Black mould – cleaning issues?

Black mould – cleaning issues?

10:04 AM, 18th November 2022, About 2 years ago 36

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Hello, Once again there has been a case of black mould on the national news. This time a child died because of it.

The local authority is the landlord and everyone is out for blood.

Surely there is no need for any of this. Instead of the landlord being somehow responsible, all that needs to happen is for the tenants to be taught how to properly use one of the many cleaning products.

What do you think?

Why do these cases keep turning up on the news?

Thank you,


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Judith Wordsworth

11:11 AM, 18th November 2022, About 2 years ago

If property walls/ceilings are wiped with sterilising solutions and then painted with anti-mould paint and if due to tenant(s) lifestyle (not ventilating the property, not heating the property, not cleaning the property) any mould does appear they should be cleaning it off. It takes months, even years for that amount of mould.
As you say plenty of shop bought products available.
But tenants often don't do this. I have been told by LA and Environmental Health that you cannot tell someone how to live their life.
An ex-tenant of mine told me that if I wanted the condensation wiped off the windows then I should be sending someone round every morning as it wasn't her job to do this. Even though she put in writing that "no-one in this county opens windows on the autumn/spring/winter as it was too cold". The condensation was allowed to pool on the window sills and overflow down the walls!

Seething Landlord

11:47 AM, 18th November 2022, About 2 years ago

The landlord was a Housing Association, not the LA.

We all know that lifestyle is often the cause of mould but be very careful that you are aware of all the facts before casting aspersions at the tenants in this tragic case. There were massive failings on the part of the landlord and reacting with anything but sympathy for the tenant will reinforce the public view that we are all obnoxious, self-righteous scumbags.


11:49 AM, 18th November 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 18/11/2022 - 11:11
It is very sad that yet again that the PRS is being blamed for a senseless tragic death. We had a tenant send an email this week saying that they had mould on their window and sent a link outlining the case. We replied that no responsible landlord or agent would let that happen under their watch. It is offensive to imply that all landlords would let their tenants live with mould when that is absolutely not the case. We spend a lot of time educating student tenants, every room needs airing daily and windows need wiping in winter. The main one is drying clothes in the room but they still do it. We have to carry out regular inspections. Many tenants are scared to put the heating on now even though we have a generous all inclusive heating allowance at the old rates until next summer. We use mould paint too in shower rooms and bathrooms, it is very effective as well as fans of course.


12:42 PM, 18th November 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jane rees Rees at 18/11/2022 - 11:49
I have a lovely old stone built cottage which I have let out for several years now and lived in it once myself for a year.

So of five sets of tenants including myself there has never been any trace of mould anywhere until the last ones and the bathroom is now quite badly affected with mould on the ceiling, wall tiles, grout and silicone seal around the bath and along the shower door seal against the glass.
There is a fan fitted in the wall but tenants turn them off sometimes because they run for a while after use at night and then don't bother to turn them back on again.
Surely this proves that it is mostly to do with lifestyle and attention being paid to the proper aeration of the room.
I have another leasehold studio flat situated in a block which always seemed to suffer from mould but the freeholders replaced the metal windows with double glazed and I have double insulated the loft etc and I also fitted an air brick in the wall, fitted a washer dryer and issued strict instructions not to turn off the fan. Since then it does not suffer from mould.
I have never used a ceiling fan in any house I have lived in and they have all been old and never suffered with mould.
Tenants need to be educated or asked to pay for re-decoration if they allow mould to develop perhaps that would make them more attentive.

Seething Landlord

13:13 PM, 18th November 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by DP at 18/11/2022 - 12:42
Your two examples contradict your statement " Surely this proves that it is mostly to do with lifestyle".

What it proves is that it is sometimes due to lifestyle and sometimes due to faults with the building.

In the tragic case that has started this discussion it was clearly faults with the building and the negligence of the landlord in failing to address them. The usual knee-jerk "blame and educate the tenant" response is totally inappropriate, as is conflating this case with unrelated anecdotal experience.

LordOf TheManor

13:55 PM, 18th November 2022, About 2 years ago

It's not just students who need educating..... it's everyone - but nobody wants to know!
All my tenancies start out with new silicone around the bath, shower, shower/bath and kitchen sink/draining area and are completely limescale-free on all bathroom 'wet surfaces', including shower doors which get new plastic drip strips fitted. Stainless steel sink/drainer are limescale-free too, as well as all tap spouts.
Even though there is always a discussion about staying 'on top of' cleaning to avoid damage by 'cleaning neglect', it doesn't make much difference.
By the time of the first inspection it is obvious that nobody much likes cleaning their bathrooms routinely - or even semi-regularly. We all know that silicone isn't white one day and then black the next! The tenants are very quick to blame the silicone and deny seeing it discolour in the process of turning black.
At key handover, I advise on which products make light work of cleaning, including the one that is great at preventing the build up of limescale and how to remove it. Nobody understands limescale - and nobody seems to care about it in the slightest!
By first inspection time, limescale has already started to build. Tenants show me their collection of 'eco products' (if they have any products at all). That's not to say they use them, though. What happened to the ones I suggested? Tenants say they went shopping and just opted for eco stuff. All a complete load of rubbish in a hard water area.
None so deaf as those that don't want to hear!!

Seething Landlord

14:01 PM, 18th November 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by LordOf TheManor at 18/11/2022 - 13:55"None so deaf as those that don't want to hear!!"
Which applies equally to landlords, as illustrated by this tragic case.

14:20 PM, 18th November 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 18/11/2022 - 11:11
If this tenant asks for a reference then the fact she will not even wipe her windows should be stated. I would not take her if I knew this.

Jill Lucas

14:21 PM, 18th November 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 18/11/2022 - 11:11
We have had issues with black mould and one tenant called the housing department to report it! They advised it was the lifestyle of the tenant who was drying clothes on radiators without ventilating the property! Now with all our tenants we provide them with a booklet on 'Mould & Ventilation' and have had no issues! Tenants need to be educated on this and they should also ensure they maintain the basics in their properties! We cant comment on the issue in the press but you just cant blame the landlord!


15:12 PM, 18th November 2022, About 2 years ago

I do agree there has to be much more education that condensation will turn black if not tackled.
We had a tenant's flat which looked like the Black hole of Calcutta. Combination of smoking, incense burning, drying clothes indoors, and the fans being totally bunged up with either fat (kitchen) or years of accumulated dust.
We saw a dramatic improvement in the moisture levels once we supplied him with a condensing unit,
and after it had dried out, fitted new draught free ventilation filters and fans, plus anti mould paint. Transformed.

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