What is mould?

Mould is a organically occurring fungus and varies in its presentation. It can appear as a fuzz, stain or smudge commonly in shades of green black and white.

What causes mould?

Mould spreads and grows from tiny particles called spores which attach to surfaces conducive to their survival and reproduce. To survive and produce more spores to spread, it must have access to both food and moisture.

Most surfaces in the home, particularly organic surfaces such as timber will have an abundance of food to sustain the growth of mould. It is with the introduction of moisture that areas of the home become more susceptible to the presence of mould.

Wet areas such as bathrooms are among the most common areas of the home that attract mould due to high levels of humidity and moisture. There are some great advice on condensation management in the home to ensure at risk areas have adequate ventilation.

Compromised weather seals and plumbing leaks, poorly maintained gutters all lead to moisture in building elements of the home and create an environment that promotes the growth of fungi. It is important to address moisture issues as they arise; engage appropriate qualified plumbers to rectify plumbing issues and ensure gutters are inspected and maintained appropriately

It is also important that all areas of the home have access to adequate ventilation, particularly areas of poor lighting. Dark sub floor and roof space areas are an ideal space for mould to grow undetected and spread spores around the home. It is important these areas have adequate ventilation.

Will my building and pest inspection report on fungi?

During a Building and Pest Inspection, your inspector is specifically looking for fungi that damages timber. While mould is found on the wood surface only and does not decay the timber, it does indicate an environment conducive to timber decay.

Your home inspector will report on areas noted with heightened levels of moisture or poor ventilation. This commonly includes areas where mould is present.

What are the health affects?

The Victorian Department of Health advise that mould can cause nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, wheezing and respiratory infections.

People with severe asthma, allergies, weakened immune systems and lung diseases are more susceptible to these symptoms.

You should always seek medical advice from your GP if you have any concerns about the affects of mould on your health.

How to remove mould in the home?

The first and most important step is to remove the source of moisture. Moisture is the cause of the presence of mould, if this is not rectified at the source, the mould will regenerate.

The second step is to remove the mould. Fabric items such as clothing and soft toys must be washed in a hot cycle in the washing machine. Fabric items that cannot be washed in a washing machine such as couches or carpet should be professionally cleaned. Hard surfaces such as walls and ceilings can be cleaned with a vinegar solution (one part vinegar, three parts water) and microfibre cloth.

The last step is to prevent mould regrowth. Small areas of regrowth can be treated with the same vinegar solution used in the second step. If large areas of regrowth appear, it is recommended that professionals are consulted.

There is a great community guide provided by the Victorian Department of Health on Removing Mould at Home.


Rental Minimum Standards – Door Locks

The Standard – Locks

External entry doors to a rented premises must be secured with a functioning deadlock. Doors that cannot be fitted with a deadlock must be fitted with a locking device that meets the following criteria –

(a) is operated by a key from the outside; and

(b) may be unlocked from the inside with or without a key.

There are only 2 exceptions to this rule –

(a) Public lobby doors that opens to common property; or

(b) A permit to install a locking device has been refused under the Heritage Act 2017


Deadlocks are able to be fitted to almost all external entry doors. For compliance with this standard, it is likely that all external entry doors on the premises will require a deadlock.

You do not need a locksmith to install a deadlock unless you would prefer to have the lock ‘keyed alike’ with the other locks in the home. Your deadlock can be fitted by a carpentry contractor, handyman or can be a DIY project.

Deadlocks come in a variety of designs; some examples include –

Double Cylinder DeadboltsDouble Cylinder Deadlock

Mortice DeadlocksMortice Deadlock


Double Cylinder Deadlocks

Double cylinder deadbolt

 Sliding Door DeadlocksSliding Door Deadlock


When a deadlock cannot be fitted

If a deadlock cannot be fitted, the standard calls for a minimum of a key operated locking device that can be operated from both inside and outside of the premises.

This means if a deadlock cannot be fitted to the entrance door, the door must have an ‘entrance set’.

An entrance set is essentially a lock integrated into the door handle which can be locked/unlocked by a key from the outside and either with a key, ‘snib’ or both from the inside.

Entrance Lock SetEntrance lock

An entrance set installed in conjunction with a deadlock will provide the greatest level of security to the home. When a deadlock is installed to an entry door, there are other styles of handles that can be installed that comply with this standard.

A passage set is a handle with a latch that cannot be locked. The set allows the door to latch, but it can always be unlatched by operating the handle.

Passage set

A privacy set is a handle with a snib or button on the inside that allows the latch to be locked. The latch cannot be operated from the outside or inside unless the snib or button is unlocked. While a privacy set can be installed on an entrance door, they are more suited to internal doors in bathrooms.

Privacy Set

Where the standard does not apply 

  • A public lobby door that opens to common property

This clause applies to class 2 buildings under the national construction code including domestic apartment buildings where there may be two or more sole-occupancy units who share a common lobby.

