Room for rent in MCS-safe home ~ Los Angeles, CA
San Fernando Valley/Los Angeles County, CA Room for rent – $680/month
Description: Room and private bath for rent in townhome located in Southern California – San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles County. There are currently two other roommates. We share one wall with neighbors.
Square feet: 1,900
Lot size: The townhome is on a very small lot. I don’t know the acreage. There is a 20 foot by 10 foot yard behind the townhome. There is a lemon tree, a rosemary plant, some strawberry plants, an aloe plant and a ficus tree out there, all being grown organically.
Date Available: immediately
Price: $680/month plus 1/3rd of utilities. Some of this is negotiable depending on how good of a fit you are roommate-wise and your financial situation.
Contact Information: Please contact Sage 9am – 9pm PST any day of the week at (818) 815-9535.
Basic description: 12 X 12 foot room with 5 X 5 foot walk-in closet that has shelves and 2 clothing racks. You have your own bathroom which includes a deep bathtub good for soaking if you wish. One person in the home is healing from MCS/EI. We use environmentally-friendly cleaning products. We are both professionals.
Building Materials/Indoor Air Quality
Year built: 2005
Construction: Standard construction.
Passive solar design features: No.
Moisture barrier installed over the slab: Don’t know.
Exterior building materials: Don’t know – looks like some kind of plaster/stucco.
Roofing materials: Spanish-style brick tile.
Insulation materials: Don’t know – we can find this out from the landlord if someone asks.
Are the walls foiled?: Don’t know.
Wood detailing:Don’t know what type of wood. It is all painted wood.
Wood sealants used: Don’t know.
Flooring: Tile in the kitchen and bathrooms – I think they were not sealed, because the granite counter top in the kitchen wasn’t sealed, but I can’t say for sure.
Carpet: The place has wall-to-wall carpeting in all rooms except kitchen and bathrooms. The carpeting is 5 1/2 years old. It has been shampood once (3 years ago after a dog that had lived here moved out). It is synthetic carpeting. Yes, the kind with formaldehyde in it. That is why is has only been shampooed once. I am extremely sensitive to formaldehyde and got seizures when I shampooed it so don’t want to do it again. I can’t find a company that will assure me they are using environmentally-friendly cleaning products with a scent-free machine and worker so if you know of a place, I’d love to have it shampooed again! We have used an ozone machine to help get out the chemicals from the carpet and the outgassing of the paint after we moved in.
HVAC: We have a filter on our heating/AC system if that’s what you mean.
Whole house air filter: n/a
Whole house vacuum: No.
Dates of past repairs/renovations: The room next to the one that is available was painted two years ago with low VOC paint. There have been no other repairs, remodeling or painting.
Utilities and Major Appliances
Heating system: Gas heating. We don’t use it very often, given we live in Southern California.
Cooling system: Central A/C run by electricity. We only use it when it is very hot outside.
Appliances? Unfortunately the place has a gas stove. It is new with electronic ignitions, so there is no ongoing pilot light. We are very concerned about the fumes and have a working gas hood fan that vents to the outdoors and another double fan we put in the kitchen window when cooking, to pull more exhaust outside. The water heater is also gas.
Did the house ever sit empty for any length of time? No.
Washer and dryer: The washing machine and dryer are used. There were scented products used in the washer in the past. It has currently been in our home about 2 years. The scent is trapped in the center of the agitator where there is a funnel to pour liquid soap or bleach into. The scent has not come out because when I attempted to pour vinegar into that funnel, the odor came out into my clothing. We don’t want to waste hundreds of gallons of water attempting to get it out so now we just leave it alone. For some reason the odor does not come out into our clothing if we don’t pour any liquids directly into that funnel.
We have wireless internet, cordless phones, cellular phone, cable T.V.
Unshielded electrical wiring: No.
Dimmers and 3-way switches: No.
Power lines: No.
Neighbors with WiFi: n/a
WiMax installed or planned for area in near future: Don’t know.
Smart Meter on site or planned in near future: Don’t know but the meters for these townhomes are in a shed about 40 feet from the room you’d be renting.
Cell/microwave towers nearby and/or planned for near future: I don’t believe there are any cell towers close by because I get horrible cell phone reception. Don’t know if any are planned for the future. There are no microwave towers nearby that I know of. We do have a microwave oven in the kitchen and use it to heat water and occasionally to heat something up if it is way too hot to put the oven on. We do not have to use this when you are downstairs in the kitchen and will be sensitive to this.
