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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 social landlord has allowed a damp or mould problem to get develop or worse, our solicitors can help.

We will firstly assess the issues you are facing in your home. If we find that you are living with damp and mould we will help you claim for the necessary repairs to be carried out. In addition to this, we will help you claim compensation for any suffering and losses you have been subject to because of the disrepair.

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We can offer you expert advice and support

If your housing association or council hasn’t addressed the mould and damp problem in your council or social house, 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 property are swiftly addressed.

They will also be able to assess if you are entitled to compensation for any damages and health problems occurring as a result. We want to help you hold your housing association or council accountable for what they’ve put you through.

You have a right to live in a safe home, so if you’re being denied that right we want to bring those responsible to justice and get you the compensation you deserve.

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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 anything causing damp and mould in a property is 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 address the repairs.

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

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What 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

If you are a social or council housing tenant we can support you with your housing disrepair claim. Unfortunately we currently do not take on private renting disrepair cases.

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What are tenants responsible for?

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 mould and damp are solely caused by your own behaviour, you won’t be able to win a case against your landlord. However, in most cases it is unlikely that the problems are entirely your fault.

Mould and damp in a 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 the damp or mould is mainly down to how the property is treated, 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

Even if your landlord is responsible and you are awaiting the result of your claim or for the repairs to be carried out, for your own health and safety we would recommend you do what you can to keep the mould and damp issues to a minimum.

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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 so are especially dangerous if children live in the property.

Your home is supposed to be a place of safety and relaxation, and not a place your health is at risk. If you think you may have been suffering because of mould and damp in your rented property, don’t hesitate – contact us today. We can give you advice on what steps to take next.

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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 are likely to 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

Social and council housing tenants are 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 are suffering from damp or mould, we can help get you the repairs you need. In many cases we handle, tenants are also awarded compensation for the inconvenience and health issues the mould and damp caused.

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.

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, so you can proceed with a claim without worrying that you’re taking a risk.

We want to help you get the compensation you deserve in order to have repair work carried out and live comfortably in your home.

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