Rhode Island woman’s dream house taken out by mold

Only three weeks after purchasing her newly constructed condo last December, Denise Mitsuma's worst nightmares came true. She woke up one morning to a flooded basement, setting off a disastrous chain of events.

The water table had risen around Mitsuma's recently built condo complex, the first affordable housing development in Barrington, Rhode Island. She was able to get her basement pumped by the fire department, but was told extensive clean-up was necessary to prevent rotting and mold growth.

Mitsuma contacted West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation, her condo's management company, about scheduling the clean up and testing for mold. Instead of helping Mitsuma, she says the management company stopped responding to her calls. After Mitsuma paid for her own home mold inspection, it was confirmed her house was uninhabitable.

Mitsuma and her management company then embarked on a months-long legal battle to refund her investment so she could move into a safer, cleaner new home. Her management company says that Mitsuma was uncooperative and that they attempted to get an inspection on several occasions, though Mitsuma was able to prove this was not the case according to The Barrington Patch.

She provided statements and results from a hired home inspector to the courts and eventually won her case in late May, almost six months after the flood destroyed her new condo. The property was handed over to the Rhode Island Housing Mortgage and Finance Corporation, and Mitsuma was released of any ties to the hazardous condo.

Even though Mitsuma's condo had only recently been constructed, it was still privy to disaster. Had she not looked into home mold inspection immediately after the flooding, Mitsuma may have remained living in the hazardous house. Because she had reports from home inspection contractors to back up her claims, she was able to get her money back and move on.