Do landlords have a duty to carry out a repair in a way that will not cause harm to the occupants?

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JohnnyB123

Member
14 November 2021
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We had a mold problem which we took to VCAT and won. VCAT ruled "all mold must be removed". The landlord / agent wanted to spray / fog the house (the problem was only in one wall where there was a leak). We asked them not to spray because my partner has a medical conditions (we provided drs letters) that could cause her to have an anaphylaxis to the chemicals. We asked them instead to remove that problem drywall which is the industry standard for mold removal, our mold inspector said the spraying wouldn't have worked to remove inside the wall which he tested and proved there was mold there. So they did nothing. The VCAT date is now up so we are taking them back to VCAT. The mold has made my partner extremely ill. Are they at fault because they didn't fix it? Or because we didn't let them do their proposed treatment (because it would have harmed my partner) are they not at fault?
 

Rod

Lawyer
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27 May 2014
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our mold inspector said the spraying wouldn't have worked

^^ This is critical. Expert report is essential.

re: Mould - you appear to have the matter in hand at VCAT, ask for the replacement of plaster.

re: Ill partner. Both parties are at fault. You could have moved out and claimed costs back later. Up to partner to take steps to protect their health.
 

JohnnyB123

Member
14 November 2021
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1
Thanks very much for your help Rod :).

Yes the expert will testify and has written a letter to that affect too that their treatment wouldn't have worked for mould inside the wall.

Do you know if the landlords have a duty to do the repair in a different way though if their proposed repair method (spraying in this case) could pose significant risk to the occupants health (anaphylaxis / allergy)? Or are we better off arguing that their proposed treatment would have been ineffective?

Many thanks,

Johnny
 

Rod

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27 May 2014
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Landlords have a duty to supply safe premises.

It may be argued, if there are wall vents, mould spores would still be circulating in the room/s.