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MOULD IN THE RENTAL PROPERTY. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE - TENANT OR LANDLORD?

July 07, 2021

Let's talk about MOULD in rental property

Mould plays an important role within the earth’s ecosystem.

But it is not something that you want growing inside your property as it can be a health risk.

 

Mould can also cause unpleasant odour, damage to building materials and structures which may lead to expensive maintenance costs.

 

Mould can appear in your home at any time of the year.
Especially in winter time, you have to be careful and take preventive steps of mould arising.

 

This applies in particular to when you're living in a rental property with poor ventilation and leaking damages.

 

Let have a look at what mould is

 

Mould is a fungal growth that thrives on moisture where the conditions are humid, dark and poorly ventilated.
Mould can grow in your bathroom, kitchen, storage areas, wall and roof spaces and behind furniture.


In simple words, moisture causes mould.

 

There are a few common causes of mould and all of them is moisture related:

  • A leaky roof, walls, pipes, indoor plumbing leaks, windows left open while it's raining or a flood, poor ventilation,
  • having a shower, cooking, using clothes dryer and unflued gas heaters without proper ventilation
  • keeping large amounts of water-absorbent materials (books or cardboard boxes) in humid places
  • under- or over-heating your home in the winter or over-cooling it in the summer.

It's important to figure out the main reason why mould appears and fix it properly, otherwise, it will continue to develop.

 

Who is responsible, tenant or Landlord?

 

The Landlord is responsible for fixing the damage if a mould issue appeared because of a leak in the roof, pipe or gutters or other structural faults.

But structural causes are not often issues.

 

As a tenant you must:

  • keep your rental property in a reasonable state of cleanliness;
  • not cause damage; and
  • let your landlord or real estate agent know about any issue, as soon as possible.

As a tenant, you are likely to breach your rental agreement if mould has appeared because you didn't take proper actions to remove the mould when it first showed itself.

 

These are some tips for tenants to avoid problems with mould:

 

Before you sign the lease agreement please check everything out including windows seals, taps are not leaking or gutters are in order. If you notice some damages make sure you get a written commitment from your landlord to fix the issues.


If you're already during the tenancy and noticed the mould appeared, try to figure out the primary cause.


With a small amount of mould in the kitchen or bathroom, clean it up and air the rooms well from then on.


When you noticed a significant amount of mould, or you find any damages, such as a leak in the roof or walls, let your Landlord or real estate agent know immediately and ask them to fix it.

 

You can ask to terminate your lease agreement if the Landlord doesn't fix the mould problem or you're not satisfied with the repairs.

But the Landlord may not agree to your request and in this case, you can go to the Tribunal to resolve the dispute.

Make sure you have all the evidence (tenancy agreement, your correspondence history with the Landlord or agent, photos and an environmental report on the mould in your home that you can get from a mould remediation specialist, or your council).

 

Mould-free house tips:

  • Keep your property in a clean and tidy condition.
  • Keep the even temperature in all rooms of your home.
  • In winter, put small heaters in different rooms rather than one large heater in the centre.
  • Never use unflued gas heaters because they can release water vapour into the air.
  • Always use the exhaust fan when you are having a shower or cooking and open windows when possible.
  • Clean up mould as soon as you notice it.
  • Wipe up condensation on walls or windows.
  • Keep blinds and curtains open during the day.
  • Tell your landlord or real estate agent as soon as you notice a problem and keep a record of any conversations you have over the phone.

If you face any troubles in your current tenancy please feel free to contact us and we will try to find a solution.

 

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