Grease, mould and a slippery agent

QUESTION: During inspection the agent said mould and grease would be cleaned, but when we moved in, nothing has been done about it.

Can I put it into a repair request because it’s landlord’s responsibility “to provide the premises ‘reasonably’ clean and fit to live in”. On some areas the grease is about 1 mm thick!

And if I put a deadline, say seven days to clean the grease, and after some follow ups, can I submit Notice of Breach to CTTT?

ANSWER: There is a grey area here (no pun intended) about what you can expect in terms of the cleanliness of rented units.

You’re right about the landlord’s legal obligation in terms of the cleanliness or otherwise but then how do you define “reasonably clean”?

According to NSW Tenants Union, you should have been issued with a condition report and any commitment to clean the grease and mould, should have been noted under the “Landlord’s promise to undertake work” section.

Unless you have that written commitment, your only comeback may be about the mould.

“Mould is a health problem and the owner needs to take steps to stop the cause,” says Forum contributor CCath.

Call Fair Trading on 13 32 20 to take it further and you can read a lengthy and detailed response from a NSW Tenants Union legal advisor HERE, which includes various links to relevant factsheets.  Tenants in other states can log on to tenants.org.au to find their own local information.

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