, as soon as the weather started getting hot, humid, we start noticing in the dryer when it’s running there’s moisture on the floors there’s just mold cropping up everywhere. In the corners, in my room, under my bed, on my daughter’s bed, in cups and on dry rugs. It’s just everywhere,” said Collins.
Bobby Tignor is the landlord of 303 Webster and several other units in the area. He said he was never notified of any issues until he served the family an eviction notice for not paying rent.
“These issues started when I knocked on the door two different times, the 5th and I believe it was the 7th and I ask them for the rent. And at no time did they ask me to come inside. Then two or three days later she called and said we have mold on the wall and we have this and that, and I said why didn’t you tell me about this thing when it happened,” said Tignor.
The family said they informed Tignor over a month ago about the mold and he refused to remedy the problem; instead Collins said they were given an eviction letter instead of a solution.
“His response was if there’s that many problems I would just move out. And I was like well no, so I called Code Enforcement and I tried to follow the proper channels and because we’re outside of Princeton limits there’s no code enforcement, no rules to abide by, he can just rent anything out and it’s okay,” said Collins.
The family said their two young daughters are now getting sick from living in the home. Tignor said the family is mistaken, it is not mold in the home, it’s mildew. He said he has not tested the house, but he knows mold takes longer than just a few months to grow.
According to West Virginia State law, tenants must give a written notice when an issue arises and landlords have five days to fix the problem. Tignor said he never received any letter from either Prince or Collins.
The family said they are at a loss for what to do, and according to State Law, there is not a lot they can do. Tignor said had he known about any issues, he would have fixed them before the family chose to not pay rent and then face eviction.