Who is responsible for Mould in a rental property?
Owners, tenants, overall residents…Is everybody dry after the spring rain we are receiving? Well hold tight because we have the summer storm season ahead.
Rain = Moisture. And Moisture = Mould.
Do you currently have mould in your property? Do you know how to look for possible roof leaks? Are you and/or the tenants taking the relevant precautions in maintaining the property if said property is prone to mould?
Mould should be dealt with as soon as possible. Mould spreads, therefore if it is not eliminated, the mould will cause more damage, more health risks, and cost more money in repairing the overall matter.
If mould is a problem at a rental property, all parties should be open and willing to discuss the matter, and right away. With multiple parties involved, such as the tenants, the real estate, the owners plus the tradespeople; effective and prompt communication is essential in finding a mutually agreeable solution to the issue in a timely manner.
“Although the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 does not make specific reference to mould, it does refer to the general standard of the property at the start and end of the tenancy, and how it should be maintained throughout” the tenancy. Here is a helpful link to the RTA website - https://www.rta.qld.gov.au/who-is-responsible-for-mould-in-a-rental-property
Here are a few ways mould can form:
- Properties located in full shade are prone to high moisture.
- Blocked gutters, old roof tiles and poorly designed downpipes can result in ceiling leaks.
- Old plumbing that has not been regularly serviced can produce small but continuous leaks.
- Poor ventilation in the home can trap moisture.
So where does the responsibility rest? Owners have a responsibility in ensuring the gutters are not blocked, the large trees around the property are trimmed allowing more sunlight onto the property, and that the plumbing is not leaking. The tenants however hold a responsibility in maintaining the property to prevent mould from forming, as well as, caring for the property by reporting any signs of moisture. If mould is caused by tenants not ventilation a bathroom whilst having hot steamy showers, or constantly having the blinds and windows closed during colder seasons, the tenants can be liable in some cases.
- Exhaust fans are turned on during showers or bath time.
- Rangehoods are turned on whilst cooking.
- Continuously ventilate the home. Open the blinds, let the sun in, and crack the windows open to allow the breeze to flow through the home.
- Garden maintenance. If you have plants near windows or doors of the home, they could be trapping moisture, as well as blocking any sunlight in the home.
If you have issues with mould in a rental property, ensure the tenants are taking the above precautions. Ensure the gutters are cleaned at least once a year. Is your property manager proactive in looking for these signs & risks during routine inspections? Speak to your property manager and arrange for a mould professional to inspect and investigate.
If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact our Property Management Team today – 0406 644 188.