If there is damp in your rented property, it’s an issue that needs to be resolved quickly, but who is responsible for doing the work – the landlord or the tenant? Notably, both need to act.

What causes dampness and mould?

Damp in a property can cause mould, and there are several reasons it can occur.

The most common reason for damp is condensation. This is caused by air carrying an excess of moisture coming into contact with a cold surface. This commonly occurs in a property that isn’t properly ventilated or heated.

Penetrating damp is another cause of mould, when water can come through a wall or roof due to cracks in the building, missing roof tiles, faulty plumbing, etc.

Then there’s rising damp, when bricks or concrete soak up groundwater, causing the damp to rise up the walls.

The cause of damp can be apparent, but where it isn’t, a damp expert can be brought in to survey the property and how tenants are using it to help determine the cause of the dampness and why mould is occurring.

Why does damp need to be tackled?

Mould can cause serious health problems for those living in the property.

It is unsightly, but, more importantly, it can lead to respiratory problems and an increase in the risk of allergies, asthma and immune system problems. Therefore, it needs to be eradicated from the property, especially as it puts children and elderly people at the most significant risk.

When is the tenant responsible for the damp?

Understanding the causes of damp can help determine whether the tenant is responsible for it or the landlord. If a property isn’t ventilated or heated properly by the tenant, assuming all heating and ventilation systems are working properly, then the tenant may be responsible. This is especially true if they generate lots of condensation through day-to-day activities, such as cooking, showering or drying laundry, and not ventilating rooms properly.

Cooking with pan lids on, using extractor fans, opening windows in the morning, and drying clothes outdoors are examples of actions that tenants should take to reduce condensation. Tenancy agreements may stipulate requirements for ventilation and heating and put expectations on tenants to prevent condensation and how to manage this, so it’s important for tenants to understand their obligations.

When is the landlord responsible for the damp?

When mould affects the health and safety of tenants, landlords are responsible for taking action to address the mould and its cause. This means landlords are responsible for the following:

  • Ensuring effective ventilation and heating systems are installed and carrying out repairs when necessary
  • Addressing poor insulation
  • Repairing leaks caused by faults in the property’s infrastructure
  • Fixing broken plumbing
  • Inspecting issues and organising repairs

Don’t ignore mould or health risks.

How we live in a property and how it is maintained will significantly impact how mould develops; both the landlord and tenant need to take action to keep mould from occurring and ensure that the property remains fit to live in.

No Letting Go

If you would like to discuss how our local support or national network at No Letting Go could become your inventory and inspection partner, monitoring the state of your property while streamlining your costs and reducing your workload, then contact No Letting Go today.


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