damp in your house

Is damp a landlords responsibility?

Unfortunately, more and more tenants are filing a housing disrepair claim due to damp in their homes, this is a common problem that many tenants experience in their rented homes. Excess moisture in your home can lead to many problems including mould growth, peeling paint, fungal growth, structural problems, musty smells, wet patches and further damage.

If you are experiencing damp problems in your home then your landlord may be responsible for fixing the issue. However, it can be difficult to know whether your landlord is responsible for your damp issue as this depends on the type of damp you have and why it has occurred. These things can be difficult to know without the help of qualified surveyors.

Your landlord is generally responsible for fixing a damp problem if it was caused by a repair problem or if your health and safety is at risk as a result of the damp. Tenants have certain responsibilities when it comes to preventing damp and this can impact whether your landlord is responsible.

Damp problems can occur for a number of reasons including leaking pipes, rising moisture or lack of ventilation. There are several types of damp, the type of damp that you have could impact whether it is your landlord’s responsibility to fix the issue. The types of damp are outlined below.

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Wayne B

Housing Association Tenant

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Couldn’t leave any clothes in any of the bedrooms due to dampness and mould, our clothes, possessions & electronics were ruined and not to mention the huge amounts of stress this caused over the years. I am so grateful for your help with getting my property repaired for me & the financial compensation awarded to me has changed my life. Thank you so much

Liam M

Council Tenant

My flat was repaired in time for my child’s birth and I received rent refunds and compensation. The team were very helpful and understanding of my dangerous situation.

Ashley Y

Council Tenant

We had been waiting for 12 months for the damp to be repaired by the council but got nowhere. We were told by a friend that this company could help and within 6 months we received compensation for damages & all the damp and mould was removed.

Penetrating damp

Penetrating damp, which is also known as lateral damp, is caused by porous bricks or damaged masonry and occurs when water is coming through the exterior walls or roof. Penetrating damp can also happen because of internal leaks or plumbing problems.

Signs of penetrating damp can include a damp patch on the walls or ceilings, wet or crumbling plaster, black mould isolated to one area or drips.

Your landlord is responsible for repairs to the external structure of the property as well as to pipes and drains. Because penetrating damp is a repairs issue it is your landlord’s responsibility to fix it.

Rising damp

Rising damp is when moisture travels up and is absorbed into the masonry of the building. Some types of properties, such as older buildings are more susceptible to rising damp.

Rising damp usually occurs when there is not a Damp Proof Course installed in the property or when the Damp Proof Course has been damaged. Damp Proof Courses are a form of damp proofing that prevent damp from rising up the walls of a property.

If a rising damp problem has occurred because of a repair issue such as a damaged Damp Proof Course, then your landlord is responsible for fixing it. If the rising damp has caused problems with the building that you are living in then they may also be required to fix these issues if they are a threat to your health and safety.

Find out if you’re eligible to file a NO WIN, NO FEE disrepair claim today.

Construction damp

Construction damp occurs as a result of a problem with the property’s design. If construction damp is not affecting the structure or exterior of your home then your landlord might now be required to fix the issue. However, if the design problem that is causing construction damp is causing damage to the building such as damage to walls or ceilings then your landlord is responsible for making repairs.

Your landlord could also be responsible for repairs if construction damp means that your home is not safe to live in.

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Condensation damp

Most damp that occurs in rented properties is due to condensation. Condensation appears when excess moisture in the air comes into contact with cold surfaces such as cold walls or windows and the warm air condenses on the cold surface. Moist air needs a way to escape the building, when it cannot escape it builds up and creates condensation.

Warning signs of condensation damp can include running water on the windows, decaying window frames, stained curtains and black mould on the wallpaper or window frames.

Condensation problems are usually a result of a combination of excess moisture and poor ventilation and are more likely to happen during the colder months.

Whether fixing condensation damp is your landlord’s responsibility or not depends on why it has occurred. If the condensation problem has happened because you have not properly ventilated or heated your home then you are responsible for the problem.

If the condensation problem has occurred because of poor insulation or because the ventilation or heating systems are broken then this is a repair issue that your landlord is responsible for.

What to do if you have damp in your rented property?

As a tenant, you are expected to properly ventilate and heat your home so that damp does not build up. You may be able to prevent unwanted moisture and damp by do by doing simple things such as using extractor fans in your kitchen or bathroom, washing and drying clothes in a properly vented tumble dryer and washing machines, opening the windows occasionally and closing internal doors when you are cooking or showering.

If you do have a damp problem in your rented home then the first thing that you should do is to inform your landlord about the problem. You should tell your landlord about the problem and whether any repairs are needed as well as the impact it has had on your health and details about any damage to belongings.

Your landlord should arrange for an inspection and must carry out any repairs that they are responsible for within a reasonable timeframe. If the damp is caused by a repair issue then they are legally responsible for the repairs however if the dame is not caused by a repair issue then may still need to make improvements to your home.

What should I do if my landlord doesn’t fix a damp problem?

If your landlord is responsible for repairs related to your damp problem then they are legally obligated to make these repairs within a reasonable amount of time after you have informed them about the problem. If your landlord fails to carry out repairs then there are several ways that you can take further action.

If you are a private tenant or the tenant of a housing association then you can contact your local authority to complain about your landlord. Your local authority may refer you to the environmental health department or you can contact the environmental health department yourself directly.

If the damp is a danger to your health and safety then it could be classed as a hazard under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). If the damp problem is a nuisance then it could be classed as a statutory nuisance. The council may be able to order your landlord to make the repairs.

If your local authority is your landlord and they have not made a repair then you can make an official complaint to the council. Alternatively, you may also be able to make a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman about them.

If your landlord still fails to make repairs then you could be eligible to make a claim against them.

Find out if you’re eligible to file a NO WIN, NO FEE disrepair claim today.

Can tenants sue landlords for damp?

If your landlord doesn’t fix damp issues that they are responsible for and you have attempted alternative dispute remedies then you may be able to make a housing disrepair claim against them. By making a claim the court could order your landlord to make the repairs and you could also be entitled to compensation.

If the damp problem in your home has caused you to suffer from health issues then you may also be able to make a personal injury claim against your landlord.

Claims can be made against all types of landlords including private landlords, housing associations and local authorities.

How can our housing disrepair lawyers help?

If your rented council home or housing association property has issues that have not been repaired find out if you are eligible to make a housing disrepair claim for property repair and compensation.

We are National Housing Disrepair experts.

We cover thee whole of the UK, contact us via email, telephone or live chat.