15:51 PM, 29th March 2022, About 2 years ago 5
The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) is warning tenants and landlords to avoid leaving discussions about damp and mould to the end of the tenancies. It is urging tenants and landlords to talk openly throughout the tenancy and take a common-sense approach to the subject instead of broaching it at the end and risk falling into a dispute.
Matt Trevett, Managing Director at The DPS, said: “The circumstances that lead to damp or mould developing can vary: if the problem is structural, the onus may be on the landlord to find a solution but, if the issue is caused by tenant behaviour, the tenant(s) may need to change their approach.
“We’d always encourage tenants and landlords to discuss how best to address damp, mould or any other issue in order to find a solution together rather than waiting until after renters move out.”
The DPS said it anticipates an increase in tenants moving property this Spring following the Government’s lifting of pandemic-related restrictions.
The organisation has also provided four key guidelines that tenants and landlords can use to inform discussions about damp and mould inside a property:
1: Tenants should immediately report if the property has damp or mould
This will give a landlord the chance to remedy or improve the situation and improve renters’ comfort in the property
2: Dispassionately discuss the amount of damp and mould in the property
A very small amount of damp or mould in a room, while requiring some remedy, does not mean that tenants can claim to live rent free at a property
3: An information leaflet might not be appropriate
We have seen cases where landlords or agents who noticed evidence of damp during an inspection have simply handed the tenant a leaflet on ventilation, heating and avoiding condensation; without first checking the cause
4: Act if the issue is your responsibility
While some damp and mould problems can be solved by tenants’ adapting different behaviour, for example, improving ventilation to rooms with tumble driers, landlords should recognise when the issue needs their involvement to resolve, such as structural changes