New Landlord Guidance - Understanding the Government's Damp and Mould warning

    New Landlord Guidance - Understanding the Government's Damp and Mould warning

    In his latest monthly Q&A, Property Litigator Will Bartley highlights the importance of the new guidance for private and social landlords regarding damp and mould in let properties. This comes following the Government’s recent damp and mould warning, including their ability to enforce unlimited fines for those landlords who ignore the new guidance.

    What is the recent Government guidance regarding damp and mould for landlords?

    The recent Government guidance emphasises the importance of addressing damp and mould issues in rental properties promptly. This guidance is vital for landlords across the UK as it helps protect tenant health and ensures compliance with housing standards. The guidance can be found here

    What are the key responsibilities of landlords according to the new guidance?

    It is the responsibility of landlords to identify and address the underlying causes of damp and mould issues in their properties, such as structural issues or inadequate ventilation. This includes regular inspections and timely repairs. Critics of landlords and the Government historically have stated that tenant health is coming second to landlord’s repair budgets, and that far too often tenants are blamed for ‘drying clothes indoors’ or ‘not opening the window after a shower’ – leading to mould and damp.

    This guidance appears to place the onus on the landlord to prove such causes, and in any event take immediate necessary steps to intervene to ensure that their properties are in a fit standard of living.

    This was perhaps expedited due to the recent high-profile tenant deaths due to mould and damp in rented accommodation - view article

    How can landlords identify damp and mould problems in their properties?

    Signs of damp and mould include musty odours, visible mould growth, and peeling paint or wallpaper. Regular property inspections are crucial and should not be overlooked. Prompt repair/remedial work after tenant complaints are crucial moving forward to ensure compliance with the new rules.

    What steps should landlords take to prevent damp and mould issues?

    Landlords should maintain proper ventilation, insulation, and heating in their properties, and address any leaks or water ingress promptly. Landlords should regularly inspect their properties, remedy deficiencies promptly and ensure that they have a regular programme of maintenance and management.

    What are the consequences of neglecting damp and mould issues as a landlord?

    Neglecting these issues can lead to tenant health problems, legal disputes, and potential fines for non-compliance with housing standards.

    Where can landlords find more detailed information on the Government's guidance?

    Landlords can refer to the official Government website for in-depth guidance and resources using this link. Alternatively get in touch with Porter Dodson’s legal experts for more help.

    Will Bartley’s thoughts

    “The Government's guidance on damp and mould is essential reading for landlords and letting Agents in the UK. By understanding and following these guidelines, landlords can ensure the health, safety and well-being of their tenants and avoid potential legal issues. Whilst there will still be tenant issues causing damp and mould in properties, it's a shared responsibility to maintain a healthy living environment, and proactive measures benefit both landlords and tenants in the long term”.

    Specialist Property Advice

    Porter Dodson have a dedicated Property Disputes team who specialise in property law and supporting landlords. We will be able to provide you with clear and practical advice on the appropriate way of proceeding.


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