Moulding Situation

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by ACH123, 29th Jan, 2020.

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  1. ACH123

    ACH123 Active Member

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    I want to facilitate a discussion around a recent moulding issue I had with my investment property. I want some pointers on whether what I've done was the right choice and also inform others who face this in the future.

    My property stands three levels floor above ground, in which the lower ground floor holds the garage and a lounge room, with main entrance to the property accessed from the first ground. All bedrooms are located above this lower ground floor.

    Before I put the property on market, I carried out refurbishments to it. There was one particular corner in the lower ground floor which moulding occurred and this was acknowledged in an inspection report. At the time, my PM and I both agreed the moulding was not a significant issue, as it was at the lower ground and no bedrooms were there, and can be fixed later down the track.

    Prior to moving in, the tenant inspected the property and was fine with it and moved in. 4 months later, they started complaining about the moulding despite viewing the inspection report. I had a look at the pictures they sent and it was still the same size originally. I informed them that this would be repaired once christmas period is over.

    Fast track to January 2020. I was organising works for the moulding. I received an angry email from the tenant claiming the moulding has damaged their goods and impacted their children and demanded I release them from the lease, or I'd be taken to tribunal, regardless on whether I repaired the mould.

    My PM advised me to release them from the lease to avoid a trial. I did just that and the tenant will be moving in 2 weeks.

    Based on what I've said. Was there anything which I should have done to avoid this situation? and was releasing them from the lease a good decision?

    Also, can I claim loss of rent from my insurance regarding my situation?

    Hope anyone who is experienced out there can advise. Many thanks.
     
  2. Trainee

    Trainee Well-Known Member

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    Photo and size?
     
  3. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    In NSW, you must declare it on the ingoing condition report.

    upload_2020-1-29_11-40-55.png

    • What have you done to remediate the condition?
    • How has it been treated to stop recurrence of the issue?
    • What is the cause of the mould?
     
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  4. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Why didn’t you fix the mould situation before renting the property? This would have prevented the issue with tenants.

    Mould can and will spread, and probably spread to the tenant’s furniture.

    This is a lack of timely maintenance, so insurance won’t cover you - insurance is for unknown and/or unforeseen events.

    As well, mould is a known health issue. You are just lucky the tenant hasn’t gone down this pathway particularly if children are involved.

    Make sure the mould fully treated and cleared (not just covered up) before renting again. Even so, inspect frequently to ensure it does not recur.

    And while you are at it, check the exterior of the building in case there is a damp area beside the wall causing the mould in the first place.
     
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  5. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Maybe just contact who you have landlord insurance with,and ask to speak too someone inside their legal department ,as a lot can happen --/no win no fee xxxxxxx/-- over a 2 week period ..After reading this i think with the way the world works these days it's no good thinking the problem will go away ,it may well be only the start..imho..
     
  6. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    this is my personal experience a few years ago, may not be helpful,
    but I had an IP In NSW,
    about 6 months into tenancy, tenant reported mould in the bathroom, agent told them to make sure windows were open, well ventiliated etc. etc.

    we didnt hear back, and a month later, they sent us photos of mould going through 3 rooms, and it was bad

    agent recommended a mould testing company, they did the report and came back with, no real issues except tenants had a lot of furniture in the house and they probably didnt ventilate well enough,

    my PM insisted repeatedly that if i got tribunal, I will guaranteed to lose and that i will be ordered to pay for all new furniture, and that she has seen 3 cases in the past few months where the LL lost,

    her repeated insisting made me thing it was either true or scare tactics,
    lo and behold a $5k request for new buying new furniture , they could only provide a invoice for $1500 furniture set that was about a month or two old,

    legal aid told me the tenant should have contents insurance and it was their repsonsibility, but the Property management was still insistent I would lose and end up payong,

    in the end i paid $800, and the matter was settled

    I still do not know to this day, who was right/wrong
     
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  7. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    The tenant did the right thing by reporting the problem. The agent should have inspected at that stage before offering advice. If they did inspect, there should be photos?

    Mould can grow quickly, so the bigger problem a month later is not surprising. Unless the mould spores were treated and eradicated, ventilation will slow down the spread but won’t kill the spores.
     
  8. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    agree, mould and its causes are often hard to work out, agent said it was just the weather, however it had never happened before, the report said it could be anythng including the clutter by the tenant,

    I was more curious/worried that if it went to tribunal, I would have had to pay $5k for the entire house furniture, as legal aid told me thats what tenants own contents insurance would be for
     
  9. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Clutter won’t cause mould - if mould is already present, then clutter may make it worse if clutter is sufficient to seriously restrict air flow. Damp, heat and humidity cause mould to flourish.
     
  10. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    youre right, didnt know that

    ------------------
    Does clutter cause mold?
    Clutter doesn't directly cause mold (if there's no mold on it already), but by (my) definition, clutter is "too much stuff." Having too much stuff piled up reduces airflow, which provides habitat for mold—dark areas may become damp due to lack of air circulation, leaky pipes or pet accidents.
    ------------------
     
  11. significance

    significance Well-Known Member

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    Just to piggy-back on this thread: I'm a home-owner relatively new to the tropics. I enjoy warm weather and am conscious of energy costs and carbon emissions so I don't want to run the air conditioner more than necessary. Most of the time, I am more comfortable with it off, though I can't deny it is warm and humid in the wet season. I also travel a lot and am frequently away from home for 1-3 weeks at a time. What do I need to do to prevent mould?
     
  12. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Install quality ceiling fans and run them 24/7. There are some really good and efficient fans out there with PVC blades which are low noise and effective.
     
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  13. significance

    significance Well-Known Member

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    Do ceiling fans help much when they are pushing damp air around? (If so - perfect!)
     
  14. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Damp and heat/humidity are your enemies.
    Look at ventilation, maybe leave windows secured and protected from weather open a bit.
    Ensure water drains from around the house and doesn’t lie in puddles close to walls.
    Google “moisture absorbers” and put them in rooms and cupboards.
    Treat any spots of mould immediately once you notice them.
     
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