Elena Sretenovic, better known as 'Mold Girl' or '@tallgurl,' is a TikTok user whose mold infestation videos have received thousands of views. She is a Las Vegas-based biology student earning her bachelor's degree at the University of Nevada.
Everything started when Elena and her roommates constantly fell ill since moving into their rented apartment. The doctor advised them that the problem was due to mold infestation, prompting them to alert their landlord, who dismissed the situation as "dust."
Elena was compelled to seek help on TikTok and record the entire situation. She has made a series of videos about the case, the first of which has received over 9 million views.
Elena Sretenovic's TikTok series on Mold Infestation
On December 3, 2021, Elena tweeted the first TikTok about the mold problem, with the description, 'TIK TOK PLEASE HELP WE DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO we're just broke college students.'
Her films were later shared on Snapchat's Discovery in February 2022, causing her story to go viral once more.
The story began when Elena and her roommates began "getting headaches out of nowhere," prompting a doctor to request mold testing.
Their landlord agreed to an investigation after the girls obtained a mold test kit from Amazon and hired a private mold inspector, but asked they pay for it if the tests revealed nothing.
On her video, there was a screenshot of a chat that said,
"The cost is $249, if they find mold, I will take care of everything. If they don't find anything, you will be liable for the fees."
Elena, who now goes by the nickname "Mold Girl," later updated her post, saying that the mold inspector had cleared the house of the allegations and that the girls had decided to undergo independent testing.
The tests revealed three types of molds from the sample: Pithomyces, Penicillium, and Aspergillus. Aspergillus is a frequent allergy, while Penicillium is a moderately poisonous fungus.
TikTok users had already invested considerably by the third installment of the series.
Previous Tenants Had the Same Issues
Multiple ex-tenants from the same landlord have DM'd the 'Mold Girl,' claiming they had the same concerns throughout their lease. Many of her supporters have also requested that she sue the landlord.
Elena returned to TikTok on February 3, 2022, to update users on the situation after the mold check was supposedly downplayed.
Mold girl noted in her most recent TikTok that they don't have the legal resources, aside from money, to file a case, and their lease expires in July, so they'll have to live with the condition for another six months.
"Shout out to Snapchat Discover for presenting my whole life story to the people of Snapchat. If you’re here from that, hi,” she remarked in her video.
"A lot of people want an update on the mold situation and to be honest, not much has changed. We still have mold, our landlord still doesn’t care, we still can’t afford lawyers, we still don’t know our rights.”