MOULD IN A RENTAL PROPERTY – WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?

Mould can prove to be a major concern for tenants and landlords alike, but who is responsible for treating it?

The answer depends on why the mould is there in the first place.

Whilst the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 does detail requirements about the standard maintenance of a property throughout the tenancy agreement, however it does not specifically make reference to mould.

It is the responsibility of the tenant to notify the agent or landlord of any mould in the property.

If the mould is a result of an issue in the property, such as a roof leak, it is generally the landlord’s responsibility to clean the mould and make any repairs necessary to maintain the property in good repair.

If the mould is caused by the tenant, they are responsible for its removal and repair of any damage that it may have been caused.

For example:  If the tenant continually allowed steam to build up in the bathroom without proper ventilation and/or regular cleaning, resulting in mould, then the tenant may be liable. If the mould is a result of a structural issue, e.g. a roof leak, then the landlord would be liable for the repairs.

If the landlord or tenant can’t agree about how to deal with the issue by talking with each other, the RTA’s dispute resolution service may be able to assist. You can apply for this service by lodging a Dispute resolution request (Form 16).

If dispute resolution is unsuccessful, an application can be made to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) for an order.
Any arrangement between parties about mould should be included in the special terms of the tenancy agreement.

Source: RTA Website