How does mould develop?

Mould is a type of fungus that breaks down dead materials. Mould growth in buildings develops due to damp conditions which arise due to excess moisture in a property. This moisture can cling to surfaces including walls, ceilings floors and furniture and mould can develop as a result.

Unfortunately, damp and mould are common issues in rental properties. Mould in your rental property could develop due to:

  • Poor ventilation
  • Poor insulation
  • Leaking pipes
  • A damaged roof or window frame
  • Plumbing issues

Mould goes hand in hand with damp problems, if you have a mould infestation it will be due to having a certain type of damp in your property such as rising damp, condensation or penetrating damp. It can be very difficult to spot exactly what is causing the damp and you may need a damp expert to identify the cause.

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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.

Mould from condensation

The biggest cause of damp and mould in rented properties is condensation. Condensation issues occur when the excess moisture in the air comes into contact with cold surfaces and condenses. Condensation can lead to a growth of mould that appears as small black dots that can appear on the walls of the property.

When it comes to who is responsible, mould from condensation is a more complex topic. If condensation has occurred due to a repair issue, for example, if an extractor fan is broken or the heating system is faulty, then it is your landlord’s responsibility.

However, if mould from condensation has occurred because you have failed to uphold your responsibility to ventilate or heat the rented property properly then you could be responsible for fixing the issue.

Some steps that you should take to prevent mould from condensation forming include opening your windows occasionally, drying close in vented tumble dryers or outside, maintaining a reasonably constant temperature in the property and keeping furniture away from walls.

Mould from rising damp

Rising damp occurs when moisture from underneath a building travels up and is absorbed into the brick or concrete.

Like with condensation, rising damp can also lead to black patches of surface mould forming. Other signs that can point to rising damp include tide marks on the walls, wet patches and stains on the walls and peeling wallpaper. Unlike condensation, these effects will only occur on the lower parts of the wall with rising damp.

Rising damps usually occurs due to a broken damp proof course, which is more common in older properties. A damp proof course is a layer of waterproof material to prevent rising damp. This is a repair issue to usually it will be your landlord’s responsibility to make the repairs and fix the damp and mould issue.

Are you a Council or Housing association Tenant with housing disrepair issues? If so we can help you claim compensation on a NO Win, NO Fee basis.

Mould from penetrating damp

Penetrating damp is when water comes through from the external walls or the roof. Leaks could come from plumbing issues, broken roof tiles or blocked pipes or guttering, usually, it is a structural issue.

Penetrating damp can also lead to black mould growth on the inner walls of the property and other signs can include damp patches on your walls that will appear larger after heavy rainfall. Damp patches can occur on both the internal and external walls of the property. Because penetrating damp is a repair issue it is your landlord’s responsibility to fix it.

Is mould a landlord’s responsibility?

Whether mould is a landlord’s responsibility depends on why the mould has developed and what your tenancy agreement says. Generally, if the mould has developed due to a repair issue or if the mould is causing a risk to your health and safety then your landlord will be responsible no matter what your tenancy agreement says.

Common repair issues that can cause mould include:

  • Broken roof tiles
  • Plumbing issues
  • Blocked drains and pipes
  • A broken damp proof course
  • A faulty heating system
  • Rotten window frames

It’s important to note that as a tenant you have certain responsibilities to prevent mould and damp. You are responsible for ensuring proper ventilation of your home as well as keeping it heated. You can prevent condensation by taking simple steps such as opening windows occasionally, drying clothes in a vented tumble dryer or outside and closing the bathroom door by showering. If damp and mould have developed because you have not ventilated the property properly then you will be responsible for the issue.

Is mould a health risk?

Damp and mould issues can cause damage to the property, however, they can also cause serious health problems.

If you have mould or damp in your home then you could be at an increased risk of respiratory problems like asthma as well as allergies, infections and sinusitis. Moulds produce allergens and irritants that can cause reactions. In some cases, they can also create toxins. It can cause severe reactions for people with pre-existing health conditions.

Your landlord is legally responsible for ensuring that your home is safe to live in. If you are experiencing health issues as a result of mould in your rental property then they should take action to fix the issue.

What should I do if there is mould growth in my rental property?

You should report mould problems to your landlord as soon as you can. You should tell your landlord what the problem is and where the affected areas are, what repairs are needed and whether the mould is affecting your health in any way.

If your landlord refuses to make repairs within a reasonable timeframe then there are other steps that you can take. You can contact a local councillor or MP about the issue and you can also make a complaint to your local council who may be able to order your landlord to make the repairs. If you are the tenant of a local authority then you could make a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman.

If you are not satisfied with the response from your landlord after taking these steps then you could be eligible to make a housing disrepair claim against them.

Are you a Council or Housing association Tenant with housing disrepair issues? If so we can help you claim compensation on a NO Win, NO Fee basis.

What should I do if there is mould growth in my rental property?

You should report mould problems to your landlord as soon as you can. You should tell your landlord what the problem is and where the affected areas are, what repairs are needed and whether the mould is affecting your health in any way.

If your landlord refuses to make repairs within a reasonable timeframe then there are other steps that you can take. You can contact a local councillor or MP about the issue and you can also make a complaint to your local council who may be able to order your landlord to make the repairs. If you are the tenant of a local authority then you could make a complaint to the Housing Ombudsman.

If you are not satisfied with the response from your landlord after taking these steps then you could be eligible to make a housing disrepair claim against them.

How to make a housing disrepair claim for mould

If your landlord is responsible for repairs causing mould in your home and they have failed to make the repairs after you have informed them about the issue then you could make a housing disrepair claim against them.

Before making your claim, you will need to follow the pre-action protocol, this is a series of steps that you must be able to show the court that you have followed prior to your claim, they include:

  • Attempting to find an Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Sending a letter of claim to your landlord to inform them you are making a claim
  • Requesting any necessary documents from your landlord

If your landlord does not respond to your letter or the response is not satisfactory then you can submit your claim by applying to the county court.

Can I withhold rent for mould problems?

Although your landlord may be responsible for fixing a mould problem in your rented property, this does not mean that you can withhold rent.

If you have mould in your property and your landlord needs to make repairs then you should continue to pay rent but you may be able to negotiate a rent reduction with your landlord.

Alternatively, instead of withholding rent, you could make a housing disrepair claim against your landlord. If you win your claim then you could get compensation, you will usually be repaid a certain proportion of your rent that varies depending on how long the issue has persisted for and how serious the problem is.

How can our housing disrepair lawyers help?

Mould in your rental property can cause serious health issues including allergic reactions and respiratory problems so it’s important to get the issue fixed quickly, our lawyers are experts in housing law issues and are here to ensure that your landlord upholds their responsibility to keep your home safe for human habitation.

Our lawyers can tell you whether it is you or your landlord who is responsible for fixing the issue and can offer you professional legal advice about the next steps that you should take. We can also assess whether you could be eligible to make a housing disrepair or personal injury claim. If you do choose to make a claim then we will be there to support you throughout the entire process.

The claims process is very complex so it is highly recommended that you seek legal advice. Our team are knowledgeable about all the aspects of the claims process, they will make sure that the pre-action protocol has been followed, can assist you with gathering evidence and can represent you at a hearing.

For more information about our services get in touch with our team today on 0333 090 3238

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