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Does my Landlord Have to Fix Damp

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Does My Landlord Have to Fix Damp

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

Dec 14, 2023

If you live in rental property, whether it is a private letting or through a social housing provider, your landlord has responsibilities to ensure that the accommodation is safe, healthy, and well maintained.

If you discover damp in a rental property, it is important that you report it to the property owner as quickly as possible so that any repairs can be undertaken.  The sooner you report damp problems, the less damage will be done to the property, and the easier it will be to repair.  Reporting damp as soon as it is discovered also reduces the chances of secondary issues with mould that could damage your health.

Damp is a common problem in rented properties, and it can have different causes and effects. Depending on the type and severity of the damp, the landlord may have different responsibilities to fix it.

The different types of damp

There are three main types of damp that can occur in a home:

  • Rising damp
  • Penetrating damp
  • Condensation damp

Rising damp is caused by water being drawn up into the walls of the property from the ground.  Penetrating damp is caused when water leaks in through the envelope of the building – such as through a gap beside a window or through a hole in the roof.  Condensation damp is caused by internal humidity.  When water vapour in the air meets a cold surface such as a window or wall, it forms droplets that can soak into the plaster and create damp patches.

Both landlords and tenants have responsibilities when it comes to preventing and repairing damp.

Landlord responsibilities for damp

If rising damp or penetrating damp is found in a property, repairs will be needed to stop the ingress of water.  This may involve installing a new damp proof course at the foot of walls (rising damp) or repairing a hole in the roof or leaking pipe (penetrating damp).  In these cases, it is the responsibility of the landlord to fix the issue and resolve any problems with the interior décor.

The landlord should respond promptly to any reports of damp in a rental property and has a responsibility to repair:

  • Leaking roofs
  • Broken heating systems
  • Faulty guttering
  • Cracks in walls

If damp or mould makes a home unfit to live in or creates a risk to the health and safety of the tenants, the landlord must also carry out any repairs in a timely fashion.

If the damp problem cannot be resolved, the provider of the housing may have to carry out improvements to the property such as insulating walls to prevent cold patches.

If you report damp to the landlord, they will need to arrange an inspection of the property by a damp surveyor if necessary, and this should be repeated after any work has been carried out to ensure that it fully resolves the issue.

Tenant responsibilities for damp

Not all damp is caused by water entering a property from outside.  Condensation damp is caused by water vapour created in the home – activities such as cooking, bathing, and drying clothes indoors all increase the amount of humidity in a property, and without sufficient ventilation, water vapour will form condensation on walls and ceilings that can lead to damp.

Tenants have a responsibility to ensure that they properly ventilate a property including using extractor fans when cooking or using the bathroom. 

If the actions of the tenant are the cause of a damp problem that leads to mould forming, the cost of any cleaning or repairs may be passed onto the tenant – although the landlord has a responsibility to ensure that the house is healthy and fit for use.

Find out more

If you have discovered damp in a rental property, you should report it to your landlord as soon as possible so that they can act.  Envirovent can conduct a survey of the property that will identify the source of condensation damp and provide advice about the best way to resolve the issue permanently.

Need help with condensation, mould or damp problems?

One of our local experts will contact you to learn more about your problems, offer free expert advice and make recommendations for a permanent solution.

During the free survey we will

  • check Assess any condensation, damp or mould problems in your property
  • check Take readings of the relative humidity levels
  • check Identify any underlying problems and make recommendations for a permanent solution

Arrange a FREE Home Survey now