Mould needs moisture to grow. Heating and extractor fans, regular airing and gloss or mould and mildew resistant paint can minimise moisture and therefore mould. It is important as a tenant to use extractor fans provided, to regularly air areas and to attend to the mould as soon as it is noticed.
If you notice mould appearing you might consider removing it yourself (see links at the end of this fact sheet) or getting a professional cleaner to remove it for you. If the mould keeps coming back despite best efforts, it is likely that it is a structural problem and is a landlord/agent responsibility.
A tenant can seek general repairs that would fix the problem such as installation or repair of extractor fans, efficient heating or window locks to allow airing.
Alternatively, a tenant can contact their local council to arrange an inspection by an Environmental Health Officer. A health officer can compel landlords/agents to fix problems under the Public Health Act.
Minimum Standards – Ventilation
Applies to tenancies entered or renewed after 1 August 2015 and from 1 August 2018 for all tenancies
Adequate ventilation has to be provided to each room. A room is considered adequately ventilated, when it has a window to an outside area. The window should not be smaller than 5% of the floor area of the room.
If there is no window to an outside area, the room can alternatively be connected to another room, which has a window or a door and does not contain a toilet.
For the sake of combining security and adequate ventilation, windows must be lockable into a position that creates a gap between the window and the window frame. The gap should be not less than 15cm wide and should not enable a person to enter the room in which the window is situated.
Rooms including toilets, bathrooms and laundries may also be ventilated by an exhaust fan or a similar device, that takes air either from the room to the outside or an adequately ventilated roof space.
In their FAQ section the Tenants’ Union of ACT discuss what tenants can do about mould, including advice on preventing and dealing with mould. Please note though, that the rights and obligation section does only apply to the ACT!
Housing Tasmania has a Damp, Condensation and Mould Fact Sheet including tips to reduce mould to occur and removing mould.
The Victorian Department of Health website has a page on mould that focusses on health issues and actions to minimise it.
Toxic Mould Support Australia offer advice on building remediation and mould prevention in their FAQ.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not legal advice. It is intended as a guide only. It applies only to legislation current in Tasmania as at 17 April 2018. For information regarding a specific tenancy problem please phone the Tenants’ Union on 1300 652 641 or (03) 6223 2641. The Tenants’ Union of Tasmania Inc. accepts no responsibility for actions based on this information, nor for actions based on electronic translations of this information.