From 20 March 2019, the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act will make landlords more accountable for conditions in their properties. As a landlord you will have to make sure your properties meet certain standards at the beginning and throughout a tenancy. For the first time this will include problems caused by damp and mould.
Conflict with a tenant often arises when there is a problem with damp and mould, and who has responsibility for the problem. If the issue has been allowed to drag on, the tenants’ health and possessions could be affected and you could find yourself facing high costs for repairs and refurbishment.
With damp, the first action point is to check if there is a structural fault or a lack of ventilation. In combination with this a solution will often be to buy a dehumidifier. This removes the excess moisture from the air created by ‘lifestyle issues’ (bathing, cooking, drying washing, breathing etc). It would also reduce any increase in the room’s relative humidity whilst the tenant waits for repairs to be undertaken. In many cases a dehumidifier alone will solve the problem.
What can landlords do about this?
Condensation on walls is a sign that a situation is bad but it does not necessarily mean that there is a structural issue. It could just be that the outside air is very cold, the walls have little or no insulation and the level of moisture inside is high. Improved wall insulation can help but the internal level of moisture stills needs to be reduced.
This new law will increase pressure on landlords to be proactive with regards to damp problems. Meaco’s Managing Director Chris Michael, an expert on humidity issues says:
“To prevent damp, mould and condensation becoming a conflict area use a dehumidifier on a regular basis. We recommend the Meaco “ABC” for rented properties. They are our quietest ever dehumidifier which means they can discreetly get on with the job of removing up to 12 litres per day of moisture from the air without disturbing tenants. The “ABC” is competitively priced, economic on electricity bills, comes in a range of stylish colours and is light enough to be moved from room to room. They’re also very effective in helping dry washing which in rented properties is often a major contributor to damp conditions.”