Dunedin students challenge landlord over mould-ridden flat

  • 13/06/2018
Dunedin students challenge landlord over mould-ridden flat
Photo credit: Getty

If you live in a horrible flat then a group of students could provide the inspiration you need to do something about it.

Tenants of a Dunedin student flat have won a payout after a building report found toxic black mould posed a risk to the nine female tenants, Stuff reported. 

Despite being told it was a typical student flat when they first inspected the house in 2016, the group signed a year long lease for 2017 and agreed to pay $140 a week.

However things began to deteriorate quickly with one girl saying the house made her the sickest she had ever been.

One even became so unwell she developed asthma with a doctor saying mould was to blame, Stuff reported. 

The rapidly spreading mould wasn't helped with one shower leaking into a lounge below.

Despite the property manager getting a builder to inspect the house, nothing was ever achieved so the flatmates proceeded to take matters into their own hands.

They sought out their own building inspector who concluded the home was not watertight and could have been leaking for up to two years. 

He noted there was a "significant/serious risk" involved with toxic black mould stachybotrys present in the walls, Stuff reported. 

The lack of action from the property manager and owner prompted the flatmates to go to the Tenancy Tribunal - their lawyer filed a submission seeking more than $100,000 against Paul Reuben of Student Accommodation Ltd, and Blackdog properties. 

"They have endured a poorly maintained and managed residence that has adversely impacted upon their health, safety, and quiet enjoyment of that property," the submission said.

The report also said the tenants "suffered from prolonged exposure to high concentrations of toxic mould". 

Both parties have now agreed to settle for an undisclosed sum.