In addition to our park, we own a rental condo in a retirement community in California. We rented it about five years ago to a son, whose Chinese-speaking parents would live in it. We’ve come over a few times in that five years to do some minor repairs, and while we could see they weren’t clean freaks, we didn’t see any evidence of damage either. They’ve now moved out, on their own accord, and we find that the drywall in the master shower is covered in mold, and some is peeling away from the wall. Best we can tell, they took showers back there and never used the vent fan in the ceiling, which is working.
The master bathroom is connected to the master bedroom via a short hall.
During the times we came over here we looked in the bedroom window and it had a lot of condensation on the inside, and mold inside around the window frame. We knew they were doing something which generated a lot of humidity, but we didn’t know what it was. We did take action on it; we came in and cleaned the mold with bleach and mold-killer, and bought a small dehumidifier to plug in next to the window. And that seemed to help; the condensation went away, and the window mold did not return.
We had no idea of the mold in the master bathroom, though. We didn’t discover that until they moved out, just a week ago. In retrospect, we’re guessing that the condensation and mold on the bedroom window came from the heat and humidity from the master bath, 20 feet or so away down a hall.
I’ve had it appraised, and it’ll be between $3-4,000 to put the bathroom back into its proper condition, including mold remediation and air testing.
We do have evidence of neglect. The kitchen cooking area was covered in grease; took my wife 3 days to clean it all up. And apparently the Chinese grandparents thought it cute to let their grandkids draw on the walls and doors with crayons and markers; I have pictures of that.
My question: would you think I would have a small-claims case against the son (who signed the lease) for damage due to neglect?