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Damp and Mould – the scourge of landlords!

October 21, 2019

Damp and mould are amongst the biggest problems in the UK private rented sector. And they get worse during the winter months when windows are closed and properties are colder. As well as leading to health and respiratory problems for tenants there is a legal obligation on the part of the Landlord to deal with damp issues.

damp

The landlord has a legal responsibility

Landlords have a legal responsibility to provide and maintain a safe, comfortable property. If a tenant identifies a moisture problem in the property, it is their responsibility to report it in writing to the agent or landlord. If there is no response within 14 days, or if repairs have not been made, they may be unable to evict the tenant further down the line.

What causes it?

Mould can be caused by dripping pipes, rising damp or rain seeping through leaky roofs and windows. Check for leaks under sinks, fridges and washing machines as well as around the toilet, bath and shower. Make any necessary repairs and the problem should be rectified.
Condensation is a common cause of damp indoors. Here you will need to rely upon your tenants to be vigilant. Cooking, showering and drying clothes on radiators can all cause excess moisture. Droplets can then form on the window sills and walls especially when they are cold.

What if damp perseveres?

Some properties just weren’t built for modern living conditions. When flats were built in the 1960s, for example, many people didn’t have fitted showers and many of the domestic appliances we have now didn’t exist. Daily showers are contributing to excess moisture.
If you are finding condensation difficult to eradicate it may be best to invest in a dehumidifier. This will quickly dry the air and prevent further breeding of bacteria.

Top tips on preventing condensation

Help your tenants to help you. Leave a Top Tips list handy for your tenants to remind them of how to prevent damp:

  • Put lids on saucepans when cooking
  • Open the bedroom window for 15 minutes each morning
  • Keep the property warm – even when you’re out the temperature shouldn’t drop below 15c
  • Leaves doors open so that air can circulate
  • Open the window/put the fan on when you’re showering or cooking
  • Try not to dry clothes indoors

If renting your property is becoming fraught with problems like this contact a reputable letting agent like Richard Kendall who will be happy to take the headache out of renting your property.