Before the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) introduced by the Housing Act 2004, there have been several cases showing that a landlord is not liable for condensation unless that condensation is caused by some structural defect falling under the landlords obligation to repair.
Under the HHSRS, greater powers are given to local authorities to deal with condensation (under the heading “Damp and Mould Growth”). However, if the tenant is causing the condensation, it will not be a landlords duty even under HHSRS.
A good example to explain when the HHSRS could intervene would be as follows:
If a tenant has no form of heating, under common-law, there is no duty for a landlord to make a property better than when the tenant took on the tenancy (see below). However, if there was condensation and the installation of fixed heating would alleviate the problem, the local authority could require fixed heating to be installed.
If a tenant has gas central heating, double glazing, good insulation etc. and there is condensation not caused by any structural defect, then the HHSRS would not be able to intervene.