The external entry door to the lobby itself is not governed by this standard. The entrance door to each rented unit in the apartment building must follow the standard.

  • If a permit to install a locking device has been refused under the Heritage Act 2017

Places and objects assessed to be significant to the cultural heritage of the State by the Heritage Council are placed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Heritage Act 2017 exists to provide protection and conservation of the cultural heritage of the State.

Part 5 of the Heritage Act 2017 relates to permits for registered places and objects. Under this Rental Minimum Standard, a premises is only exempt from installing deadlocks (or entrance sets if deadlocks cannot be installed) if the owner of the premises can prove they have applied for a permit with the Executive Director under The Heritage Act to install a deadlock and it has been refused.

If your property is on the Victorian Heritage Register and you require a permit to comply with this standard, you can find more information on the Heritage Victoria website.

What does a building inspection consist of?

The Standard

Australian Standard 4349.1-2007 Inspection of buildings Part 1: Pre-purchase inspections – Residential buildings. This is the Australian Standard which dictates what a Pre-Purchase Building Inspection and report must consist of.

The general scope of a pre-purchase inspection as per the standard is a “visual assessment of the property”. Inspectors must identify major defects to form an opinion of the condition of the property at the time of inspection.

Where will your building inspector inspect?

The inspector will inspect of all of the following areas if they are accessible  –

  • The site (any paths, driveways, fencing, sheds, carports within 30m of the home)
  • The subfloor (stumps, bearers, joists, flooring where accessible)
  • The exterior of the home (walls, doors, windows etc)
  • The exterior of the roof (roofing material, facia, gutters, downpipes, eaves etc)
  • The interior of the home (walls, ceilings, doors, windows, wet areas etc)
  • The roof space (structure, modifications, insulation etc)

What does a pre-purchase building inspection report include?

Reports must identify and describe any major defects and safety hazards observed during the inspection. Venatic use interactive online reports which allow our clients to view photos and videos of major defects and safety hazards. Reports also include links to further information to help our clients better understand the impact of defects on the home.

The standard does not require descriptions of all minor defects and imperfections observed on the property. The report will describe the overall extent of minor defects which reflect the overall condition of the home. Venatic reports include photos and descriptions of minor defects that are representative of the condition of the home. This is to assist in describing the overall condition of the home at the time of inspection.

Where applicable, the report will provide recommendations for further inspections from a specialist inspector such as an electrician or plumber. Venatic reports will also provide information to assist you in finding appropriately qualified tradespeople.

Your pre-purchase building inspection will not include –

  • Recommendations to engage contractors to assess, quote and rectify any major defects in the home will be included in your report. It is not in the scope of your report to provide quotes or estimates for rectification work.
  • Permits – Your building inspection may make comment on additions or alterations to the home or property. It is beyond the scope of the building inspection to obtain records for building permits. You can find more information on building permits on our blog.
When to arrange your inspection

When do I need to arrange a Building and Pest Inspection?

It is important to arrange your Building and Pest Inspections early in the purchasing process. This will allow time to consider the findings of the report and make further enquiries and negotiations if necessary.

When do I need to arrange a Building and Pest Inspection?

There are 3 key times you should consider engaging a building and pest inspector –

  • During the cooling-off period after signing the property contract,
  • During an agreed upon inspection period if your contract is subject to a satisfactory building and pest inspection, or
  • Prior to selling your home

Building and Pest Inspections During a Cooling-Off Period

There is a cooling off period of 3 clear business days from the date you sign contracts when purchasing a home in a private sale in Victoria.

Although this gives you a small window to arrange a building and pest inspection, let the team at Venatic know your intentions to utilise this cooling off period and we will make every effort to have your inspection scheduled accordingly. Venatic guarantee you will receive your report report within 24 hours of inspection, often on the day of inspection.

You shall receive a full refund of any money paid less $100 or 0.2% of the purchase price if you decide to pull out of the contract in this period.

Contract Subject to Satisfactory Building and Pest Inspection

Before you sign your contract, ensure it is subject to a satisfactory building and pest inspection. You may renegotiate or pull out of your contract if you are unsatisfied with the findings of your report.

The cooling-off period only allows a very short period of time to obtain and assess a report. Ensure the contract allows a 14-day inspection timeframe to allow time to obtain your report, follow up with any quotes for issues which may arise from the report and consider if re-negotiation of the property price or even pulling out of the contract is appropriate. In this instance, it is a good idea to work closely with your conveyancer.

Building and Pest Inspection Prior to Selling

Building and pest inspections are not only beneficial when purchasing a home. When selling your investment, it is beneficial to be proactive and arrange a pre-sale building and pest inspection.

A Venatic Pre-Sale Building and Pest Inspection will follow the same format as a pre-purchase inspection. This will give you as a seller insight on what prospective purchasers may come across and give the opportunity to rectify any issues before putting your home on the market. A positive building and pest inspection report makes great marketing material for your home, providing potential purchasers more confidence in placing an offer.


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