Mould: A growing issue for landlords and tenants alike

Warren Lewis
18th December 2018
Mould 310

It is known that investments can go up or down in value but in a bear market, whether you are an accidental or a buy-to-let landlord or a seller, looking after your property will pay dividends.

According to a recent research, some 60% of British buyers would leave a viewing if the property had obvious damp patches or mould. Another research shows that if there is mould in a property, it will take longer to rent.

Danny Zane, chairman of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) and managing director of My Property Inventories says: “Property that have seen mould growth and have been poorly attended to take longer to rent. Our members inform us that tenants who move into such properties view the property as unclean and request a full professional clean even when a professional clean had already taken place. A full clean can cost anything between £195+VAT and £310+VAT for a one-bedroomed flat."

Mould is a type of fungus that spreads through spores. If allowed to thrive and colonize, it will be more difficult to remove. It will penetrate your property’s walls, floorings, ceilings down to its structure and make the property inhabitable and therefore unrentable or unsellable. If your property is part of a block of flats, mould will likely spread to other flats too and cause disputes with other property owners.

Zane continues: “In most instances, the combination of condensation and poor ventilation or poor insulation results in mould growth, which in turn is a major cause of dispute between a tenant and a landlord. Our members are trained to advise tenants at the time of check-in on how to keep the property ventilated and avoid deductions from their deposit when they leave. They are also trained to inform the landlord or his agent at check-out if they think the damage needs to be evaluated by an expert in the belief that parts of the property need maintenance”

Simple steps that landlords can take involve ensuring the heating works properly, that there are no leaks or blockages, chimneys are swept, the property properly insulated and window seals replaced.

Zane adds: “As a chairman of the AIIC, I heartedly recommend landlords and estate agents to engage independent inventory clerks for check-in and check-out reports and take the clerks’ comments positively on board. This is because it is possible that landlords and agents may become too familiar with the property to the point of overlooking or undermining certain areas."

Familiarity is simply the result of repeated exposure to a particular stimulus or environment. Research shows that repeated exposure affects attitude formation and preferences, often resulting in positive feelings towards the object.

Zane concludes: “Landlords may not always be pleased to hear what our members have to say but they can find solace in the fact that it will be based on nothing else but unbiased professional knowledge."

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