Damp and mould can be a serious health hazard, especially in poorly ventilated homes. Mould and damp can lead to respiratory illness if you breathe in the spores or chemicals they contain. They can also cause damage to furnishings and to the structure of the property.
How do you fix damp and mould?
It’s important that landlords take advanced damp and mould seriously and try to identify the cause of the problem and fix it. If they can’t do this themselves they should get a damp surveyor to visit the property. Make sure you ask for a report from an expert member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors or a RPSA. They should be able to give you an estimate before the work starts and explain what’s involved.
You can also help to prevent damp and mould by ensuring you have adequate ventilation, turning radiators on low in empty rooms and not drying clothes indoors or in bathrooms. You can also use a dehumidifier to help keep the humidity in your home below 50%.
Landlords in England have a legal duty to ensure that their properties are safe for tenants to live in and this includes tackling damp and mould. If you have concerns about your landlord’s actions then you can contact the Housing Ombudsman.
Tenants in Wales have a right to complain to their council’s environmental health department if they believe their landlord has failed to meet the standard for making a dwelling fit for habitation.