Building and fire violations found due to mold as Aggies move in

KBTX News 3 at Ten(Recurring)
Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 6:44 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Moving out of your parent’s house as a young adult is exciting and scary, it comes with new lessons and experiences.

What should be a day filled with boxes and smiles turned into a nightmare for one group of Aggies.

“The girls were so excited, there’s five of them with all of each of them having their own individual [room in the] apartment,” Rachel Moore, the mother of one of the students, said. “When they opened the door for the first time and saw the mold actually on the walls of the apartment, it just stopped them in their tracks,” Moore said.

High levels of mold were found in every room of their apartment at Redpoint College Station. This is nothing new for College Station Building Inspector, Brian Binford. Typically, during a move-in time, he sees calls all over town for water leaks, HVAC issues and mold.

“It’s much more common this time of year with people moving into to new rental properties and oftentimes not seeing the actual unit they may be living in you know, they’ve looked at stage units,” Binford says.

City building and fire inspectors issued violations for the HVAC unit causing the widespread mold. There was even mold growing over the fire sprinkler system.

Moore sent samples of the mold to a private lab, showing results of toxic mold. Since the apartment is unlivable, they needed a place to stay. With a busy move-in weekend for the area, hotel options were limited. Most of the roommates turned to couch surfing until the apartment could be cleaned.

When she heard it was ready for the move-in a second time, she decided to check first.

“I actually did the mold testing after the apartment complex had cleaned it and the mold testing still came up in very high numbers and three different types of molds when we actually had it professionally tested. So even after their cleaning, it was still not livable,” she said.

After weeks of back and forth with the apartment, the five roommates were able to get their deposits back, break the lease and find a new place to live.

Now Moore wants others to know about the resources available.

“The fire department, the marshal’s office, and the city inspectors have been fantastic. And that’s a resource that’s open to everyone,” she said. “It’s a free resource because there are other people who can’t afford to do this. This is a very expensive process to take on the mold testing.”

Once an issue is found, it can be helpful to make neighbors aware in case they are noticing a similar issue and don’t know what to do.

“Our property maintenance inspections are going to be complaint based. So it would have to come from an individual tenant of a unit, for us to get access to that unit due to inspection,” Binford said.

Beyond having a professional check out the issues, Moore is encouraging people to check online reviews before signing a lease. Once she began reading, multiple complaints mirrored the issues she went through.