Newcastle is shivering through one of the coldest and wettest winters on record, ideal conditions for the germination of mould spores.
Continuous high humidity and extended periods of rain are to blame for what many Novocastrians are describing as a mould scourge.
Despite being a natural part of the environment, under the right moist conditions mould spores can germinate and spread very fast.
And while there are ways of ridding your home of the ghastly fungus, if you are a tenant, how much of it is your responsibility?
Director of Century 21 Novocastrian Property Management Casey Healey says both parties have a role to play in keeping a home mould-free.
“The tenant’s responsibility is to keep the rental property in a reasonable state of cleanliness by not intentionally or negligently causing or permitting damage,” she said.
“Let your landlord or real estate agent 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 either got the carpet wet and failed to treat it, or let it dry out properly, didn’t aerate the bathroom by using exhaust fans or opening windows, left pools of water on the tiles outside the shower and let scum building up, or dried clothes indoors and didn’t air the room afterwards.”
Mrs Healey says the concern is that mould in a property can become severe if left untreated so tenants should let property managers know as soon as they notice any spores.
“If you’re a tenant, keep your home reasonably clean and stay in touch with your landlord,” she said.
“Tell them in writing as soon as you notice mould in your home that you can’t easily fix.
“If your valuables are being affected by mould, clean them quickly and put them somewhere they won’t be damaged. For example, you should remove your clothing from a wardrobe where mould is growing.”
Landlords also have a role to play in keeping their properties mould-free,” Mrs Healey says.
“The landlord responsibility under tenancy law states property owners acting as the landlord must keep the rental premises in a reasonable state of repair by meeting building, health and safety requirements, and ensuring repairs are undertaken in a reasonable period,” she said.
“As a landlord you could be facing a breach of the rental agreement if mould develops as a result of not attending to maintenance matters reported by the tenant.”
Visit Mould Removal Australia for more information.