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Winter weather warning for landlords

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At this time of year landlord’s properties are at risk of dampness, condensation and mould. This creates risk both to landlord’s properties and to landlord’s personally who may face action for disrepair from tenants.

Condensation is caused when warm damp air penetrates to cold parts of the property, in particular in rooms such as the kitchen and bathroom. This causes dampness which leads to mould if not properly treated.  Mould is a particular problem in rental properties. It may be caused by a structural defect but more frequently us due to the tenant failing to properly ventilate the property and treat dampness.

As mould can cause health problems such as asthma, chest infections and allergies, this can lead to tenants bringing claims against landlords for disrepair.

Landlords should be particularly vigilant when carrying out inspections during the winter months.  It is wise at this time of year to give tenants advice on preventing dampness caused by condensation.  Such advice may include;

  • Use of an extractor fan if you have one;
  • ensure tumble dryers are ventilated outside;
  • open windows in the bathroom and kitchen  both during use and afterwards;
  • if windows become wet dry them with a cloth or towel; and
  • do not hang washing to dry inside, this can be a major cause of dampness

If landlords become aware of dampness and mould at their properties then they should take professional advice at the soonest opportunity to both investigate the cause and take preventative measures is appropriate.

By associate solicitor, Louise Hebborn