Ask Tenants blog
What to do, if you found Mould in Rented Property?
Mould in Rented Property should never be taken lightly, it’s a serious problem because of the potential health risks associated with mould spores. If you have damp and mould you are more likely to have respiratory problems, respiratory infections, allergies or asthma. Damp and mould can also affect the immune system. Moulds produce allergens (substances that can cause an allergic reaction), irritants and, sometimes, toxic substances. Inhaling or touching mould spores may cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes and skin rash. Mould in Rented Property can also cause asthma attacks.
Babies & children,elderly people,those with existing skin problems, such as eczema,those with respiratory problems, such as allergies and asthma,those with a weakened immune system should stay away from damp and mould.
If your rented property has mould you will need to alert your landlord in writing as soon as you notice a problem to prevent any further damage. Make a note of any conversations you have with your landlord in person or on the phone.
Follow up your conversation with a letter confirming what was said and agreed. Keep a copy of your letter and send it to your landlord by recorded delivery. (This will help later if there are any arguments over when the repairs where reported). Ask your landlord if you don’t know their address. You have a legal right to know this. Allow a reasonable time for them to be fixed. The time needed depends on the urgency of the problem.
If the landlord does nothing, you could send another letter, telling your landlord that you will ask your local council’s environmental health department to inspect your home for hazards. Please keep all proofs of issues mould has caused you – clothes which have mould, pictures of affected areas, doctor’s visits for mould related conditions, etc.
If there is no action by the landlord the you can report the problem to environmental health department, an officer should come to inspect your home. If they decide that your home includes a serious hazard, they have to take action. For less serious problems they may choose not to take action in which case you may choose to take Landlord to court.
Whilst permanent fix is the best option, tenants can take following steps to manage Mould in rented Property in the interim:-
1) Keeping internal doors closed when showering or cooking, to prevent damp air from spreading through the house.
2) Dealing with any damp and condensation in your home, maintain ideal indoor temperature of 19-22⁰C and indoor humidity is 30-50%. You can measure humidity with a humidity meter purchased from your local hardware store or online.
Maintaining this level of humidity can be challenging whilst expensive extractor fans (also referred as condensation control systems) are long term solutions dehumidifiers offers a quick fix. Dehumidifiers most likely involves regularly changing water compartment, some noise levels and electricity consumption of around £21* per month. You may consider to invest in a dehumidifier which has auto shut off to save energy.
(*500W, 12 Hours usage, and 12p/unit)
3) Avoid drying washing indoors or on radiators. Drying washing indoors can release up to 2 litres of water in the room and increase humidity by 30%. You may consider investing in a tumble drier or a dry buddy.
4) Improve Air flow in your house and dry/treat affected areas immediately.