Other wireless technology being used nearby or planned for near future: Don’t know. There are no schools close by – nearest one is about 1/2 mile away.
Located under an airport flight path: Not directly under flight path. Nearest airport is a small neighborhood type (not international, mostly single engine planes flying out of it) that is about 3 miles from here.
Have others with electromagnetic sensitivities healed in this house? I have some electromagnetic sensitivities but not severe ones. I have healed here.
Have others with electromagnetic sensitivities done poorly in this house? No. But someone who is extremely sensitive to EMF’s might not be able to tolerate the wireless internet and cable.
Is the property graded, are French drains, swales or other features used to wick away rainwater? Don’t know about this. All I know is that I am extremely sensitive to mold and can smell it and this place is dry and mold-free!
Are there plantings or berms around the perimeter of the home? There are some shrubs and rose bushes nearby. Some small palm trees as well.
On-slab foundation, crawlspace or basement? I think it is an on-slab foundation.
Exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchen, and other high-humidity locations? Yes, there are exhaust fans in all these rooms.
Whole house dehumidifier? No, but we have central A/C which will definitely dry the place up if/when you use it.
Other mold-reducing features: We have an ozone machine available for your usage. If you are sensitive to the smell of the machine, we can use it when you aren’t home.
Is there a history of water damage of any kind: No.
Have there ever been roof or plumbing leaks: Never.
Was mold remediation ever completed in your home? No.
To the best of your knowledge, is there currently high levels of mold or existence of allergenic, pathogenic, or toxigenic molds in the home? No.
Pets that have lived in the house: There was a dog living here 3 years ago. He had the run of the house except was never in the room that we are subletting. There was a cat in the room next door to the room you’d be subletting. They moved out 2 years ago.
Known vermin infestations: No.
Homestead animals: No.
Local flora that might be a problem (e.g., juniper, pine, cedar, etc.) and worst times of year for pollen counts: There are no juniper, pine or cedar trees in the area. I don’t pay too much attention to it because it isn’t one of my sensitivities, but the worst time of the year for pollen counts here is probably in the early spring after we get our rain and things start growing. That would be maybe February, March and April.
Other potential toxic exposures
Were pesticides ever used in the house, or outside the house and around the property, by you or by former owners? We once used some pet-friendly child-friendly outdoor ant traps when we first moved in 5 years ago. Nothing chemical used inside the house and nothing else used outside the house and around the property. The owner has never sprayed any chemicals. I am not sure if any of our neighbors use this sort of stuff. We put boric acid into the outlets when we moved in to prevent any problems with insects without having to use any chemicals. This was a preventative measure only. We do not have any pests here. We never use mothballs, flea bombs etc. in our home or outside our home.
Has a pet that was treated with Frontline, wore a flea collar, or had other pesticides applied to it ever lived or entered the home? Yes, the dog that lived here was treated with Frontline and he was here 3 years ago. I don’t know if the cat was treated with anything but it was a completely indoor cat so it is unlikely.
Has the home site been checked for radon and other potentially hazardous elements? Are you prepared to provide a copy of any environmental home/site inspection that has been done? Don’t know, but if this is required by law here then it was done. We can ask the owner to show you this if you need it.
Is the house currently fragrance free, and has it always been? We don’t use scented candles or air “fresheners” in the home. We will very rarely use an unscented beeswax candle. We do not use dryer sheets. The dryer is used and some might have been used in it (we’ve had the dryer for about 5 years). We use soap that is not scented, per se, but does have a smell to it – for example, tea tree oil soap or lemon soap that smells like lemon. There have been people who have lived in the room and used the bathroom adjacent to it, that have used some lightly scented products (like shampoo). We used an ozone machine to get the scents out of the rooms. We use some products with essential oils in them (like Tom’s of Maine deodorant with a bit of lavendar oil in it). Most of the products we use are unscented (unscented 7th generation dish soap, unscented Ecos laundry detergent, All free and clear, etc.) We use bac-out that has lime oil in it, so it smells like lime. We are open to changing some of our products if these are the only things that would prevent you from moving in. We, on rare occasion, will use smudging (burning of dried sage). We don’t have to do this if it bothers you. We have used no other incense of any kind, ever.
