Mould in unit

Hi All

My wife and I are renting a unit, and have a mould problem. Basically it started at the start of winter in the main bedroom, on the blinds and the glass door. Being our first place, we thought we'd do the right thing and tell the RE agent immediately. This was about 3 months ago. It took a month for them to organise a plumber to look at the issue, and nothing since. The plumber indicated it was a building/strata issue.

We didn't want to clean it, as we wanted someone to come look at it and fix the problem (trust me, we wanted to at times!). It got to the point where I took in a blind to the RE office to make a point. Basically the RE agent had done nothing, and in the meantime it had spread quite badly, and has also started in the spare room, but nowhere near as badly.

A new RE agent took over and got things moving. Along with the LL and another plumber, they came to look at the problem. This plumber said it looked like condensation had caused it. My wife and I both work, and are out of the unit basically during daylight hours during the week. It gets quite cold in winter, and there is often loud traffic (V8s, motorbikes) and the odd party so we keep the bedroom door closed while we sleep.

The bedroom has no ventilation, but does have a bolt which can be used to bolt the door open 2 inches or so. However we always close the door, as my wife and I are uncomfortable leaving the place open all day (her place was robbed a few years ago and has been nervy about it since).

The spare room has no ventilation, and the window does not have the ability to be locked in an open position. We discussed options of putting a bolt in the window in the spare room, installing a vent through the wall, and installing a vent in the glass.

The landlord states that there has never been an issue with this place before, but other units in the complex have had similar problems.

The landlord has agreed to cleaning the mould, but has refused to make any changes (i.e. no vents or bolt in the spare room window). He has also said that any further costs related to mould cleaning would be on us, as it is a ventilation issue. I think the RE agent also suggested using the old "stake in the window runner" trick to keep it open a crack during the day, which I am not comfortable with (imagine what an insurance company would say).

Otherwise our place is immaculate (RE and LL have said so), our rent is always on time, we have helped clean up things for the landlord which we really had no obligation to do, have taken days off work to make it easier for everyone, so I think we are model tennants.

Should the landlord at least install vents in the glass, and possibly repaint using mould-resistant paint? I understand it is an issue with strata for external vents through walls. I also will not leave the spare window open while we are out without a proper lock. Given that, is it fair that the landlord expect us to pay for cleaning, when they will not help address the lack of ventilation, or the security of the spare room when ventilated?

I'm willing to clean it myself when it first appears though. We also have been using 3 of those damp-rid buckets (at a not insignificant expense, I should add). Now that we know it is a ventilation issue, we will make more of an effort to air the place as well where possible.

Am I being too demanding? Or am I within reason?
 
It sounds like it is due to you not ventilating the property when you lock up to go to work.
I can't see it is the LL's problem.

It's not the tenant's problem either! It's poor construction that allows this to happen and therefore it IS the landlord's issue. The tenant CANNOT be expected to leave the window propped open etc for obvious safety reasons.

I'd contact the health authorities for advice because I think you'll find it represents an unacceptable health risk for them not to fix it.

Good luck!;)
 
You are lucky that you at least have a re agent. I rented a place privately (upstairs/downstairs duplex). The upstairs bathroom wasn't sealed properly and we lived downstairs which spontaneously grew mould all the time. wake up one morning, mould all over my shoes. Another day, mould all over my wooden spoons. My easel. My Walls, My Cupboards, My towels.
Landlord wouldn't do a thing.
AND
when we had to move out we had to scrub it all off. From every single surface of that place.

I will never rent privately again.
 
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