Condensation… Is this my problem or the tenant’s?
After having several landlords over the past few weeks approach me with this question, I felt that this was a topic worth discussing.
Condensation is a problem faced by many properties and if not dealt with, it will become a major headache for both tenants and for you the landlord.
If the property is not properly heated and ventilated then condensation will build up and eventually lead to mould growth which is capable of growing anywhere from carpet to clothing to ceilings.
In fact there are more disputes between landlords and tenants concerning mould and condensation than any other issue.
Along with the health issues it can bring, mould can be quite costly and difficult to fix. More often than not landlords and tenants will be pointing the finger of responsibility at each other. Landlords believe that their tenant’s lifestyle has caused the problem and tenants see it as their landlord’s duty to prevent mould from appearing.
Tenants often dry clothes inside properties, especially on radiators, creating large amounts of moisture, and they forget to open windows and sometimes shut air vents or block vents with furniture - many easily remedied issues rather than actual faults with the building structure. However it is the landlord’s investment which suffers in this situation, a point to consider when asking the question of whose responsible for fixing condensation and mould.
The most effective approach to take in avoiding or tackling mould problems is to implement measures that reduce moisture within a home, here are a few of my
suggestions for tenants:-
1/ If possible, dry clothes outdoors to prevent excess moisture escaping into the property. If you do have to dry clothes inside I would always advise that you open doors or windows in these rooms, allowing the air to circulate.
2/ When cooking, boiling a kettle, taking a shower or bath, ensure that the kitchen or bathroom doors are kept closed, to prevent steam going into colder rooms which will cause condensation to form.
3/When cooking, boiling a kettle, taking a shower or bath, open windows in the rooms where the condensation is being cause and always use any extractor fans provided.
4/Make sure that your furniture is at least 50mm away from the surrounding walls and don’t block air vents so that air can circulate around the property. Wardrobes, if possible, should be positioned against internal walls.
suggestions for landlords:-
1/ Double glazing, loft insulation and draft proofing will help to reduce the amount of heat that is lost from a property. Installing insulation will help to increase the temperature of the surfaces inside your property.
2/ Having an adequate amount of heating in your property will improve the internal temperature of surfaces in the house and reduce the likelihood of condensation.
3/Instal extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms helps to limit the amount of condensation being trapped in the property.