Damp, condensation and mould in London But, who is liable?
Tenants, letting agents and landlords all need to contribute to preventative measures to reduce the impact on living conditions and properties. Taking reasonable steps to tackle damp and mould is not only about looking after your health; it is your responsibility as a tenant.
What is condensation and what causes it?
Condensation is water droplets created by warm air hitting a cold surface. This causes surface dampness, which leads to mould growth if left unattended. This is an issue affecting homes in the UK and is commonly caused by internal room temperatures with insufficient heating and a lack of adequate ventilation. If houses are colder than usual, for example, because the heating is not switched on, this can increase condensation.
What causes damp and mould?
If condensation is not addressed, this can lead to problems such as mould. Mould is a fungus that grows on wet surfaces, routinely caused by excess moisture resulting from condensation when walls and windows are cold and there is the high moisture content in the air.
Alternatively in cases where damage or decay has occurred penetrating leaks can cause damp or if there is a defective damp-proof course, rising damp can occur in basements and ground floors. Please note that rising damp does not generally result in the growth of black mould.
How can it be treated?
Damp and mould in domestic properties can lead to health issues and exacerbate existing allergies and respiratory conditions. There are simple steps that both tenants and owner-occupiers can take to prevent damp and mould. Everyone should understand how daily routines can contribute to damp and mould around the house and how to prevent issues from arising.