The Seriousness of Mould

Mould is caused by the growth of fungi. Usually, it’s seen in damp, moist areas, after a water leak, or just areas with little natural light, and poor ventilation.

Mould can start to grow within 24 to 48 hours under suitable conditions and can spread rapidly through a property. Over time, it can cause significant damage to structures and furnishings. If mould gets on fabric, you can almost guarantee that it’ll have to be disposed of.

Prolonged exposure to mould can also lead to health issues, especially for those with allergies or asthma.

All in all, mould is a pretty nasty and serious issue that needs to be actioned as soon as it occurs. If not, you could find yourself in a financial pickle as the more mould that’s at the property, the costlier it could be to rectify.

For Landlords

Landlords are required to ensure their rental properties are safe and habitable for their tenants. If a landlord manages the property themselves, it’s important that the mould is removed promptly. If the landlord has engaged a property manager, this responsibility then falls on the property manager.


For Property Managers

Property managers also have a large responsibility to protect the tenants from health issues that mould could cause, as well as damage to the landlords property. Property managers need to jump onto any report from the tenant that the property contains mould and have it rectified immediately, with ongoing checks to ensure it has not returned. Failure to rectify, or delay repairs, can be a breach of professional duty for a property management business and they could find themselves having to bear the repair costs.

For Tenants

Tenants need to notify the landlord or property manager in writing as soon as the mould is identified to avoid further damage to the rental property, as well as trying to minimise or exacerbate any health issues that mould can cause.

The Issue

A good tenant would notify immediately, and a good property manager would rectify immediately. But what happens when there are delays? A tenant has a responsibility to notify any damages as soon as they are noticed. It is unlikely that if there is escalated costs to repair due to delay that it would be at the tenants expense.

Whereas, if a property manager was to delay rectification, the entire bill could land on their lap. Similarly, if the landlord did not repair the property, the repair costs could increase substantially and they could also have a legal liability issue if the tenant decides to pursue for damages. Damages could include medical costs, time off work, relocation costs etc if the mould caused serious health issues.

The tenants also have a right to break lease if the property is not in a habitable state. This can be quite costly for the landlord as they would have to pay for the advertising costs, repair costs, and lost rental income for any time in between finding another suitable tenant.


Does Insurance cover mould damage?

Mould is an exclusion under insurance policies.

Many insurance policies do not cover mould damage or limit coverage because mould can be a preventable problem. Insurers often view mould as a maintenance issue that property owners should address before it becomes a larger problem.

However, there can be cover considered if the mould is a direct result of an insured event, say a leak from a storm.

Prevention is the key 🔑

  • Running an air-conditioning on the dry setting
  • Keeping windows open in dark areas of the house if possible
  • Fix leaks as they occur
  • Use mould resistant paints in wet areas like bathrooms and laundries
  • Having extraction and exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchens and laundries


All in all, mould is a serious issue for property owners, tenants, and property managers. It should be addressed as quickly as possible to ensure no further damages to property, or health issues to occupant occurs. Insurance may or may not cover the remediation costs, which further highlights the urgency that mould represents.