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Unfortunately, mould and damp can be common in private rental properties, usually due to a lack of ventilation.

If you notice mould occurring, it is important to firstly report this to your landlord - as it is something that they should be aware of and should actively try to resolve to prevent it becoming a health hazard. 

By informing them at the earliest opportunity, you’ll give the landlord the best chance of tackling the problem and identifying the cause before it takes hold.

Make sure to keep a record of where the damp/mould is, whether it is worse when you take a bath/shower for example and the temperature of your home. Don’t forget to take photos too, as this can help to determine the best solution.

How to break the mould

Once you have reported the mould in your property (and taken pictures!), it’s important to get rid of it quickly to reduce the chances of it causing health problems for you and your family.

You’ll firstly need to ensure that it’s not toxic black mould, as this should only be removed professionally for your safety.

Once you’re happy that it’s safe to clean, purchase a fungicidal cleaner or make your own by diluting bleach with a ratio of 1:6 with water. Always remember to wear safety protection whilst cleaning too, such as gloves, a mask and glasses.

Spray your cleaner on the area and leave it for a minute or two to work, before wiping away with a clean cloth. Rinse the cloth regularly, and keep changing the water. Once you’ve finished, make sure that the cloths are washed on a hot cycle to remove all of the germs!

mould on window

No mould? We’ll help you to keep it that way!

Condensation causes damp and mould to form, and is most commonly found in kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms due to the higher levels of moisture.

If your property is free from mould, then here’s our advice to make sure it stays that way and keep condensation at bay:

Maintain a constant temperature

Ideally, you want to try to keep your rooms between 18 degrees celsius and 21 degrees celsius when the temperature outside is freezing or just below. 

Although your landlord is responsible for providing adequate heating that is as efficient as possible, you’ll need to ensure that you’re playing your part too, in order to maintain the heat levels in colder winter months.

Ensure that it’s well ventilated

Ventilation is absolutely essential to reducing condensation, and therefore damp and mould as a result. It’s a good idea to open windows on opposite sides of the property whenever you can to make sure there’s a good flow of air throughout.

Try to open windows after a bath or shower to ensure that fresh air is getting into the property, and not just trapping in the moisture. Similarly, if you’re drying laundry inside, keep a window or door open in that room. When cooking, try to cover your saucepans to reduce the amount of steam escaping.

Make suggestions to your landlord - they may thank you for it in the long run!

Landlords are legally responsible for treating some damp problems - mainly those that relate to either repair problems, structural issues, or those that are impacting the tenants health.

It can be difficult to pinpoint who is responsible when it comes to condensation and damp, as occasionally, it can be down to tenants - hence why we’ve provided you with our advice to help prevent it!

Wherever possible, landlords should try to invest in preventative methods - such as whole-home ventilation - to stop the issues from developing. Here’s a list of things that you can recommend:

Improve the property’s ventilation

By installing a heat recovery ventilation system to ventilate the whole property, this will combat condensation and the associated health risks with mould, plus improve efficiency and energy bills in the long run.

Investing in an efficient ventilation unit will likely save a landlord money too over time, as it will reduce any chances of severe structural issues caused by dampness. You will also be happier, as they will be living in a mould-free, more environmentally-friendly home.

Damp defence options

There are many products on the market that will help to fight and prevent damp from occurring - such as anti-mould washes and anti-mould paints. Anti-mould paints can be used to prevent mould returning, and are a great idea for rental properties.

Invest in good insulation

Since 2018, it became a requirement for all rental properties to have a minimum energy performance rating of E. By improving insulation, landlords can not only help to comply with this law, but also keep the property warmer. 

This in turn will encourage tenants to open windows and allow fresh air in, as the warmth will enable them to do so. For sustainable insulation, visit our partner company, SuperFOIL Insulation.

Are you a landlord looking to invest in ventilation? If so, get in touch with our team of experts for free, no-obligation advice.

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