When it comes to rental property maintenance, the question of who is responsible for mould is often up for debate. The answer to this question is oftentimes unclear and would usually boil down to what caused the mould in the first place and who is liable for it.

The presence and abundance of mould in your house greatly depends on the season and which part of Queensland you are living in. There are many types of mould, and they vary in different sizes, forms and shapes, and can be found in different areas of a house or unit. However, frequently so, mould can be found in dark, damp areas of the house such as the bathroom, toilet, kitchen, laundry room, as well as areas that have poor ventilation.

How can you identify the cause of the mould?

The clues are in the areas where the moulds are found. Mould in the shower could be telltale signs of neglect or poor hygiene practices on the tenant’s part. On the other hand, mould on the ceiling and walls might mean that the room lack ventilation, or it could reveal a problem with the home’s or unit’s structure which, in turn, says something about neglect on the landlord/property manager’s part.

Especially now that it’s winter season, hot showers are a necessity. It’s best that you advise your tenants to keep their rooms well ventilated to prevent the formation of mould.

In cases where it’s very difficult to identify the cause of mould, you can hire a mould specialist to confirm the cause.

What to do with mould

Mould can pose a health threat to humans as they can likely cause respiratory problems and trigger allergic reactions when huge quantities of spores are present.

As soon as signs of mould build up is noticed, it should be dealt with immediately before it grows into a much bigger – and costlier – problem. Both parties are expected to coordinate with each other in order to resolve any  issues regarding mould.

There is no specific reference to mould in the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008. However, it does require that a general standard is adhered to at the start and end of tenancy and, obviously, mould would fall under this section.