If you suspect there is mold in your rental home, learn what to look for and when your landlord might be liable.

Mold is a very serious environmental hazards causing concern among renters. It can lead to significant health problems such as rashes, chronic fatigue, nausea, cognitive losses, hemorrhaging, and asthma. 

If you suspect there is mold in your rental unit, contact the landlord immediately.  As per section 32 of the Act, the landlord “must provide and maintain residential property in a state of decoration and repair that complies with the health, safety and housing standards required by law.”  However, the landlord may also say that you have caused the mold, for example, by leaving damp towels around, not keeping the bathroom fan on long enough, etc…  You, as the tenant, are responsible to maintain reasonable health, cleanliness and sanitary standards throughout the rental unit and residential property. 

If you’re dealing with mold that you believe is not your fault, take lots of pictures and document everything including conversations with your landlord.  If you have questions, call the Residential Tenancy Branch at 1-800-665-8779. 

There are very few situations in which a tenant is allowed to withhold the rent. These are:

  • By order of the Residential Tenancy Branch
  • When the landlord agrees in writing
  • When the landlord illegally increases the rent
  • When the landlord does not reimburse the tenant for emergency repairs after receiving the written account and receipts.

If you are planning to withhold the rent, just be certain you are allowed to. Non-payment of rent is cause for eviction.

Arbitrated Decisions Regarding Mold

Case: Tenants looking for compensation regarding mold in the rental unit

Decision: http://www.housing.gov.bc.ca/rtb/decisions/2008/10/Decision10158_102008.pdf

Case: Both landlord and tenant cross apply for compensation regarding mold

Decision: http://www.housing.gov.bc.ca/rtb/decisions/2009/05/Decision1019_052009.pdf