Couple Leaves Home Behind After Black Mold Disaster

RentalsRobert Bailey

A rented home became a black mold disaster for a couple in the Holland area who ended up with health problems, contaminated stuff, and no place to live.

Kris and Robert Bailey started having health problems a few months after they moved in to their home on Walnut Avenue in Holland Township. They didn’t know what the problem was until they spoke with a doctor in April.

“They said you’re highly allergic to it, you need to leave at all costs, immediately,” said Robert Bailey.  “So we just walked out with a duffle bag of clothes.”

 They abandoned everything: computer, furniture, most of their stuff. The Baileys moved into a camper in the Zeeland area.

The landlord, Walter Miller, was a no-show at a small claims hearing Monday.  He told FOX 17 on the phone that he was not there because he’s out-of-state and not seeking any more unpaid rent. Miller thinks the Baileys are just out for a lawsuit.

“They got it in their head, now here’s an opportunity,” said Miller. “Let’s hit this guy up for some mold charges and sue him.”

The Baileys said they pursued a lawsuit, until they were told by an attorney that it would be too difficult to pursue.

“It would take too much of the firm’s money to go after him and they said there’s just not enough there to get him,” said Kris Bailey.

Miller said he didn’t know about their health issues and said the mold definitely wasn’t there when the Baileys moved in.

“They never notified me there was mold on the wall of the basement until the 29th of February,” said Miller.

A Craig’s List ad for the home was posted Friday. The pictures online look to be taken in the fall.  The ad mentions the new windows, the new furnace, but nothing about the black mold.

The township declared the home uninhabitable after a routine inspection in March. In addition to the mold, they found a variety of other problems.

Miller said he was planning to fix the mold problem, even do an air sample, in addition to the other improvements to get the home up to code.


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