During the winter months, dampness and mildew become a problem for landlords and agents to resolve with the tenants, but by completing regular property inventories, you could stop it from becoming a serious issue.
What causes dampness & mildew?
When there is too much moisture in the air, and the air is also cold, it releases its moisture onto surfaces. This moisture leads to conditions that give rise to mould and mildew.
Increased moisture in a property can be caused by activities that release water, such as cooking, showering, washing and drying clothes, which is why mould can often be found in kitchens and bathrooms. Damp can also be caused by external factors such as roofing or foundation problems, leaking pipes and leaks through the brickwork.
Excessive moisture, combined with poor ventilation, especially in the winter months when tenants are less likely to open windows to encourage airflow, will quickly cause problems.
Damp needs to be dealt with
For tenants, damp can lead to serious health problems such as respiratory infections and, potentially, asthma, particularly concerning those who already have underlying health issues.
Landlords and letting agents don’t only need to be concerned for tenants’ wellbeing but also for the impact it has on their properties. If damp is caused by structural issues, not dealing with it quickly will lead to costly repairs later.
Are landlords at risk of being sued over damp?
Landlords are required to resolve structural issues that could lead to mould. Legal provisions allow tenants to apply to the courts if they believe their rented accommodation is “unfit for human habitation”. Ventilation and freedom from damp are listed as hazards that would put a property in this category, so landlords are at risk of legal action if they don’t deal with the issue. However, if the damp is caused by the actions of the tenant, the landlord will not be held responsible.
How inventories manage mould
To prevent a dispute about damp and its causes, landlords and letting agents can take proactive steps to become aware of and monitor mould issues through regular inventories.
Check-in and check-out reports will demonstrate whether mould existed at the beginning and end of a tenancy. Still, interim reporting will provide regular monitoring, particularly important if tenants are in place for long periods. This is important for ensuring the long-term maintenance of a property because any structural causes won’t be left undiscovered.
At No Letting Go, we are aware of the challenge that damp can cause for landlords, agents and tenants, offering to check for damp as a standard part of our inventory services. Our website also offers advice for landlords on their responsibility regarding mould, and we are always available to help ensure that you stay on top of damp issues.
No Letting Go
If you want to discuss how our local support or national network at No Letting Go could become your inventory partner, streamline your cost and reduce your workload, then contact No Letting Go today.
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