The Mould Is Upon Us

The Mould Is Upon Us

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As most property investors know, a house can be one of the safest avenues of investment. If you’re looking for a place to park your savings, a rental property is no second best when it comes to ROI. It is only logical that the more money that you invest into your greatest asset, the more money it will return – you ponder, maybe, that long awaited upgrade will allow us to go overseas this year. But, the question remains, what are the problems which need remedy?

 

Not all house renovations or alterations are made equal, in fact only few actually come close to recouping costs when it’s time to sell or are used to their capacity during tenancy.  But, a couple actually yield more dollars during the resale; let’s have a look at what can be done. Despite what you see on The Block, functional will always outweigh aesthetic.

 

It’s been a hectic wet and windy autumn, temperatures have started to drop and winter has just broken through. With a property, there are a few things you may want to address before it’s too late! Your tenants will likely be well aware of any sources of dampness, mould and draughts – that will be the focus of any potential new tenants during these chilly winter months! AND.. we know, that you don’t want to be left a vacant rental property over this time.

 

Address all of your property’s problems sooner rather than later. If you do find yourself with a vacant property, this will make it easier to find good tenants. Additionally, this secures a return on your investment and prevents today’s problems turning into tomorrow’s costly damage. With Government legislation looming, the Residential Tenancies Act is coming quicker than you’d think! The imposition of stricter standards on landlords will mean that new requirements are scheduled to come into force. So, it only makes sense that we all provide warmer, safer and drier homes for our tenants. So, where do we start?

 

Insulation

 

Insulation instalments are compulsory on all new tenancy agreements signed since 1 July 2016. The landlord must disclose whether there is insulation in the rental home, where it is, what type and what condition it is in, so tenants can make an informed decision. We understand this can be costly!

 

In a year, on the 1stt of July, 2019, ceiling and underfloor insulation will be compulsory in all rental homes. Conversely, allowing for homes that are simply impractical to install insulation in. These instalments of insulation must comply with the regulations. Any landlord who fails to comply with the regulations is committing an unlawful act and may be liable for a penalty of up to $4,000. Our number one priority is helping you sort this issue out ASAP!

 

Mould and Ventilation

 

One of the easiest remedied problems is mould. Moving to the interior of the home, what we find is excess moisture build up. The most prominent way for mould to show up is through cooking, showering, drying clothes indoors and even breathing without adequate ventilation. Droplets can form on indoor surfaces such as mirrors, windowsills and on walls, particularly when they’re cold.

 

It is imperative that landlords ensure their rental properties can be well heated and ventilated, a simple ventilation system fixes this problem. Consequently, warm and healthy rental properties help tenants avoid illnesses and increase their willingness to extend their tenancy, saving you time!

 

Although landlords aren’t required to provide heating in every room, they are required to provide a form of heating in any living room. To get advice about approved forms of heating please contact your local council. Ventilation is important and you should think about how you can make sure the tenant can ventilate the house while keeping it safe and secure. Window stays can be good for this.

 

Inadequate heating and ventilation can lead to mould growth and dampness. See Tenancy Services’ page on for more information on how to minimise or prevent it. If the mould has spread too far, we recommend an effective mould killer to rid the possibility of additional mould accumulation. If you’re a landlord who provides heating and ventilation for your rental property, you’re responsible for maintenance. If there’s a useable fireplace, the chimney needs to be safe and regularly cleaned (check your insurance policy). It’s best to permanently block off unusable fireplaces to prevent tenants using it and to reduce draught.

 

We’ve included a few points to prevent mould occurrence for your tenants below:

1) Placing lids on saucepans, drying washing outside and avoiding using bottled gas heaters.

 

2) Opening the bedroom window for 15 minutes each morning.

 

3) Making sure your home is well insulated.

 

4) Heating your home.

 

5) Ventilating rooms regularly and leaving doors open to allow air to circulate, unless you’re cooking or showering.

 

6) If you’re cooking, showering or bathing – opening the window, putting the fan on and closing the door of the room you’re in.

 

Now, that list is for the tenants, for the landlords: the reason these small-scale improvements work is because cosmetic improvements grant first impressions and give the tenant or buyer an appreciation of a ‘new’ home.  Instead, think functionality, insulation, ventilation and keeping a warm home are the optimal solutions to the DIY buyers guide. However, if you are unable to do it yourself; at Quinovic, we offer service to do all of the work for you. Under our Property Management, we can source qualified and local tradesmen to help you through these simple yet easy home improvements.