Is your rental property damp free?

Published: 02/12/2014

As the weather takes a turn for the worse we are starting to see an increase in the number of properties suffering from damp.

True to form critics are using this to ramp up the condemnation of private landlords so we’re keen to help landlords nip any potential problems in the bud and demonstrate once again that the overwhelming majority of landlords are letting properties in good and reasonable condition.

Responsibilities of a landlord

Condensation typically occurs when warm, moist air – often generated in kitchens and bathrooms (e.g. hot steamy showers or steam coming from pans boiling on the hob and kettles) – penetrates colder parts of the house.

The extra ‘dampness’ can then lead to mould growing on walls, furniture, window frames and even clothes.

As a landlord you should make sure kitchens and bathrooms are well ventilated. If you haven’t already install extractor fans or, if the property has extractor fans, check they are efficient. If they cannot hold a postcard to the vent then it’s not working properly.

You should also check for any leaks both inside and outside of the property.

Are your tenants contributing to the problem?

Tenants do have some responsibility too and they could be unknowingly adding to the problem.

We therefore recommend you advise them to:

  • Ventilate ‘wet rooms’ for at least 20 minutes after use
  • Dry all surfaces particularly windows, window sills and kitchen worktops
  • Don’t hang washing directly on radiators
  • Keep the temperature inside the property consistent
  • Try and dry clothes outside whenever possible.

Landlords must do everything they can to minimise the risk of mould as it has been identified as the source of many health problems including infections, asthma, allergies and sinusitis. Ignoring tenant complaints could lead to personal injury claims and fines of up to £5000.

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