A pair of NSW landlords have been ordered to pay their tenant $5000 for a leak in the rental property’s roof that led to mould growing throughout the home.
The tenant, who lived at the property from July 2020 to April 2022, made an application to the Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a rent reduction and compensation for the landlord’s failure to maintain the home in a “reasonable state of repair”.
The tenant claimed the landlord failed to repair the roof of the home in March 2021, which caused leaks and ceiling damage in the bedroom.
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The moisture then produced black mould and rendered the bedroom uninhabitable, the tenant submitted.
The leak and mould were both reported to the agent.
The ongoing failure to repair the roof resulted in mould growing throughout the home, causing damage to some belongings.
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The tenant applied for $15,000 compensation to cover the costs of having to move homes, damage to her belongings and a rent reduction.
She also said it would cover compensation for exposure to mould, loss of enjoyment, distress, disappointment, embarrassment, inconvenience and breach of privacy from the landlord attending without notice.
In their response and submissions, the landlords said they acted with “reasonable diligence in respect of the required repairs, by lodging an insurance claim and, when that was denied, seeking quotes for repairs”.
They also claimed the tenant failed to mitigate her loss by not cleaning the mould from her belongings and the house and by not leaving the rental earlier.
In her decision, General Member of the Tribunal Sharon Hanstein said she was satisfied the landlords breached their obligations and “failed to maintain the residential premises in a reasonable state of repair, having regard to the age of, rent payable for and prospective life of the premises”.
She ordered they pay the tenant $5000 in compensation.
“I am satisfied that the failure to carry out repairs has resulted in significant water ingress over a long period of time, causing ceiling damage and mould throughout many parts of the premises,” she said.
“I am satisfied from the mould inspection report that the mould was extensive, and active spores present, such that the tenant should not be in the premises.”
“I am satisfied there was significant loss of amenity and enjoyment of the premises as a result of the failure to repair.
“I am satisfied the bedroom was uninhabitable from the time the mould appeared on the ceiling, being unlikely to be able to be adequately cleaned or remedied by the tenant given the underlying cause of the water ingress was not repaired.”
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