Breaking the mould

QUESTION: Our apartment has a mould problem that was not disclosed to us before signing the lease.  We have complained about this several times since moving in 12 months ago as we are concerned about the health risks.

The agent says the landlord will have the mould removed only if we sign a lease for another year. Is this legal? – GV (edited from this post in the Flat Chat Forum)

ANSWER: The landlord has a responsibility to provide healthy and safe accommodation and mould can be a health issue.

The Owners Corporation has a responsibility to maintain and repair common property (like  walls) and the landlord should be hassling them, not you.

They have to fix the mould, regardless of whether you sign a new lease and you could also demand a rent reduction until they do so, backdated to the time that the mould was first reported.

If you’re in the last weeks of your tenancy and you haven’t been give a notice to quit, you are effectively in a periodic tenancy which means the landlord has to give you three months notice if they want you out.

Log on to where you will find an explanation of your rights in your state and an invaluable fact sheet on mould for tenants in NSW.  In Queensland, go HERE, in Victoria go HERE and in SA go HERE.

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