The elephants in the room, damp, mould and who’s responsible for removing them?

In last week’s issue, we illuminated just how devastating damp and mould conditions can be and the ramifications they can cause if left unaddressed.

Today we’ll be discussing:

  1. The Law?
  2. Who’s responsible?
  3. How to deal with it?

What is the new law?

On 20 March 2019, a new law came into force to ensure that rented houses and flats are ‘fit for human habitation’, which means that they are safe, healthy and free from things that could cause serious harm like damp or mould.

Whether you rent privately, from a housing association or local council, this applies to you.

Who’s responsible?

The law says that your landlord must fix damp and mould issues caused by problems such as:

  • A leaking roof, gutter or cracked wall
  • Leaking pipes
  • Rotten window frames
  • Broken heaters
  • Damp-proofing that is old or defective – this is often the cause of damp on ground-floor and basement flats

There are, however, some scenarios where you the tenant may be liable including:

  • You or another tenant acting irresponsibly or illegally
  • Faults with your own possessions
  • Events such as fires, storms and floods which are completely beyond the landlord’s control (although in such seldom instances, landlords are more often than not accommodating to these unfortunate eventualities)

For more information we recommend checking out’s – Guide for tenants

How to deal with damp and mould?

Raise the issue with your landlord immediately making sure to record all your communications in case of any future legal proceedings.

Whilst there is no time frame, your landlord should aim to rectify your issue as soon as possible. If you aren’t happy with their response or the issue isn’t being dealt with accordingly, notify your local council to inspect your home under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). This may require a visit from your local environmental health officer to inspect the property.

As a tenant, there are a few actions suggested by to mitigate your mould and damp issues including:

  • Heating your home to 15° across all rooms
  • Covering pans when cooking
  • Using extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Closing internal doors during cooking or showering
  • Leaving gaps between furniture and external walls
  • Opening bedroom windows for 5-10mins when you wake up
  • Drying clothes outdoors
  • Using a dehumidifier
  • Cleaning visible mould with a bleach solution

Lastly, if you or anyone you know is currently being affected by any of the aforementioned issues then we urge you to take immediate action and follow the protocols discussed in this article.

Next Issue

Do you know what GDPR is and why it’s important? Next week our CEO Ketan Dattani will be telling you all about it!

Jacques Shepherd ~ Recruitment Consultant, Lead of the Residential Division

Carl Steptowe ~ Digital Marketing Executive

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