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Question

Condensation (England) | England | Responsibilities and Liabilities (England)

Mould reported in rental property

22 Oct 2020 | 1 comment

Good morning,

Tenants emailed me photos of mould in their bedrooms, saying they had only just noticed it was growing around the windows and walls. Judging by the pool of condensation on one of the window sills and the extent of the mould, I said it couldn’t have just happened overnight and that they hadn’t been heating or ventilating the property adequately. The tenant admitted he hadn’t had the heating on since moving in (01.08.20) but had been leaving the windows open. As the property was refurbished at a cost of £4k to the landlord prior to the tenancy, I advised the tenant the usual; to wipe down around the windows and walls with a mild bleach solution and to make sure the property was heated and ventilated. He then sent a video showing the paint coming off on the walls when wiped down, with mould underneath and is saying the landlord has just painted over the mould.

Obviously the landlord is going to hit the roof when I inform her and will no doubt want me to charge the tenant to get the property back to how it was. Is there any clear advice on who is responsible? I know the tenants have a responsibility to heat and ventilate a property. The property was left in a terrible state at the end of the last tenancy, dirty, but the only mould was in the bathroom. A new fan was fitted prior to this tenancy and the tenant hasn’t mentioned mould in there.

If there was no mould present at the time of decorating, is it entirely the tenant’s fault that there is now?

I feel like asking a builder to take a look and give his opinion.

 

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    There’s never an easy answer because one party always blames the other!

    Basically, if there is some structural defect (such as leaking gutter or roof for example), the landlord is liable but if it’s genuinely condensation from internal sources and a lack of heating/ventilation it will be the tenants.

    It must be said, if there is mould underneath the paint, it does sound like there’s been problems before so not necessarily the tenant’s fault.

    We agree, perhaps a builder might be useful. The landlord can do other things to help such as insulate the loft better and if becomes a major problem, we personally internally clad walls with thermal insulating boards.

    Please see here for more information on condensation.

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