Don’t leave damp discussions until the end of the tenancy

Don’t leave damp discussions until the end of the tenancy

15:51 PM, 29th March 2022, About 2 months ago 5

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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



Comments

by Luke P

17:09 PM, 29th March 2022, About 2 months ago

In almost all cases of *rental* property damp, it's lifestyle-caused. No, not absolutely every single case, but in the vast, vast majority it is. The reason the leaflets are given out is because tenants understanding is severely lacking. The DPS have realised that switched on LLs are coming up with help/information and it's not going in a way they/Govt. would like, so (as always) want to move the goalposts.
Just don't bother with deposits. Take a guarantor. Get an expert damp report and sue the guarantor.

by Chris Bradley

15:15 PM, 30th March 2022, About 2 months ago

I recently did a house check on a student property and there were clothes drying in the lounge, and in each bedroom, this is the first time I've seen this as normally they use the timber dryer or the line outside.
The clothes were so wet it was dripping on the floor and of course there is issues with water penetrating the laminate if is not dried up.
They stated they couldn't afford the energy bills to use the tumble dryer

by rita chawla

16:11 PM, 2nd April 2022, About 2 months ago

Since I am allergic to mould, I ensure all my properties always stay mould free through regular visits. In my experience, 9/10 times cause of mould is lifestyle, not structural. Tenants tend to be very uninformed /uneducated about these issues in the UK (sorry to say that, I don't intend to offend people, just stating my experience) compared to Germany, where I used to live before.
I remember one guy who was interested in renting my flat, told me he's moving out from the place where he lives because of mould in his bathroom. He had asked the landlord to renovate the entire bathroom but this was refused. I asked him if there's any leakage etc, and he said no, it's 'steam' after his shower causing mould on walls. I asked him if there's a window, and was told there is a big window and an extractor fan. He said he had been living there for 5 years and the flat was fine when he started renting it. I pointed out to him that in all likelihood it's his lifestyle that's causing it and if he opens the window after shower on daily basis that should resolve any such issue. His answer to that was, it's landlords duty to give the tenants a new bathroom every 5 years and he should not be expected to open windows. He also admitted he turns off the extractor fan to save money. He commented my flat's bathroom looks new, so there will not be any problem. My bathroom wasn't new, it was clean though thanks to good tenants I've had before. Needless to say, I didn't rent to him.
If instead of criticizing the landlords, the government invests in educating the tenants how to maintain properties a bit, then the problem can be actually addressed. I would be happy to pay from my pocket for my tenants to attend such courses. If there are any private courses offered by any landlords association, again I'll be happy to pay for that on my tenants behalf.

by SamLondon

19:01 PM, 2nd April 2022, About 2 months ago

When I lived in Germany I was handed a leaflet by the landlord the divided the year into 5 seasons and specified how long I should keep the windows open in my flat ranging from 35mins/day in summer to 6mins/day in Dec-Feb!

Tenant education courses might be a little far for the UK market, I'd love to see the look on my tenants faces if I handed them a copy of that leaflet

by Luke P

23:28 PM, 2nd April 2022, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by SamLondon at 02/04/2022 - 19:01
If you have a copy, I’ll gladly give it out to all tenants.


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