Who is responsible for mould in a rental property?

What is mould?

Mould is a fungal growth that thrives on moisture. It can grow in your home during the wetter months when conditions are damp, dark and poorly ventilated. Mould can grow in your bathroom, kitchen, cluttered storage areas, wall and roof spaces and behind furniture.

Health issues 

When mould dries out or is disturbed, it releases spores which can cause illness in some people or exacerbate existing health issues. This can include conditions like asthma, respiratory infections, sinus problems, rashes and watery itchy red eyes.

Mould can also cause unpleasant odours and damage to building materials, contents and structures which may lead to expensive maintenance or management costs.

Where mould is commonly found in rental properties

Preventing mould in your rental property requires a joint effort by you and your landlord. It’s important to restrict moisture from entering your home and growing once it’s inside.

A few common culprits of mould include:

  • surface water leaking into your property
  • rising damp
  • rain leaking into your house through the roof or walls
  • poor ventilation
  • showering, cooking and boiling without proper ventilation (exhaust fans/open windows)
  • using clothes dryers without proper ventilation
  • indoor plumbing leaks
  • indoor liquid spills
  • storing large amounts of water absorbent materials, such as books or cardboard boxes in a damp space

What is the tenant’s responsibility?

If you’re renting property in Queensland, you must:

  • keep your rental property in a reasonable state of cleanliness;
  • not intentionally or negligently cause or permit damage; and
  • let your Property Manager know about any damage, as soon as possible.

As a tenant, you may be in breach of your rental agreement if mould develops because:

  • you got the carpet wet and failed to treat it or let it dry out properly;
  • you didn’t aerate the bathroom by using exhaust fans or opening windows;
  • you left pools of water on the tiles outside the shower and let scum building up; or
  • you dried clothes indoors and didn’t air the room afterwards.

If you have noticed mould in your property, get in touch with your Property Manager and let them know. They will be able to work with you and the landlord to find the best solution.