Image: Eastknoll Apartments in Davison

Moldy floors and baseboards line a baby’s bedroom in a Davison apartment.

"I saw what was a giant collection of mold right around the base of the floor and the carpeting,” Samantha Smith said.

The cost to fix the problem, a few thousand dollars. But Smith says her landlord won’t do anything about it.

“It scares me. Because I don’t want anybody else subjected to this,” Smith said.

Smith said she discovered the issue more than a month ago when she was folding her infant son’s clothing. Many of the clothes were wet for no apparent reason, until she started to investigate a little further.

" I saw what was a giant collection of mold right around the base of the floor and the carpeting.”

She was concerned because at just 5-and-a-half old her son had been suffering from a variety of respiratory infections that seemed to never go away.

" The coughing that you’re hearing he’s been doing that a lot lately.”

After the mold discovery, Smith says she went right to the apartment manager of Eastknoll apartments, which is managed by Glendale Realty.

She says initially maintenance did come over, but they told Smith it was mildew, and offered little help to fix the issue. “To keep an eye on it and if anything grew back we could buy whatever product it was to spray on it, so they made it our problem,” Smith told TV5.

She said she had her reservations about what was going on behind the walls. So, she decided to hire Mold Experts of Michigan to test it.

In the baby’s room the lab found elevated levels of allergenic molds on the drywall, and elevated levels of penicillium and aspergillus. 

The report Smith received states that these types of mold can cause eye, ear, and respiratory infections; along with asthma or pulmonary infections. They can sometimes also be considered carcinogens.

Smith was quoted a total of $2,245 to stop the mold growth and repair the walls. With testing and clean-up, that would equal out to just under $3,000.

Smith said she called her apartment manager to report the findings and the potential cost. “They said we are not doing a single thing.”

TV5 reached out repeatedly to the apartment manager, but we have not heard back. We also reached out to the president of Glendale Realty to Ask the Tough Questions. He told me over the phone that he was aware of Smith’s concerns but refused to speak with us further.

As for Smith, she moved her son out of the bedroom, but that has created a cramped living room for the family.

Luckily for Smith, her family is in the process of buying a new house, but they are sharing their story to warn others who might be the next to move in.

“The fact that they would subject anybody with a weakened immune system or developing immune system it’s just not right,” Smith said.

According to the rental property owner’s association, Michigan does not have laws regarding mold in rental housing. However, the association says landlords are supposed to keep a unit in habitable condition.

Copyright 2020 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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