Landlords warned ‘Don’t ignore damp’

Published: 31/03/2014

According to recent figures by Generation Rent, 1 in 3 private renters say they are living in properties with unacceptable dampness while 35% believe their landlord is not all that interested in their living conditions.

By law landlords must provide tenants with a safe place to live. Damp and mould however can seriously affect a person’s health; mould has been identified as the source of many health problems including infections, asthma, allergies and sinusitis.

Landlords failing to adhere to this and consider a tenant’s health and safety will face fines as a recent case of a Staffordshire landlord demonstrates.

Landlord Mohammed Rafakat has received a £2500 fine after he was found guilty of renting out a damp-ridden property with no heating. However he has since been ordered to pay a further £4,087 after he failed to act upon an improvement notice.

Environmental health inspectors first alerted Mr Rafakat to the health risks of his property in April last year after they found there to be rising damp in both the lounge and kitchen. After checking back two months later, they found no attempt had been made to rectify the problems and, consequently, served an improvement notice.

Following a further inspection in August, there was evidence that some work had been carried out; the boiler had been replaced and a central heating system had been installed. However it later became clear that the tenant had undertaken this work not the landlord and as a result Mr Rafakat was fined.

Rob Denman, Head of GW LET, comments:

“It’s a worrying statistic that a third of private tenants are living in substandard conditions and that landlords are seemingly indifferent to any requests made to improve the situation.

“This case goes some way to show this type of attitude will not go unpunished and landlords failing to put tenant’s health first will face financial consequences.”

Content correct at time of publication

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