Damp and Mould in Social Housing
Damp and mould can cause serious health issues and worsen pre-existing conditions such as asthma and allergies. This makes it vital that all damages to the property are fixed quickly by the responsible party.
Repairs that are almost always the responsibility of the landlord are:
- Repairs to the structure and exterior of the property; including walls, floors, window frames, drains and pipes
- Water pipes, gas pipes and electrics
- Basins, sinks, baths, toilets
- Fixed heaters and water heaters
Mould and Damp Concerns
Who is responsible for mould in rented property?
There are two main laws covering the tenants and landlords; The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985 and The Housing Act of 2004.
UK legislation places the responsibility of maintenance and repair of structural and exterior damage with the landlord, meaning that when the damp and mould are caused by structural defects the social landlord can be held responsible.
Previously, many social landlords and housing associations have been quick to pin the blame on the tenants. However, through our years of experience handling these housing disrepair claims against councils and social housing associations we know that the fault is often not with the tenant, but the landlord.
What are tenants responsible for?
It is expected of the tenant to ensure the property remains well-ventilated at all times. Good ventilation will help to avoid any mould from growing and spreading throughout the home.
If mould and damage are solely caused by the behaviour of the tenant a case against the social landlord would prove unsuccessful. However, in most cases it is unlikely the case that mould and damp problems have occurred due to tenants behaviour alone.
The cause of mould and damp in the rented property is typically out of the tenants’ control and often made worse by the social landlord failing to do the required repairs.
What are your rights?
If your housing association or council has failed to address the mould and damp problem in your property you should seek assistance from our housing disrepair specialists.
They will help you assess your situation and ensure that the mould and damp issues in your home will be addressed.
They will further assess if you are entitled to compensation for any damages and health problems that you have suffered from as a result.
What you can do to minimise or prevent mould and damp
If structural defects are not the cause of your mould and damp problems you may not be able to make a claim for housing disrepair.
If mould and damp issues are mainly down to how the property is treated you may want to try the following to prevent mould from reappearing:
- Keep your house adequately heated to avoid walls getting too cold
- Dry washing and towels outside when this is possible
- Open your bathroom window after showering or taking a bath and ventilate all other areas in the house for at least 15 minutes each day
- Keep your kitchen fan on when you are cooking
- Keep large appliances and furniture an inch away from the walls to avoid tight spots that could accumulate damp and cause mould without it being noticed
- Use mould cleaner to remove any mould immediate if it does occur
Dangers of rising damp
Rising dampness most often occurs in older houses and is a result of groundwater rising up through the walls and floors.
Rising damp is easy to spot, as it leaves clear damp marks on your walls travelling upwards. This will further cause your wallpaper to peel, paint to flake and edges of carpets to show darker marks.
When walls are affected by rising damp the problem cannot be simply fixed by re-plastering the affected area as rising damp often contains salts that will damage the wall.
If your property has a problem with rising damp your landlord will need to take measures to stop damp from reoccurring, treat, re-plaster and redecorate the affected areas.
Black mould and tenants health
Black mould spores contain harmful toxins which pose a serious risk to your health after long periods of exposure, creating and worsening breathing problems, infections and allergies.
Your home is supposed to be a place of safety and relaxation, not a place where your health is at risk. If you think you may have been suffering from the effects of mould and damp in your rented property then contact us today for advice on what steps to take next.
Penetrating damp is the most common form of damp causing issues in residential properties. When rain penetrates the masonry of the building problems can start to occur both on the inside and outside of the property.
Older buildings are most likely to be affected, however this is a problem that can occur in property.
Just like rising damp, penetrating damp is easy to spot. On the outside of the building you are likely to see blotches of dampness on the masonry, moss growth or damage to the bricks.
On the inside of the property you are likely to see mould forming, plaster blistering or floor boards showing signs of rotting. Mould won't always be visible, however the smell will be easy to recognise.
Mould and Damp Repairs your Social Landlord is Responsible for
Social and council housing tenants are entitled to live in a property that has been kept in a reasonable state of repair, which means the social landlord is responsible to maintain the rented property and ensure it is safe to live in.
Mould and damp is estimated to affect 37 percent of rented properties in the UK. If you are living in social or council housing and you are suffering from damp or mould in your home you may be entitled to compensation.
If a rented property has mould or damp issues it generally isn’t safe to live in due to the severe effects this can have on your and your family’s health.
What You Can Do about Disrepair
Firstly, you will need to know what your legal rights are.
Our disrepair solicitors can help you assess your case and help you take back control over your situation, and if you have suffered from damages to your property or health we can help you claim compensation too.
We offer our expert services on a no-win-no-fee basis, ensuring everyone can claim back what they are entitled to.
AWH Solicitors supports clients with their housing disrepair claims against their social landlords on a no-win-no-fee basis. This means that as a client, you won’t put yourself at any financial risk.
If your case isn’t successful you don’t pay a penny, and if you do win you will keep all of the compensation awarded.
Our experienced solicitors will be able to guide you through the claims process to ensure that you receive the compensation that you are owed.
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We aspire to be completely transparent on pricing from the beginning, so none of our clients will ever be surprised at the end of the process.
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Please be aware that cost may differ depending on your personal circumstances.
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