GALVESTON – A Harris County man is suing his former landlord and leasing company after he says they ignored his complaints about fast-growing mold that affected nearly all of his belongings. The suit says he was forced to move out with little notice, and had to destroy nearly everything he owned because of the mold.
Jaime Cryer filed suit Oct. 9 in the Galveston County District Court against Nicole Huff and KNH Enterprises and Managerenthouses.com, two companies she was doing business as, claiming breach of contract, common-law fraud, statutory fraud, failure to repair or remedy, negligence, negligence per se, negligent misrepresentation, and promissory estoppel.
According to the suit, Cryer moved into the property in February 2014. In May, he began noticing mold around the air conditioning vents. The suit says Cryer notified Huff, but received no response. According to the suit, Cryer cleaned the mold, but it returned, covering walls, books, clothes, lamp shades, furniture, cutting boards, picture frames and the inside of the refrigerator.
In late May, a technician contacted by Huff asked Cryer for photos of the mold, which the suit alleges he promptly sent.
In June, the mold had intensified and nothing had been done, according to the complaint. Cryer then called again, but was told it was his responsibility to clean the vents, the suit claims.
The suit states Huff finally sent an air quality inspector to Cryers’ home. The inspector found the humidity level inside the home to be 70 percent, when it should have been closer to 28 percent, the suit claims, and that inspector determined the mold was toxic black mold. Cryer was told to leave the home immediately.
Nearly all of Cryer’s personal property had to be destroyed, and at that time, Huff gave Cryer 48 hours to vacate the rental, according to the suit. Huff’s attorney informed Cryer he would receive the rent he paid for the month of June as well as his security deposit – neither have been returned.
Cryer is suing for damages incurred by loss of possessions totaling $33,450, a civil penalty of one month’s rent plus $500, and attorney and court fees. He seeks a trial by jury. He’s represented by Bradley A. Nevills of Bibby, McWilliams & Kearny in Houston.
Galveston County District Court case number 15-CV-1086