It is one that as Brisbane property managers we come across regularly, but how mould is dealt with in a Brisbane rental property depends on the circumstances.
Mould comes in many colours and forms. It might be minor or might be severe.
There are two factors that cause mould – moisture and mould spores.
Usually, mould occurs in damp or dark areas of a home – bathrooms, kitchens, poorly ventilated areas, or areas that have had flooding or other wetness or water damage occur.
In winter, hot showers cause steam and it is important for tenants to ventilate bathrooms by opening windows or using exhaust fans. It is also important for tenants to deal with mould quickly before the problem becomes more severe.
While most mould is generally minor and able to be treated easily by a tenant with cleaning, it could also be a sign of further issues. Mould on a ceiling could be a sign of a tenant not ventilating a room sufficiently, but could also be a sign of a potential roof leak or insufficient ventilation in the ceiling, or caused by overhanging trees not allowing sufficient sunlight and air-flow in a room.
Here are some tips to reduce the risk of mould in your Brisbane rental property. You will note that most of these relate to ensuring good ventilation.
- Install exhaust fans in prone areas such as bathroom, kitchen and laundry
- Security screens are a great safe way to allow air circulation day-long
- Ensure gutters are clear and drainage is adequate
- Keep exterior property areas free of mould – external walls, eaves, gutters
- Keep garden foliage trimmed to ensure good sunlight and air-flow
- Service air-conditioners regularly as this also keeps them in good working order
- Ensure tenants are keeping curtains and blinds open and windows and doors are opened regularly
Large quantities of mould spores can be a health hazard, potentially triggering allergic reactions and respiratory problems. It is also important to note that not all mould that is dark in colour is “black mould” – only a laboratory test by a qualified practitioner can confirm the species of mould.
The RTRA Act that governs the landlord/tenant relationship, does not make specific reference to mould, but the Act does cover the general rules about the standard of the property at the beginning of a tenancy, and how it should be kept throughout the tenancy.
If mould is a problem, all parties should be communicating and working together as with all matters in a tenancy, to deal with the issue thoroughly and respectfully. The cause of mould must be determined to assess a course of action.
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