‘I don’t know what to do’: Mom asking for solution to mold in apartment

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 12:17 PM EDT
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Henrico, Va. (WWBT) - A mom of three is worried about the health and safety of her family after mold continues to appear on her clothing and furniture at the St. Luke Apartments.

“This is my third apartment--the first apartment, I went through this, so as soon as I see mold I am on it,” said Alantiyah Phillips.

Phillips, her boyfriend and three small children, live in a recently renovated unit. In July, she started seeing mold spores on her daughters clothes. Some of the clothes were new with tags still on them. The first apartment Phillips lived in at St. Luke ended up having the same issue, mold, so she moved to a second unit, now in her third, she fears the same problem is plaguing them.

“[My daughter’s] closet was full of things, clothes that I had worked over the summer to buy--building up to get everything. [I] go in there and everything is covered in mold,” said Phillips. “Then we ended up finding it in our room, found it the day before I went into labor.”

Phillips recently gave birth to her third child, a little boy. She says she reached out to the leasing office and after several attempts to get in touch with management and maintenance, humidity and air samples were taken, but no follow came after.

“I had a whole shoe that was covered, there was no way you could miss it--covered in mold,” she explained. “We haven’t been in the bedroom at all, my little girl likes to run around so we try to take her outside as much as possible, but with a newborn, he can’t go outside a lot.”

Phillips sent the following photo to the St. Luke's Apartment in a request to remediate what...
Phillips sent the following photo to the St. Luke's Apartment in a request to remediate what appears to be a mold issue in her apartment.(Alantiyah Phillips)

At times, the family stays with other relatives, and they had been sleeping on a couch in the living room until they discovered spores underneath the couch.

Weeks after mold first appeared in bedrooms in Phillips apartment, mold started appearing on...
Weeks after mold first appeared in bedrooms in Phillips apartment, mold started appearing on surfaces in living room furniture.(Alantiyah Phillips)

All of the clothing and shoes with visible spores were put in plastic bags and thrown away. They moved most of their items to plastic bins and placed them in the hallway, to keep them away from the bedrooms and closets were they think the mold could be coming from.

“I am just trying to get some help honestly, just contacting them alone they won’t do anything. I feel like they are kind of pushing me out of the whole thing, keeping things secretive. I just want to know what’s going on so we know what we are dealing with,” she said. “These are my kids, I am mainly worried about them--a newborn, he cannot get sick.”

NBC 12 reached out three times via email to the St. Luke Apartments and a call to the leasing office was not returned. During a second call asking what steps will be taken to address the issue in Phillips unit, we were told “sorry, we cannot tell you anything about that situation.”

Phillips says she also continues to wait for results of the tests taken, and has not heard what steps property management plans to take. She says as the weeks have gone by with no answers, “the mold is currently still growing. Our bedroom is unbearable. When you walk inside it [now] smells like complete mold.”

According to the Code of Virginia, § 8.01-226.12. Duty of landlord and managing agent with respect to visible mold.:

E. If visible evidence of mold occurs within the dwelling unit, the landlord or managing agent with the maintenance responsibilities shall, exercising ordinary care, perform mold remediation in accordance with professional standards.

“I am not asking y’all to pay for all the stuff we had to throw away, I am just asking for y’all to get rid of the mold, because I don’t know what to do honestly,” said Phillips.

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