At first you may spy the odd spot here and there and think nothing of it, but for the sake of your tenancy deposit (not to mention your health), the first signs of mould should be tackled quickly.
Mould, like damp, is caused by excess moisture. It might come from a leaky pipe or other plumbing issues, but it can also be caused by moisture from day-to-day activities. For example, drying clothes in the property, showering and even cooking without ventilation can lead to condensation, damp and mould.
As well as being unsightly, long-term exposure to damp and mould can also lead to health problems. Inhaling mould spores can lead to a number of respiratory issues and prolonged exposure can even cause chronic conditions like asthma.
There are also potential implications for your tenancy deposit. If a property is in a worse condition at the end of a tenancy as a result of tenant behaviour - such as drying clothes on radiators without opening windows - then it's possible that the cost of fixing the issue can be deducted from a tenancy deposit.
If you find condensation, damp or mould linked to an issue with appliances or the fabric of the building, it's important to let your landlord know in writing as soon as possible. This paper trail would form important evidence, should your tenancy end in a dispute over the tenancy deposit. What's more, if condensation, damp and mould are left without being tackled quickly, it could become more difficult and expensive to deal with.
Who is responsible?
Generally, when damp-related issues are caused by issues in the fabric of the building, it's the landlord's responsibility to address it. However, in instances where issues are caused by tenant behaviours, the tenant is generally liable.
For the adjudicator to come to an accurate decision, it's important to provide accurate evidence. Photographs and a check-in report at the start of the tenancy can prove the condition of the property at the beginning. Costs can be mitigated if issues are spotted early enough, so maintaining a paper trail can prove valuable.
Condensation, damp and mould shouldn't be ignored. Ensure your property is well ventilated, inform your landlord as soon as you see any issues develop, and take every step possible to avoid or deal with it if it does appear.
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