Mushroom growing in bathroom of Wellington flat
April 11, 2019
Young people living in a damp flat that has a sprouting mushroom have been unable to get their landlord to fix the problems.
New flatmate, Talia Brewer, walked into the bathroom one day to find the mushroom had grown overnight. “It just popped up”, she said.
Her flatmates had been “badgering” the landlords about the dampness but they struggled to get a response.
“I would want them to actually check out why there is a mushroom growing in there and fix that problem because there’s a huge frigging fungus in the wall which is pretty bad.”
She had lived at the Kilbirnie flat for a month and had never seen the mushroom.
“Mushrooms themselves are only the top of the fungus but the whole mushroom fungus is kilometres long. It makes me think, what the hell is in the wall? How does it even happen?”
Her flatmates said the mushroom comes and goes all the time. The crack was next to a constantly dripping sink which Brewer believed may have contributed to the mould growth.
The window in the bathroom is also broken and unable to be opened. She said the rest of the house is damp and her clothes in her room get mouldy.
Spokesperson for Renters United, Kate Day, said that she’s heard of cases of fungi growing in homes.
In this case, she said it sounded like there was “insufficient ventilation” in the bathroom. There needed to be plenty of places for air to escape, such as windows and an extractor fan.
The fungi could cause respiratory problems and other illnesses. It could also cause mental health issues to be living in a cold, damp house and “bordering on insanitary” with the growth of the mushroom.
“The quality of houses is in many cases really poor and that affects people’s quality of life. I’m not surprised to hear that someone is living in a place like that and we’ve been campaigning to improve the quality of people’s homes for some time.”
The tenants had the right to issue a 14-day notice for the landlord to fix the problems in the property.
She said houses that caused tenants to get sick should not be allowed. “You’ve got to have a baseline for what is sanitary and acceptable for health,” Day said. “Right now, the standards are too low.”
The Healthy Home Act which will require landlords to provide decent insulation and ventilation will take effect as of 1 July this year.