As the days get shorter, colder, and damper, landlords will become pretty accustomed to getting complaints about damp from tenants. This year however, the Homes Act means you may need to take extra care when it comes to keeping your tenants safe.
Solutions are different from house to house, as there are different types of mould with different remedies. We’ve decided to list them below, along with the correct course of action you’ll have to take as a landlord if you receive a complaint about it.
Damp caused by condensation in the house is one of the most common winter issues for tenants. A warning sign in the beginning is water drops forming on glass/tile surfaces, which then leads to damp patches on the walls, and, if left untreated, ends with black mould forming on the ceiling, walls and wherever else is left exposed. Luckily, stopping this from happening in the future is quite straight-forward and simple for you and your tenant.
If the room is big enough, we recommend suggesting the tenants dry their clothes on a clothes rack in a well-ventilated room. Condensation is commonly caused by wet clothes drying on radiators, so keeping them all in one place would drastically reduce damp in the property as a whole.
Extractor fans and windows are also arguably the easiest way to get rid of damp, as having a room with airflow stops condensation building up. It pushes out the humid and damp air, and stops mould from forming.
Maintaining a consistent temperature in the property is another thing that completely stops condensation, as it is a product of damp air and a cold surface. Having the room at a level temperature reduces the risk of this hugely.
Sadly, there is still a chance that condensation will still be a problem even if these precautions are taken. In this case, a vent may need to be installed in the property.
Penetrating damp is caused from a problem with the building itself. Damage in windowsills, leaking rooves, gaps in walls, broken pipes and other issues can all contribute to damp in your property. In this scenario, you as the landlord are responsible for any necessary repairs.
These repairs aren’t usually too expensive, thankfully. In a lot of cases, it can be just a small DIY job, like a quick run over the windowsills with sealant, unblocking a gutter or fixing a downpipe. Some jobs, like wall holes might take a little more effort, but a professional can save you from doing the job yourself.
If it is something big, however, we would recommend that a post-fix detailed check of the area takes place, just to make sure that the damp hasn’t led to any worse problems like full-on rot.
Rising damp happens when water from the ground is pulled upwards through bricks/mortar via a process named ‘capillary action’, where water can rise up a narrow space (another example is dipping a piece of paper into a glass of water). Rising damp is usually quite noticeable, as it leaves a huge damp patch at ground level.
Typically rising damp is only caused by a failure in the buildings ‘damp proof course’ and as such, the landlord will be responsible for taking on the cost of damp proofing the property by installing a remedial damp proof course.
Once a tenant complains about the damp in their home, you have two weeks to respond. In this time, we suggest informing them of their own preventative measures, and looking into repairs if it isn’t something that can be fixed through opening a window.
Visiting the property should instantly let you know what type of damp is there. If not, a damp proofing company can find the cause of the problem and recommend a treatment plan to get rid of it once and for all.
We will carry out all day to day repairs and maintenance* of your property during the rental term, including mould. We also cover your boiler and complete monthly inspections to ensure it is in good condition and meets our high standards.
Whether you are enquiring about our unique Guaranteed Rent Scheme, and how it can help you as a Landlord to get more from letting your property, or are looking to get on the property ladder with our available Rent to Buy properties in Luton, you can use the contact form below or give us a call.