Condensation is a tricky issue. It can be unpleasant to live with and can damage property. So when you see those black spots of mould, who's to blame, landlord or tenant?
Recently we had a deposit issue regarding damp or more specifically condensation and it's something that we have now started treating differently as an agency.
Nobody wants to live in a damp environment, it's unattractive and unhealthy, and nobody wants their property damaged by damp.
So when those little black spots appear for the first time both landlord and tenant can understandably be a bit confused
'There weren't any black spots when they moved in so why are there now?'
More often than not the damp is actually condensation and caused by tenant 'lifestyle' and so we work with tenants to resolve the issue by giving simple advice such as:
- Drying clothes outside or if necessary to dry inside, keeping a window open
- Keeping the heating on low and constant over the winter months
- Keeping the property well ventilated
- Leaving extractor fans running for several minutes after baths and showers
- Moving furniture away from walls to allow air to circulate
- Opening wardrobe doors, again to allow air to circulate
If there's no improvement, we'll often get a survey carried out by a third party and share their findings and recommendations with the tenant.
Sometimes other or bigger suggestions are made for example:
- Trickle vents on windows
- Extractor fans
- Wall vents
However, as a tenant the thing to remember is that if a property is damp-free when you move into it, it should damp-free when you move out. If not, deductions can be claimed from your deposit to repair any damage.
We have now put together a Condensation Guide to be given to tenants at the start of their tenancies to help them avoid and deal with condensation.
There will also be some occasions where damp is not due to condensation but some other structural issue and on those occasions the landlord is responsible for rectifying the problem.