£5k fine for landlords that ignore damp and mould

£5k fine for landlords that ignore damp and mould

Landlords and agents that ignore tenant complaints about damp and mould, could lead to personal injury claims and even hefty fines of up to £5,000 warns Letrisks, a leading provider of landlord insurance and tenant referencing services.

In Britain, condensation and mould in residential property is mainly a winter problem, particularly where warm moist air is generated in areas like kitchens and bathrooms and then penetrates to colder parts of the building. When the air gets cold, it cannot hold onto all the extra moisture produce by everyday activities, so some of this moisture appears as small droplets of water – most noticeable on windows, or where there is little movement of air. If not properly dealt with, this extra ‘dampness’ can lead to mould growth on walls, furniture, window frames and even clothes.

Condensation and mould isn’t something that landlords and agents should ignore.  Mould spores need a moist environment in which to germinate, so many mould problems are caused by poor building maintenance and lack of ventilation, such as water leaking through windows or roofs; rising damp, which is often caused by breached, missing or damaged damp proof membranes; steam and condensation from showers, bathrooms, cooking or high air humidity; and inadequate ventilation or heating throughout the home.
Older properties tend to suffer more than new ones, but rental properties are particularly prone. The problem is often a matter of degree from a small patch of mould or discoloured wallpaper behind the wardrobe in the very top corner of a bedroom, to serious amounts of mould growth across walls, inside wardrobes and on clothes, furnishings, carpets and in basements.

Aside from damage to the property, mould spores are well documented as a health risk. The mould fungi have been identified as the source of many health problems, including infections, asthma, allergies and sinusitis. Moulds produce allergens, irritants, and in some cases, toxins that may cause reactions in humans.

The best way to ensure the control of mould in buildings is to carry out good building maintenance and check there is adequate ventilation. Anywhere that is liable to allow water to leak in from outside the property, has a high degree of damp or condensation, or is not kept at a comfortable temperature is prone to a mould attack. 

For properties that already have a serious mould problem, the best option is to call a professional who can diagnose the cause of the mould and remove it.”

Letrisks has put together some advice on how to deal with damp and mould:

•    Don’t ignore it – if a tenant complains about mould or condensation, visit the property and fix the problem

•    Checks for leaks that may be causing damp, inside and outside the property.  Bathrooms are a common culprit for escaping water, so make investigations and call in a plumber to fix the leak if you can’t. Also check gutters which could be blocked by leaves at this time of year.

•    Ensure that bathrooms and kitchens are well ventilated by installing extractor fans and ensuring that there windows that can be easily opened. Advise tenants to try to ventilate both kitchens and bathrooms for at least twenty minutes after use

•    Ensure extractor fans are working efficiently. Noisy extractors will encourage tenants leave turned off. If an extractor cannot hold a postcard to the vent when switched on it is not efficient enough.

•    If your property is prone to condensation, then give the tenants a de-humidifier unit. These come in all shapes and sizes, cost very little to run and draw out the excess moisture from the air helping to keep the condensation under control.

•    If you can’t fix a mould problem, call in the experts.  Don’t leave it to get worse as this could land you in court with a criminal charge.

Join our mailing list:

Leave a comment

Latest Comments

Tom Allen
Tom Allen 20 Sep 2017

Absolutely agree with you!

view article
RyanGeo 18 Sep 2017

A sharp correction would be a less dramatic expression to use. That is already underway in certain sectors in Reading where I practice as Chartered Surveyor

view article
sean benton
sean benton 01 Sep 2017

Identity theft is a thread for any profession. So,people should stay alarmed. I once take help from a letting agent and came to know that letting agents are taking every precaution to prevent fraudulent...

view article
Mark N.
Mark N. 30 Aug 2017

We have seen a surge in instructions over August and that should continue into September too.

view article
Chris 30 Aug 2017

Unfortunately, all the legislation bears its force on Landlords and ignores, naively, the effect of Rogue Tenants on the ability of landlords to keep houses in repair and offer properties for rent at reasonable...

view article
Christian Donovan
Christian Donovan 18 Aug 2017

The write-down on house values, combined with the fall in the GBP saddled the fund?s property portfolio with a 1.4% loss in the second quarter. The shocking amount of $240 million.

view article
Samantha Goodman
Samantha Goodman 11 Aug 2017

Interesting point of view.

view article
Samantha Goodman
Samantha Goodman 11 Aug 2017

It depends on the people, some older adults decide to make a long-distance move in order to live closer to their children or settle in a place with a lower cost of living.

view article
brandonlee10 24 Jul 2017

The financial ramifications of the triggering of Article 50, the starting gun for Britain's departure from the EU, are far from clear. Buyers will be most cautious in London, given that buying a home in...

view article
IrisJ. 19 Jul 2017

Great advice, but may I also add that when buying an already built home, make sure you do all of the proper inspections. Most importantly pest inspection because people tend to get surprised when they

view article
IrisJ. 17 Jul 2017

The third point is, in my opinion, the most important one. People have become too inconsiderate and careless when it comes to rented properties. If a landlord wants to protect their property, regular visits...

view article
cornishalan 10 Jul 2017

Added to the cost of purchasing these village properties are the above average maintenance costs. Particularly where the property is a listed building or requires specialist building skills such as thatching...

view article

Related stories

More articles from Landlords

Property Finance Roadshow 2017

4th - 12th October

4 days
6 specialists
4 locations
Free to attend

Click here to register now