Landlords Urged to do more about Damp and Condensation
UK landlords and letting agents have been urged to do more about one of the biggest issues in the sector: namely, the problem of damp, condensation and mould. Although the majority of landlords would not consider letting a property with damp or mould problems, or would fix any issues as soon as they are identified, a report commissioned by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme Charitable Foundation has identified it as the biggest problem for UK tenants.
The report found that 41 percent of renters had experienced damp in a private rented property, while 38 percent had experienced mould. It also included information about who was responsible for fixing these types of problems when they occur.
Impacting the lives of millions of people
The extent of the damp and mould problem in the UK's rental properties makes it an issue which is affecting the lives of literally millions of people. But while it is a perennial problem in the private rented sector, it is also completely avoidable.
There are a number of steps the sector as a whole can take to drive out the damp and mould problem and significantly improve not only the quality of housing stock and the experience of tenants, but also the value of properties and landlords' yields.
Fixing the problem
Many people, whether its residents, landlords or even some letting agents, do not recognise the first signs of damp or know what they can do to fix them. The first step to eradicating the problem is to educate all parties in terms of the prevention, identification and treatment of damp, mould and condensation problems.
One measure that has been recommended is for a tenant checklist to be introduced to assess a property for signs of damp and mould before a lease begins. More thorough surveys could also be conducted before buy-to-let mortgages are granted to buyers to help prevent properties being bought before they are in a marketable condition.
An important point to note is that damp, condensation and mould can all be easily fixed. If identified early enough, treating this kind of issue can be simple and relatively inexpensive to correct. It's when the problem is left undiagnosed, or worse, diagnosed but not treated, that it can become more of an issue. Contrary to the belief of some landlords and tradespeople, it cannot simply be painted over or washed off as this does not deal with the cause of the problem. Instead, an expert should be hired to fix it immediately before more serious damage can be caused.
Who is responsible?
Damp, mould and condensation are one of the most common causes of disputes between tenants and landlords. It is the landlord's responsibility to provide and maintain a safe and comfortable property, and given the health and respiratory damp and mould can cause, it is their responsibility to fix it.
However, if the tenant is the first to identify a moisture problem in their property then it is their responsibility to report it. This should be done in writing to either the landlord or the letting agent. The landlord or agent letting must then respond to the complaint within 14 days or simply fix the problem.
It is always in the landlord's best interests to fix a damp or mould problem immediately. Fail to do so and it will only spread, worsening the tenant's experience, increasing the cost of a fix, reducing the resale value of the property and risking future potential income.
How can we help?
At Martin & Co Camberley, we attract high quality tenants by offering a wide selection of well-presented and properly maintained properties. Using our network of expert local tradesmen, we fix any problems immediately to ensure longer tenancies, fewer voids and to maximise your yield. Call 01276 691510 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.