Tips & Solutions

MANAGING MOULD AND COLD IN YOUR INNER WEST HOME

As a property owner, it’s important that you manage any mould in your Inner West home. This ensures both the safety of your tenants and your property.

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There are two common issues that both landlords and tenants face in a rental property in the inner west mainly in the winter months. These are mould, especially in bathrooms, and how to keep warm when it’s cold.

As a landlord, there are some things you can do to ensure that your rental property is both safe and comfortable for your tenants.  We’ll have a look at these problems individually and give you some tips for things that you can do and also some advice you can give your tenants.

How to get rid of mould in your Inner West home

As a rental property owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your property is free from damp. This not only protects your tenants as mould can lead to serious health issues, but also, it protects your investment.

For example, if the external walls of the home allow damp to penetrate, then you need to rectify the issue. Similarly, if you own an apartment and a leak penetrates the floor onto the apartment below, it’s also your responsibility to fix the damage this may have caused.

Sydney has a reasonably humid climate, so mould in Eastern Suburbs apartments and Inner West homes can be a problem for many property owners. However, you can reduce the risks.

Some tips for landlords re mould control

  • Ensure wet areas such as bathrooms have plenty of ventilation. If possible, install a fan and ensure it is working correctly.
  • Supply your tenants with a dehumidifier. This will help to control the humidity and therefore, reduce the growth of mould. A dehumidifier is useful in both winter and summer in Sydney.
  • Ask the strata manager to ensure that external brick pointing is adequate.

Tips for tenants re mould control

Your tenants also play a role in ensuring that mould is not allowed to grow. Here are some tips to give your tenants if mould is likely to be a problem in your property.

  • Ensure that they always turn on exhaust fans both in the bathroom and the kitchen whenever steam is present ‒ or leave a window open.
  • Remind your tenant to open a window to let the damp escape if they use a dryer or dry clothes on an airer indoors.
  • Make sure that your tenants know who to call for damp problems. They should report any mould problems immediately to their property manager so that the cause can be identified and rectified.
  • Remind tenants to clean small areas of mould using household bleach, a mould-removing product or even vinegar. If mould is removed quickly, it won’t have a chance to spread and grow.
  • Advise your tenants to let shoes and clothes dry out completely before putting them away. Shoes can be packed with newspaper to absorb the damp.

If your property has a constant problem with damp, you might need to call a professional to help. Alternatively, you can ask your property manager for advice on who to call for moisture problems.

Help your tenants stay warm this winter in the Inner West

According to an article in The Guardian in February 2020, in the UK, around 9,700 deaths are recorded every year that are directly due to living in a cold home.

Although this problem isn’t quite as large here in Sydney, it’s still important to ensure that your tenants know these basic tips on keeping their home warm.

You can help your tenants to stay warm this winter by providing them with a few helpful tips. 

  • When the heating is on, close any doors to rooms not being used. This will retain heat in the areas where it’s most needed.
  • Put draught stoppers against closed doors to stop the cold air from coming in.
  • Buy stick-on weather strips from any hardware store to place around windows and doors and reduce draughts.
  • Use a heater with a thermostat. This is one of the most effective ways to control both the heating bill and the temperature inside a room.
  • Close the curtains and blinds to help keep the cold out. Over 40% of the heat in a room can be lost through glass windows. (As a landlord, you might want to install curtains and blinds that have a thermal backing. These not only keep the heat in in winter, but they’ll also keep the heat out in summer.)

Hopefully, these tips will help you to keep your property mould-free and ensure that your tenants are warm and happy.