What are your rights as a tenant if you have damp and mould in a rented property?
It is the landlord’s legal responsibility to fix damp problems if they are related to an underlying repair issue.
What should I do next?
If you have damp and mould in a rented house, you should pass on our details. Talk to your landlord or managing agent about the issue, or send them a letter using this template. We are a damp specialist offering damp surveys (so there’s no excuse!)
How much of an issue is damp and mould in rented properties?
Damp and mould are common problems in UK rented housing and at least 8% of rented homes are suffering from damp or mould. This is primarily down to wet weather and cold homes with a lack of correct damp proofing, heating and ventilation.
A build-up of mould can look unsightly, but it is also harmful to health. Mould spores have been linked as one of the causes of needless health problems such as bronchitis, sinusitis and various allergies.
We have put together a guide on how to spot damp and who is responsible for damp in a rented property. At Prokil we offer effective long-term damp proofing solutions and damp removal with a 20-year guarantee.
What causes damp?
Damp and mould are the results of excess moisture in the air and lack of adequate ventilation and heating. It’s often found around damp places including bathrooms and kitchens but can also be caused by leaking water or structural defects. There are three types of mould to look out for; condensation, rising damp and penetrating damp, which can all be prevented through damp proofing.
Signs of damp are:
- Staining/Damaged wallpaper
- Musty smells
- Damaged wallpaper
- Damaged interior plasterwork
If you are unsure which type of damp you have it’s important to consult a damp proofing specialist. Prokil offers damp surveys where one of our damp specialists will recommend the most suitable solution.
What are the landlord’s legal responsibilities?
People are often unsure who is responsible for mould and damp, the landlord or the tenant? To answer this question, a damp survey should be completed by an expert to find out the type of mould in the property.
Can you sue your landlord for black mould?
Under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985, it states that Landlords have an obligation to keep ‘space heating and heating water’ in working order and to ‘repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes)’ when required. Therefore, if the damp survey indicates that the issue is caused by penetrating or rising damp, it is the landlord’s legal responsibility to get damp treatment.
Additionally, the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) state that landlords must put in place damp proof courses among other appropriate measures to avert possible health effects. The HHSRS helps landlords keep tenants safe and protect their properties value.
What can the tenant do?
If the mould is found to be caused by condensation, this is often caused by the tenant’s lifestyle. There are a few ways tenants can change their habits to reduce condensation and prevent damp in their homes. For bathroom condensation, tenants can install an extractor fan to reduce humidity levels. If you are looking for an inexpensive short-term solution, de-humidifiers and window vents can be beneficial in clearing condensation.
If you have found damp or mould in your rented property, please report the issue to your letting agent or landlord who can arrange a damp survey with one of our damp specialists at Prokil.
If you are a letting agent or a landlord, please contact us today for a damp survey.