Mold concerns at apartment complex have some trying to get out of leases

Posted at 6:56 PM, Feb 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-14 18:56:08-05

Fox 4 has learned that some Florida Gulf Coast University students - who are signed to move into a Fort Myers apartment complex - are trying to get out of their lease over mold concerns.

"I personally think that the mold comes from something that was done wrong with this building," Gabriela Pullano, a resident at the Reef Student Living apartments, said last week. She showed us photos of mold that had been growing in her apartment, especially under desk and dresser drawers, and on shoes.

Pullano thinks the mold has made her sick.

"I was in bed and I was really weak," she said. "I went to the doctor and they said I probably just had the flu, but now I'm not so sure."

This week, the mother of an FGCU student who signed a lease at the Reef that begins in August contacted Fox 4. She said her daughter has asthma, and now wants to get out of her lease due to concerns over the mold.

According to attorney Louis Erickson of Golden Gate, that's possible in certain cases.

"In this case, based upon there was mold which they were not aware of at the time of entering into the lease, they would certainly have an argument," Erickson said.

"The landlord is likely to take the position that if there is a problem with mold, the landlord must be given the opportunity to correct that problem," he added.

Pullano said that mold experts have been to her apartment to address the issue, and that the Reef did offer her and her roommates alternate housing.

The woman whose daughter has asthma later contacted Fox 4 to say that the Reef did agree to let her daughter out of the lease.