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Research report

Renter's guide - Dealing with mould

Mould is a health hazard that can lead to increased illness in your household. Here's how to manage it.

Sometimes no matter what you do, the mould just keeps coming back.

Mould is a health hazard that can lead to increased illness in your household, so it’s important to manage it as best you can.

Managing mould

  • Wipe condensation off windows and walls. You can get squeegees for windows but an old towel – regularly washed and dried in the sun – will also do the trick.
  • Remove surface mould and mildew from hard surfaces when it appears. Small patches can be dealt with using soapy water and then drying the area well.
  • Mildew on shower curtains is usually because a bathroom isn’t getting enough air and the curtain can’t dry out. Leave them closed when not in use.

Signs of moisture issues

According to a 2015 BRANZ survey, more than half of New Zealand rental houses had visible mould. It’s often caused by moisture issues in the home and may be beyond your control to manage.

Cleaning supplied

These are some of the symptoms:

  • Musty smells in rooms that are closed for any period of time
  • Damp or mouldy clothes in wardrobes
  • Mould or mildew forming behind paintings, mirrors, etc
  • Stains or watermarks on ceilings or walls
  • Mouldy ceilings and walls
  • Problems with areas of rotting wood in the structure of the house
  • Mould under the house.

Read more in our dampness and ventilation section.

Talk to your landlord about making repairs if required. See our sections on your rights.

If you think the mould, cold and damp in the home is bad enough that it could be affecting your health, you may be eligible for a healthy home assessment.

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A renter's guide to a warmer home

Our free guide provides advice and tips on what you can do to make your home warmer, cosier and cheaper to heat.

See more from our guide

Why is this free?

This report is free thanks to funding from the Ministry of Health.

Consumer NZ is non-profit. To help us get a fairer deal for all New Zealand consumers you can become a Consumer member or make a donation. We’ll use your contribution to investigate consumer issues and work for positive change.


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