QLD Pre-Existing Mould Condition

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13 March 2021
Good morning LawAnswers,

I would greatly appreciate any info you can offer me and my young family.

Long story short: Moved into a beautiful rental in August 2020, paying $800/ week. On the Entry Report we documented a horrendous smell coming from the very large kitchen island bench (large inaccessible cavity); initially we thought it was a dead animal. When reported on the Entry Report, the landlord fixed this by putting silicone around the sink of the kitchen Island bench in December 2020, after 2 reminders.

At the beginning of this month, March, the puzzle pieces all came together at once. The smell from the interior of the island bench was now coming from the opposing drawers & cupboards in the kitchen. We began to notice mould on the books on our bookcases throughout our lounge room and bedrooms. As we pulled out our warmer clothing, eg boots, jackets, covered shoes, that had been in our closet since we moved in, they were significantly covered in mould. Mould had grown on our unused liquid medications on the top shelf of our pantry and when we started to look, mould was on unquestionably on every surface, doors and furniture.

Please know that we are clean people however, the mould, seemed to have completely snuck up and enveloped us.

We organised an independent mould company to conduct an assessment at the beginning of March 2021, which was 8 months after we moved in. The assessment reposted that mould was on every surface including our personal belongings and even throughout our belongings and furniture stored in the garage. It stated that not all items would be salvagable.

In between the initial mould assessment and the $2300.00 treatment, which the landlord willingly paid, we spoke in person to the real estate agent and asked directly 'Did the previous tenants leave because of mould?' Answer: Yes. When questioned further the real estate agent stated that he was informed by the landlord that the mould problem had been fixed.

Later that same day the real estate agent informed us that landlord would like to know when would be a good time for his air-con tech to come to the house to generate a quote and organise for air-con to be installed. We didn't ask for that, but that was their response.

We questioned our neighbours (our rental is a duplex, upstairs and down; we are downstairs) and they reported that the previous tenants left because they could not stand the mould anymore.

Just over a week later, the mould treatment was conducted. This required every item to be taken out of every every cupboard and every drawer so every one of our belongings could be treated.

The final treatment report clearly stated that mould was previously painted over on the walls throughout the house. When we moved in the entire place had just been painted.

Humidity levels of the house were recorded at 73% and should be between 30-50%.

The treatment report indicated that the outside of the house still needs to be treated as well as all of the blinds.

After 8 months, the smell (now known as mould, not a dead animal) under the kitchen island bench has been treated and the smell is now gone.

We have not lived at the premises for 2 weeks now. The landlord stated that he would authorise for us to break the lease without penalty; we have taken him up on that offer and have informed the real estate agency that we will be out next week.

The question (finally) ....

The mould was a pre-existing problem. Both the real estate agency and the landlord had this knowledge.

The landlord/ real estate agent did not advise us about the severe mould problem or how to go manage.

My family and I have been living with mould since entering the property. I exhibited chronic headaches starting in the New Year to very recenh is documented with my doctor. Very difficult to prove it is mould related; however, after leaving the premises, they have almost entirely disappeared.


Can we seek compensation for being provided with an unsafe, unhealthy living environment?

Thank you in advance for your time. I greatly appreciate any guidance, advice or feedback.

Yours gratefully,