Damp and mould are common issues for tenants across the UK. But in rented homes, it’s not always as simple as paying to get it sorted. There are some grey areas when it comes to responsibilities for both landlords and tenants.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the causes of damp and mould, tenants and landlords’ responsibilities and how to resolve the problem.
What causes damp and mould?
Damp and mould are caused by excess moisture in your home, usually because of poor ventilation. Paired with cold areas that draw this moisture in, this provides the perfect environment for damp and mould to thrive.
The moisture is absorbed by your walls, which in turn allows mould to grow. This can also be caused by leaks or in some rare cases rising damp, so it’s worth checking for those issues too.
Who is responsible?
Broadly speaking, landlords are responsible for providing a safe, inhabitable environment for their tenants. Given that damp and mould can trigger health problems like asthma, it’s fair to say this is a conflict with their responsibilities.
If the damp and mould have been caused by a leak or rising damp, it’s usually the landlord’s responsibility to repair these problems. Things are less clear, however, when there is no obvious cause.
Why? In short, tenants are responsible for looking after the property they’re living in. This includes ventilating and heating your home so that damp doesn’t build up. With that in mind, it’s sometimes hard to determine or prove exactly who’s to blame for damp and mould.
Eliminating damp and mould – for tenants
To eliminate damp and mould, as above, tenants should look to reduce the amount of moisture in their homes. Try to open windows for 5-10 minutes whenever possible, especially when you’re doing something that releases moisture. This includes:
- Washing dishes
- Drying clothes.
Keeping your home warm is also a good way to avoid damp and mould building up. A warmer home means fewer cold surfaces which draw moisture in. Warm air also holds more moisture, so it won’t be drawn to your walls and ceilings. Where possible, keep your home heated to at least 15-18°C.
Eliminating damp and mould – for landlords
If damp and mould become a recurring issue and it’s clear tenants are acting responsibly, landlords should look to repair the issue. Some properties are simply susceptible to damp and mould, if they’re poorly ventilated or have specific areas that are difficult to heat, for example.
Fixing the problem will avoid costly legal proceedings, but also stop a revolving door of tenants that simply don’t want to live in your property. So how best to do it?
Heating and ventilation
Firstly, you should look to fix any issues your property has with heating and ventilation. Make sure extraction fans are working in the kitchen and bathroom, and ensure all rooms have a working radiator.
Protecting the walls
In most cases, you’ll also need to treat the affected walls. Ideally, you want to make it as difficult as possible for moisture to gather. A sprayed cork coating can do exactly that, providing a thin but powerful layer that is completely moisture resistant. This solution was used to great effect when a flat in Shearsmith House, London, was found to be naturally susceptible to damp.
Try Corksol for yourself
Corksol’s sprayed cork treatment has worked wonders for countless landlords and housing authorities – as well as their tenants – eliminating damp, improving insulation and providing a comfortable living environment.
If you want to discover the benefits of cork for yourself, it’s time to find your nearest approved applicator. With expert training and exclusive access to Corksol products, they can rid your property of damp and mould with a long-lasting solution.