Is the house currently smoke free, and has it always been? There has never been any tobacco smoked or chewed on the premises. There has been some marijuana smoked on the premises, and on a rare occasion still is, but not in the common rooms and not in the bedroom or bathroom you’d be using.
Has the house or any neighbors’ homes in a three block radius ever been used as a methamphetamine (“meth”) lab? Not that we know of and I almost positive I would smell this if there was.
Has ozone every been used in the home to try to remove odors/chemicals/mold? Yes, we used an ozone machine when former roommates/townhome mates who moved in were in the process of getting old scents from scented laundry soap, etc., out of their clothing. We used the same machine to get the paint outgassing and carpeting outgassing out of the house after we moved in. We still use it sometimes if scents get in through the windows from neighbors and to keep the place free of mold and dust mites.
Do you or your MCS partner tolerate the home yourself? Yes, I have MCS and tolerate the home.
How long have you lived in the home? I’ve lived here on and off for about 3 and 1/2 of the last 5 and 1/2 years. My roommate has lived here for 5 1/2 years.
May I talk to a former tenant to see how they felt about living in the house? Former roommates stayed from 1 to 3 years. We don’t have contact with them anymore.
Why are you renting the home? We are subletting the room because we like living in this house – it’s really spacious and clean – and in order to afford living in this big home we need to make sure all the bedrooms are rented out.
Who are the closest neighbors and what are their potentially MCS-triggering habits? The neighbors live within 10 feet of our yard. The bedroom window faces the driveway. The washing machines of the neighbors vent to the driveway and the biggest problem we have had is with this. We have their laundry habits figured out and close the windows at those times. We occasionally smell barbecue/charcoal fires going – like on holidays – and we keep the windows closed when that happens. There are fireplaces in the complex that are sometimes used in the winter. They are not for heating but are aesthetic only, so aren’t used by everyone nor on a regular basis. We keep the windows closed in the winter except when airing out the house.
Are the neighbors MCS aware/compassionate/friendly? NO, the neighbors are not MCS aware or compassionate. However, we have our own yard and I regularly use it to air out clothing or other items. If you put a tent or something in the back yard probably no one would notice, to be honest. Most of our neighbors don’t spend time in their yards and the yards are separated by walls that are about 7 feet tall, plus a small gate between yards.
Due to the nature of the illness, potential MCS buyers/renters will need to stay in a home overnight, or for an extended period, before committing to a purchase or long-term lease. Doing so puts the homeowner at risk for potential contamination of the space. Are you willing to do this? The potential renter would not be required to sign a lease. We understand they would need to stay here overnight to see how they felt. We can discuss how long you can do that. I need to discuss with my other roommate to see how long this would be O.K. You would probably have to put a small deposit that, if you ended up not staying, you could lose, because we would have to turn other people away if you were in the room and then if you left it would be empty and we’d be out a month’s rent OR we have a spare room that is curtained only (only 3 walls with a curtain for the fourth “wall” – a formal dining room turned into a guest bedroom) that you might be able to sleep in for a longer period of time with less risk of losing a deposit. Will need to discuss w/ my roommate.
Allowed personal care products: You can use cotton sheets/bedding or rayon, bamboo, and/or poly blend bedding. Feather and futon beds are O.K. as long as you sun and air them and/or use an ozone machine to keep dust mites from growing. Only unscented (truly unscented) laundry products are O.K. – such as All Free and Clear, Ecos. The only scented product that is O.K. with me is Ecover Delicate wash (not their regular wash stuff). You can use Oxybrite or non-chlorine unscented bleach (not sure what brand this might be since I don’t use any). You can also use Borax, baking soda and white vinegar in the machine. No fabric softeners are being used now and I don’t know of any that would be O.K. but can discuss if you use some to see what it is.
House rules: We remove our shoes upon entering the front foyer and we put on indoor shoes upon entering the house. You don’t necessarily have to shower right away just because you were out of the home, but if you come home and have scents on you when you get home we would like you to either shower immediately or stay in your room until you can shower. But if the scents are really strong we wouldn’t want you to stay in your room too long because then the scent would get on the carpeting in the room. the other thing is that everyone is required to keep their bedroom door closed unless we are running fans so that the air is blowing out of the windows (airflow is going out the windows instead of coming out of the room and into the common areas.) this is so that we aren’t having to content with each other’s scents of whatever might be in our rooms. We also cook almost all organic foods and eat lots of salads and raw food. We don’t cook pork, lamb or veal in the home but do cook poultry and seafood.