Out with the mould…

02 November 2018

Out with the mould… Mould, particularly in bathrooms and kitchens is a common unpleasant nuisance in many households including rented properties. Is your Landlord responsible for the mould plaguing your home?

Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, one of the responsibilities of Landlords is to ‘keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes)’. To put this simply in relation to mould, your Landlord is responsible for damp in the property that may be causing mould. Damp can be either rising or penetrating, usually caused by defective guttering or moisture rising from the ground causing wetness due to structural defects.

However, a lot of moisture in properties is caused by condensation as opposed to damp. As condensation is not a structural or exterior issue, mould caused by condensation is NOT a repairing obligation that you Landlord has to deal with under Section 11.

Condensation is caused by moist air coming into contact with cold surfaces. This then condenses and forms water droplets, thus creating the perfect moist breeding environment for mould.

Here are some tips to try and reduce the amount of condensation in your home:

  • If possible, dry washing outside or use a ventilated tumble dryer. If you are unable to dry washing outside, put your washing in the bathroom, shut the door and turn on the extractor fan or open the window;
  • Ensure all extractor fans are switched on when showering/bathing or cooking. If you do not have an extractor fan, ensure there is ventilation by opening a window;
  • Adequately heat your property - If the walls are too cold, this encourages the moist air to condense;
  • When cooking, put lids on your pans to limit the amount of escaping steam;
  • If possible, use a dehumidifier regularly to mechanically extract moisture from the air.

However, sometimes you can be doing everything possible to reduce condensation in the property, but due to a design defect with the building, mould may be unavoidable and may actually be an environmental nuisance. You may be able to pursue a claim under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

If you are unsure whether your property is suffering with a defect which your Landlord is responsible for, give our offices a call on 01254 297 130 to speak with a housing disrepair expert to see if this is something we can assist with.

Olivia Plumb - Housing Disrepair Paralegal