Damp and mould in social housing

Damp and mould can cause serious health issues and worsen pre-existing conditions such as asthma and allergies. If your landlord has allowed a damp or mould problem to develop or get worse, our solicitors could help.

We could help you make a claim if you live in social housing and have damp and mould issues which are affecting your health. Our first step will be to send an expert to your home to assess how bad the mould and damp problem is. If we find that you home has an unsafe amount damp and mould, we can help you make a claim. You could claim for the necessary repairs to be done and for compensation for any suffering and losses you’ve suffered due to the disrepair.

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We can offer you expert advice and support

If your social landlord hasn’t addressed the mould and damp problem in your home, you should seek tailored advice from our housing disrepair specialists.

Our expert solicitors have extensive experience with these type of cases. They can help you assess your situation and ensure that any damp and mould problems in your home are properly addressed.

They will also be able to establish if you could be entitled to compensation for any damage and health problems caused by the damp and mould. For example, if you’ve developed asthma or the mould has ruined furniture which you own.

You have a right to live in a safe home, so if you’re being denied that right we want to help you make a claim to have your landlord ensure all disrepair issues are resolved. We want to help you be able to live comfortably in your home without having to worry about disrepair issues.

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The law on damp and mould in rented property

Mould and damp can create serious health problems, and make existing ones worsen very quickly. This is why it’s vital that any causes of damp and mould in a property are fixed promptly.

There are two main laws which protect both tenants and landlords; The Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985 and The Housing Act of 2004.

UK legislation states that maintenance and repair of structural and exterior damage are the landlord’s responsibility. This means that when the damp and mould are caused by structural defects, your landlord has to carry out repairs.

Thanks to years of experience handling damp and mould housing disrepair claims, we know that the fault lies often not with the tenant, but the council or social housing landlord. If your landlord is responsible, yet fails to repair any damage to your home, we can help.

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So what exactly are landlords responsible for?

Some repairs are almost always the responsibility of the landlord. These 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

In many housing cases we see, mould and damp in rented property is often a result of disrepair, and can be made worse by the landlord’s failure to make repairs in a timely manner. If you are a social or council housing tenant we can support you with your housing disrepair claim.

Please be aware that we unfortunately currently do not take on private renting disrepair cases.

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What are tenants responsible for?

It’s important to note that as a tenant you have responsibilities too.

You are expected to make sure that the property remains well-ventilated at all times, because good ventilation helps to avoid mould from growing and spreading. If you don’t keep your home aired out enough and mould or damp develops, we wouldn’t be able to help you start a claim against your landlord.

However, if you have been unable to keep your home ventilated as a result of other disrepair issues which aren’t your fault, our surveyor will be able to see that and we could help you make a claim.

If the damp or mould is mainly down to how you have treated the property, you may want to try the following:

  • 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 immediately if it does occur

Mould and damp issues could well be the result of your landlord’s negligence to fix other problems, such as structural defects. Even if your landlord is at fault, you should try to carry out the above steps. We understand that it might feel irritating to do so because the problem isn’t your fault. However, for your own health and safety it’s a good idea to do what you can.

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Different types of damp and mould

Rising damp

Rising dampness generally occurs in older houses as a result of groundwater rising up through the walls and floors.

It’s fairly easy to spot, as it leaves clear damp marks on your walls travelling upwards. This will cause your wallpaper to peel, paint to flake and edges of carpets to look dirty and darker.

When walls are affected by rising damp it can’t be fixed by re-plastering the affected area alone. Rising damp often contains salts which will damage the wall from within, meaning the wall needs to be repaired before any cosmetic work can be done.

If your property has a problem with rising damp, your landlord will need to take action to stop the damp from reoccurring too. Only then should they re-plaster and redecorate the affected areas.

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Black mould

If black mould is growing in your home you must be extra careful. Black mould spores contain harmful toxins which pose a serious risk to your health after long periods of exposure. They can create or worsen breathing problems, infections and allergies. This is especially dangerous if children live in the property.

It is a type of fungus which is black in colour and spreads across materials such as paint, wallpaper and plaster. It also causes a damp, earthy or musty smell, which you might notice before seeing the mould itself.

Black mould is caused by excessive moisture and/or poor ventilation in a property. It’s important that you have enough air circulating in every room of your home to prevent it. Excessive moisture usually comes from condensation, which can simply be a result of everyday living. Steam from cooking and showering can cause condensation, but so can water leaks and structural defects in your home.

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Penetrating damp

Penetrating damp is the most common form of damp in rented property. When rain penetrates the masonry of the building, problems can start to occur on both the inside and outside.

Older buildings are most likely to be affected, but penetrating damp can occur in any house or flat.

Just like rising damp, penetrating damp is easy to spot. On the outside of the building you might see blotches of dampness, moss growth, or even damage to the bricks, stones, or other masonry.

Inside you will probably see mould forming, plaster blistering and sometimes floorboards showing signs of rot. Mould caused by penetrating damp won’t always be visible, but the smell is fairly easy to recognise.

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You deserve to live in a safe and healthy environment

Making sure your house is safe to live in

Everyone is entitled to live in a property that has been kept in a reasonable state of repair. This means your social landlord is responsible for maintaining your rented property, and making sure it is safe to live in.

Mould and damp is estimated to affect 37 per cent of rented properties in the UK. If you are living in social or council housing and you have damp or mould, we could help get you the repairs you need. In many cases we handle, tenants are also awarded compensation for the health issues mould and damp caused them.

If a rented property has severe mould or damp issues it generally isn’t safe to live in, due to the severe effects it can have on your health. Your landlord is responsible for keeping you safe. If they have failed in doing so, let us know and we will help by sending our expert to assess your home. They will record all the issues which threaten your health and safety, and we could help you begin your claim.

How we can support you

Firstly, you 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. If you have suffered from damages to your property or health, we can help you claim compensation too.

All of our expert housing disrepair services are provided on a no-win, no-fee basis. This means you can proceed with a claim without worrying that you’re taking a financial risk.

With our help, you can get necessary repair work carried out. We want to help you get the compensation you deserve so you can live comfortably in your home.

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