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Ask Deborah Awyzio Your Own Question
Deborah Awyzio
Deborah Awyzio, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 863
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
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There is mould in the unit I rent which was here prior to me

Customer Question

There is mould in the unit I rent which was here prior to me moving in without realising it. I had taken a photo of the mould on the blinds but not listed it on the entry condition report as I did not click at the time that it was mould. I have been sick from this and am seeing an ENT specialist. I want go break lease to move and need to know if I can simply end the tenancy on these grounds without having to pay any extra fees.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon,

My name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advise but a guide to assist you.

Have you got a medical report that says it is not habitable and have you asked the landlord to rectify the problem?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No I didn't realise the issue was the mould until a few days ago.
I sent him an email at the start of the week explaining about he mould and my health and wanting to move but he did not respond. I sent another email the next day and also no response. I called him yesterday to say I wnt to move and he explained the break lease fees. I then told him I sent the emails and he replied to it after our phone conversation still listing the break lease fees.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon

You have to report it and then and ask them to do something about it.

Then you also go to your doctor and get a report about how this will affect you and if the dr says that you cannot live their as it affects your health then you rely on that to get out of the lease.

If they do not fix it they are in breach.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have already applied for another property and am waiting to sign the lease so I don't really have the time to do that.
Also I did report it in the email but I do not want to live there anymore due to this issue. There is only 6 weeks left on the lease as it is.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon,

You have to get the consent from your current landlord to break the lease or find that he has breached it so you can terminate. Otherwise you will be liable to pay rent till the end of the lease or until he finds another tenant. So do not sign anything until you have this sorted. If you sign a new lease you will be paying 2 rents. If you are happy to pay till the end of this lease then terminate it ending at the end of the lease period and sign the new one to start and you can slowely move from one to the other.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is the landlord not already in breach given I have photo evidence of it being there prior and not informing me of it or listing it on the condition report? One area that clearly has the mould is listed as 'grubby from old age' but it is clearly from mould and been cleaned as an attempt to cover it up.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon

He can only be in breach if you have asked him to rectify the problem and he has refused or failed to.

If you are going to say he was aware of it and refused to rectify it, you have to show he had knowledge.

He may not have had any knowledge at the time you moved in. This is the problem you have.

What you have described in the end is your position and the landlord may deny it. This is the issue. If you had evidence that he know then you had a good case.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I had a look just now at the color photos on the entry condition report taken by the real estate agent and the mould is clearly visable on the window frames.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon

Did you question it and did you request something be done about it?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No I didn't realise it was mould at the time. It has only been recently that the mould has come out in full force over winter and I have noticed it.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

This is the issue

it is your word against his as to what he knew.

As it was not formally pointed out and complained about he can deny any knowledge of it.

Raise it and make a point that he is in breached but be aware that if you take ti to court you may not be successful.