Q: Who is responsible for the removal of mould if it develops during the tenancy?

A: It depends on the circumstances. The landlord and tenant are both responsible for making sure the rented premises are liveable.

The removal of mould depends on why the mould developed. For instance, if the mould developed because the tenants allowed a build-up of moisture within the premises by never opening any windows then it could be up to the tenants to pay for the removal.

However, it may be the landlord’s responsibility to remove the mould if they neglected to make repairs to the property or if the property lacked sufficient ventilation which resulted in a build-up of moisture.

Timing is also a factor. If the mould develops close to the start of the tenancy, it could be considered pre-existing damage. The condition report contains a dedicated section on mould and tenants should note the presence of mould if it is discovered at the time of completing the report.

Ultimately a case by case approach is taken when deciding who is responsible for the removal of mould. This also applies when damp develops during a tenancy. Where mould or damp develops, tenants must notify the landlord or the agent as soon as possible. If there is a dispute regarding the repairs, an application can be made to the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal.

Further information is available on the Getting repairs done page on the Fair Trading website.