Mould liability

Karyn asks:
(updated on Friday, December 06th 2019)

The tenants in my property have used a drier in the laundry, un-ventilated for three months. This has led to a great deal of mould and peeling paint. Prior to this, the three-monthly inspection reports for this tenant were clear that there was no damage/mould anywhere in the house. The reports covering the six years before (for the previous tenants) also confirm this.

But, unknown to me, the EQC painting in this area seven years ago was substandard - so when there was excess unventilated moisture, mould grew and paint peeled. There is a strong communication trail from the property manager showing requests that the property be ventilated. There are also neighbour reports that the curtains and windows were never opened. And mould has also appeared in other very sunny rooms.

I accept the painting of the laundry is a contributing factor and my responsibility. But my property manager tells me that the tenants are not liable for anything at all. That’s because they “didn't understand” what they were doing and the initial paint job negates them fully. Yet they initially admitted liability. I’m very confused.

 

 

 

Our Experts Answer:

It is curious that for six years there were no mould issues and then in the last three months there has been a mould problem. I am surprised too that a paint job seven years ago can last six years and then fail in three months.

The common denominator seems to be the current tenants using a drier in an unventilated room. The suggestion that the tenants are not liable for their actions because “they didn’t understand what they were doing” is rather facile and sounds like a fob-off.

The correspondence trail from the property manager and the evidence of neighbours should help to establish the cause of the mould. I don’t think the initial paint job can absolve the tenants from the responsibility of acting with due care and attention to prevent mould.

 

 

Select Home Loans 4.29
TSB Special 4.34
ICBC 4.39
HSBC Premier 4.39
Heartland Bank - Online 4.40
China Construction Bank Special 4.45
SBS Bank Special 4.55
Kainga Ora 4.57
Co-operative Bank - First Home Special 4.75
Kiwibank Special 4.85
AIA 4.85
Select Home Loans 4.86
Heartland Bank - Online 4.90
TSB Special 4.99
ICBC 5.09
HSBC Premier 5.15
SBS Bank Special 5.19
China Construction Bank Special 5.19
Kiwibank Special 5.19
AIA 5.35
Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 5.35
First Credit Union Special 5.45
Select Home Loans 5.20
TSB Special 5.75
Kiwibank Special 5.79
HSBC Premier 5.89
ICBC 5.89
SBS Bank Special 5.95
BNZ - Classic 6.19
Resimac 6.33
China Construction Bank Special 6.35
Westpac Special 6.39
Kainga Ora 6.43
Select Home Loans 4.09
Heartland Bank - Online 4.10
Pepper Money 4.49
TSB Special 4.79
Liberty 4.84
Kiwibank Special 5.00
ICBC 5.25
Kainga Ora 5.43
China Construction Bank 5.50
Kiwibank 5.50
Kiwibank - Offset 5.50