Flatting


Staying warm and dry in your Dunedin flat
Mould and mildew are health hazards. Some mould spores are toxic and inhaling them can have a nasty impact on your health. You could get sick more often, have breathing difficulties, an allergic reaction, wounds that won't heal... not very nice!
It's the landlord's responsibility to provide the flat in a clean and tidy condition and keep it maintained to a 'reasonable state of repair'.
It's the tenants' responsibility to take 'reasonable steps' to keep the flat mould-free. Here are a few tips:

Do:

- Ventilate the flat by opening the windows, particularly when you're having a shower or cooking. Ask your landlord to put catches on the windows so - Ventilate your bedroom by leaving the door open from time to time.
- Open your curtains during the day and let the sun in.
- Wipe condensation off the windows every morning.
- If your flat has a clothes dryer, ask the landlord to install a vent to take the moisture outside.
- Air your mattress and turn it over from time to time.
- If you've got clothes, books or other stuff stored, periodically check that they're not going mouldy.
- If you're lucky enough to have a heat pump, check whether it has an anti-mould setting

Don't:

- Live in filth - mould loves company. If you wipe down windows and clean your bathroom at least once a week the mould is less likely to run rampant.
- Use gas heaters - they give off lots of moisture.
- Dry your clothes on a rack inside.
- Put your mattress directly on the floor - use a bed base otherwise you will rot the carpet.
- Ignore mould if it forms- it will not go away on its own and it is bad for your health.
The warmer your flat, the drier it will be. In fact, keeping your home 5-7 degrees warmer than outside is recommended - but this can be hard for cash-strapped students.
If you've done your best to keep the place dry and it's just not working, it might be because your flat has structural problems. It's your landlord's job to fix these problems, and make sure that the flat complies with the Dunedin City Council's (DCC) minimum standards. Come and see us at OUSA Student Support for help with getting stuff like this fixed.

DCC Minimum Standards

The Dunedin City Council sets housing standards to protect tenants against dangerous and unsanitary conditions.
- The flat should be as free as possible from dampness, with adequate ventilation.
- There should be no cracks, holes or depressions in the walls or floors.
- The supply of electricity should be safe.
- The flat should be weatherproof (ie no leaks).
- There should be a way of getting out if there's a fire
- The kitchen should have adequate facilities to store and cook food hygienically.
Flat not meeting these standards? Call the DCC on (03) 477 4000.