SOUTH PARK (KDKA) — A South Park couple says their landlord let a problem with mold in their home get so bad, it ruined all their furnishings.
Now they say the landlord won’t pay for any of the damage.
The unusual thing about this story is that the landlord is Allegheny County. This is a home the county owns that used to be a fringe benefit for an employee like a park director.
But now it’s rented out.
The family is not behind on the rent, but was evicted for not allowing the management company to work inside.
Joseph Hinerman and his wife went to court on Thursday to file appeal their eviction.
They say the crew took no precautions to guard against disturbing mold.
“When there’s mold involved, asbestos involved, you’re supposed to secure the house, seal the house, have the people out of the house,” Hinerman said. “All they did, they came in with jackhammers, started going to town.”
The county’s health department website states that during mold cleanup, “Spore counts may be 10 to 1,000 times higher than background levels when mold-contaminated materials are disturbed.”
Mold can be particularly unhealthy for those with respiratory problems and for children.
The family says the mold got worse when Claire Reaghard became disabled and was unable to keep up with cleaning it.
The management company said it just learned about the mold recently. The family says it told the company nearly one year ago.
The family says they don’t want to live in the house, but can’t afford to scrap their belongings infected with mold and buy new.
“Whether the management company took care of the property or not, Allegheny County is the one who owns the home,” Hinerman said. “We need to have them cover the cost of either cleaning it or replacing it. Do something. Do the right thing.”
Despite repeated calls, no one from the county has returned calls for this report. An aide to County Councilman John Palmiere has promised to look into the situation.
The Hinermans have now hired an attorney.