The Residential Tenancies Act 1997 does not say who is responsible for dealing with mould in a rented home.
Who is responsible for treating mould may depend on whether:
- the tenant contributed to the problem. For example, if the tenant has allowed mould to develop in a bathroom by not using ventilation fans, the landlord may serve the tenant with a notice requiring them to fix the problem. Landlords can use the Notice for breach of duty to tenant/s of rented premises (Word, 465KB)
- a problem with the property has allowed the mould to develop. For example, if a defective window frame has allowed rainwater to leak into the property, causing mould, the landlord must deal with this as a non-urgent repair. Tenants can use the Notice to landlord of rented premises (Word, 1.8MB).
Mould is common after floods or heavy rain. Tenants should advise their landlord or agent immediately if they see signs of mould, using the Notice to landlord of rented premises (Word, 1.8MB).
For more information on arranging non-urgent repairs, view our Non-urgent repairs page.
Urgent mould treatment
If the mould is causing a danger to health this may be considered an urgent repair, because the mould is causing the property to be unsafe.
Tenants will need to support their request for urgent repairs by providing proof that the mould is dangerous and/or causing a health issue. Examples include:
- an assessment report by an occupational hygienist or environmental health professional. Some local councils are also able to provide these assessments
- a medical report, if the tenant has an existing health issue such as asthma.
If tenants pay for assessments or medical reports, they may consider seeking compensation for these costs from the landlord or by applying to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
For more information on arranging urgent repairs, view our Urgent repairs section.
If the landlord and tenant cannot agree
If a landlord and tenant cannot agree on who is responsible for treating mould, either party can apply for a determination from VCAT.
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