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Damp and mould

In private rented homes, condensation is the main reason for damp and mould. Condensation is when there is too much moisture in the air and then this comes into contact with a cold surface, like a bathroom mirror when you are having a bath or shower. This can then cause mould to grow. It’s often much worse in the winter.

Condensation is caused by not heating and ventilating your home properly. As a tenant you need to do things to prevent condensation which includes increasing ventilation and heating in the property as well as reducing the amount of moisture you produce.

Simple steps you can take are:-

  • trying to maintain a background temperature of 15 degrees or more in all rooms
  • using extraction fans in bathrooms and kitchens
  • keeping lids on pans when cooking
  • closing internal doors when cooking, showering or bathing
  • keeping vents on windows open
  • opening bedroom windows for 5-10 minutes when you first get up
  • drying clothes outside when possible if you have an outdoor space or using a vented tumble dryer
  • leave gaps between furniture and external walls

Condensation isn’t the only cause of damp and mould. It can be caused by:-

  • Something called ‘rising damp’. This is when moisture beneath a building is soaking up into the bricks or concrete or
  • Penetrating damp –water coming through external walls or the roof or when there is an internal leak or plumbing problem, such as with a shower or bath.

If the damp and mould isn’t caused by condensation and it is severe and persistent and requires your landlord to carry out a repair then you must write (email, letter or text) to them to tell them about the problem.

Examples of repairs your landlord will need to fix:-

  • a leaking internal pipe
  • broken heating systems, including a boiler
  • missing roof tiles
  • faulty/broken guttering
  • faulty ventilation fans in the kitchen, bathroom or shower room
  • cracked walls or rotten window frames
  • a failed/broken damp proof course.

When you write to your landlord/agent to report the issue, you must give them a reasonable time to fix it. Chase up the repair with them if they don’t take any action. If your landlord/agent does not fix it then report it to us with a copy of what you have sent your landlord/agent and we will follow it up. Use our general enquiries online form to report a problem.