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Tenants of three months do not ventilate property

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  • Tenants of three months do not ventilate property

    I am wondering if anybody can assist with a problem we are having regarding a new tenant.
    We have a town house in Dunedin, that is fully furnished in the university area.
    Late February we rented to a couple, from overseas.
    They have the heating on full, 24/7 and although they say they are ventilating the property, there is significant mould growth.
    They also refuse to clean the mould, saying its not their job.
    What are our options? Its fixed term and ends late August.
    Can anyone advise, thanking you in advance.

  • #2
    Tenancy Services provide some good information for tenants on this. You could point them to that.


    Whose job do they think cleaning the mould is?

    If they agree to pay for the running of a dehumidifier, I would buy one and put it in. It is likely that the cost of running it would be offset by cheaper cost of heating of dry air.

    Likely that they are just not used to NZ homes without ventilation systems and the norm here is that we manually ventilate. If they are not willing to work with it, then you will need to decide whether what to put in a ventilation system or whether you want new tenants.


    • #3
      Thanks for the advice.
      Re the mould, they seem to think its our job.
      They are also refusing to sign a bond lodgement form - they have paid two weeks bond
      I posted the dbh link to them regarding mould etc, have offered endless advice and they refuse to open windows.

      Can anyone advise if I can break fixed-term based on any of this?


      • #4
        Hmm, may be better trying to see if they agree to end the tenancy.

        For the bond lodgement form, you need to have it sent in within 23 working days of receiving it, so may be best to put their names on it as tenants, fill out and the sign the landlord part. DBH will send a letter to the tenant asking for their signature. DBH may require a copy of the tenancy agreement to verify signature.

        For ventilation, security stays can go a long way, especially in bathrooms, kitchens, etc.
        Second the comment about the dehumidifier, make sure get it listed as a chattel in writing if it's a good unit so if it goes walk about you're covered.
        Last edited by Rentex; 31-05-2013, 09:22 AM. Reason: correcting mistake with number of days.
        Rentex Limited Property Management - Est. 1988


        • #5
          Sounds like they do not understand the way things are done in NZ.

          A bit late now, but I always get the bond lodgement form signed at the time the TA is signed and the bond/initial rent payment is received.

          Ventilation can be difficult.
          I know of a landlord who could not get his tenant to open the bathroom window to clear the steam. Trying to solve the problem, he installed a ventilation fan wired into the bathroom light switch. When you turned on the light, you also got the fan.

          Funnily enough, the ventilation problem did not improve.

          He investigated further, and found that the tenants so hated the fan that they were using a torch rather than the light in the bathroom!

          Sometimes you just cant win.


          • #6
            Wow! Torch!
            Yeah fan on the light switch is fantastic. Agree re: bond/tenancy forms same time.
            Rentex Limited Property Management - Est. 1988


            • #7
              Thanks for the advice.

              Torch! wow - got to laugh, otherwise go insane.
              They have now taken the mattresses off the beds and sleeping in the lounge with the heatpump on overnight as well, on a very high temperature.
              I have owned this property for 5 years, if ventilated there has been no problem.
              I purchased a new second, fridge freezer on their request, their lists of demands are endless. Plus the fridge/freezer is on carpet - they will not move.
              The house is moulding at an increasing rate - they are ruining furnishings & refusing to ventilate & return bond form (form of black-mail?)
              Its furnished to a very high standard - feather duvets, woolen blankets, posture pedic mattresses....
              and they are now saying I have taken advantage of them as they were new to the country??
              Is there legally anything I can do??


              • #8
                You MUST send the Bond to DBH within 23 working days. I would send it in with a covering letter, notifying DBH that the tenants are refusing to sign BF. Keep a photo of your signed letter for file.

                It is ridiculous that they are sleeping in the lounge on the beds. If they aren't moving the beds, normal perspiration/body heat will make the beds mouldy on the bottom.

                You need to get onto this FAST.

                Apply to TT. This will "educate" the tenants of their responsibility. It's cheaper to spend $20.44 and get the rules set, than to lose all furnishings because they refuse to furnish the house.

                Just make sure when you let a property that you take HEAPS of photos of the internal fixtures/fittings for file. If needed these can be submitted to TT as evidence of the state of the house when they started the tenancy.

                If they are truly not happy, let them leave. It's cheaper than refurnishing the house.

                And only TWO WEEKS RENT AS BOND, you've got to be kidding me!!
                Last edited by essence; 30-05-2013, 11:41 PM. Reason: Added comment
                Patience is a virtue.


                • #9
                  Im the reverse - a tenant with mold problems up in auckland, and i do ventilate the property. And yet the mold grows. The issue i got is the shower rooms have an extractor fan which ventilates into the roof cavity instead of going outside. I also suspect no building paper between roof and ceiling as well. It literally took three days to go from clean ceiling to black mold. Its a 1997 era house - so before council came down on leaky issues. The funny thing is we never use the room for showering as its upper story we leave windows open all the time.

                  So dont shoot your tenant, it may not be his fault. The other funny thing is the land lord has install gas cookers and heaters - which arnt flued.


                  • #10
                    Thanks for your help - great advice!!


                    • #11
                      Hi Arthur Lovell - how about installing a DVS system? That will take care of the ventilation issues.


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by donna View Post
                        Hi Arthur Lovell - how about installing a DVS system? That will take care of the ventilation issues.


                        Agree. Installing a DVS or HRV system will solve the ventilation issues.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by smilverpeech View Post
                          Agree. Installing a DVS or HRV system will solve the ventilation issues.
                          There are half a dozen or more of these types of system including a number of DIY options. The time you need it most is when it's coldest, problems is tenants turn them off because they pump cold air down from the freezing loft space. Tenants with those units with heaters installed as part of the system turn them off because of high energy bills.

                          Not a silver bullet by any means.