Condensation and mould aren’t seasonal issues, they are here all year round, however, its more at risk to properties as the weather gets cold and wet. But who is responsible for making sure it doesn’t become a problem?
If you watch the Channel 5 documentary series “Nightmare Tenants, Slum Landlords” you can see how bad the issue really can be, and depending on if you are a Tenant or Landlord watching the show the “who is to blame” is different. In your Tenancy Agreement, which you should have. It will mention in brief in regards to Condensation and Mould. If it doesn’t then hopefully this little guide will assist you.
Firstly there are many factors that cause Condensation the main ones being, not enough ventilation, cold surfaces, temperature and of course moisture being produced. In everyday life moisture is naturally produced by ourselves, in our breath, perspiring and is present all the time in the air. But its how we manage this moisture in our homes that we are responsible for. The amount of moisture created by breathing, cooking and washing in a day could be as much as 8 PINTS a day. How do we control this moisture then? The Landlords responsibility is to ensure you have heating and opening windows to tackle moisture. It is the Tenants responsibility to use the tools given and use them for the purpose in which they were intended at the start of a tenancy.
We have all at some point woken on a cold morning to find water droplets inside our windows, it’s the natural occurrence of breathing in our sleep hitting the increasingly cold internal glass and turning to moisture.
So how do we deal with the moisture to start? We can’t just stop breathing! But we can wipe the water if any, or leave a small window open to circulate the air, or even open the trickle vents on most double glazing windows. Ensure you turn your extractor fan on when bathing or showering. Leave internal doors open to allow air to pass through freely. Never dry your clothes on a radiator if at all possible, one of the biggest causes of excess moisture in the air. If possible use a condenser drier or air dry outside.
But what about mould? Mould needs bacteria and moisture to grow, and In most cases in property prevention is the best remedy. Following the above will hopefully eliminate mould growing to start with. Mould can be caused by other factors too, being, outside structural leaking, roofs leaking, pipes leaking and water ingress due to severe weather. These causes are the responsibility of the Landlord to rectify as long as there is no malicious damage. The tenant is responsible for notifying of the first sign of any damage or Condensation or Mould as if left for any length of time causing further damage can be attributed and charged to the tenant. If mould has grown as a result of lifestyle choices in not heating or ventilating the property then the responsibility will lie again with the Tenant.
In both cases of either Condensation damage or Mould damage the repairs can be very costly and can result in complete loss of deposit held against a property to remedy.
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