Living in a house with damp or mould problems can be harmful to health. This can be a particular problem in privately rented student accommodation because the property may not be occupied all year around, meaning that problems can go undetected.
As a tenant in student accommodation, it is important to understand that alongside your landlord’s responsibilities, there are also things that you can do to reduce the risk of mould or damp affecting your health.
Many of the health problems related to damp and mould are due to allergic reactions. When mould spores are inhaled, they can cause irritation to the airways. While there are tiny amounts of mould in all properties, when large colonies develop and are visible on walls and ceilings, the amount of mould spores that are inhaled and ingested increases meaning that there is more chance of a reaction.
Moulds tend to thrive in damp conditions and grow on walls and ceilings. The most common cause of damp in most homes is condensation – this is caused when warm air containing water vapour released when cooking or bathing comes into contact with cool surfaces and allows the water to settle.
Before you move into a property, take time to look around. If you can see patches of mould or discover a musty smell in cupboards or bedrooms, then the chances are that there is an underlying damp problem, and you should speak to the landlord about resolving it before you take possession of the home.
To reduce the amount of damp that can form after you move in, you can take steps to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. Ensure that you use pan lids when cooking and close bathroom and kitchen doors when in use. If possible, you should avoid drying clothes indoors and on radiators as this can release a large amount of moisture into the air.
It is important to act quickly if you discover mould growing. If the mould colony is less than a square metre in size, you can easily deal with it yourself, but if the colony is much larger – if it has grown behind a wardrobe – you should alert your landlord and ask them to arrange for a professional to deal with the problem.
When cleaning mould you should wear gloves, goggles, and a mask to prevent inhaling spores. You can use a cloth and soapy water to remove the mould from the surface – for persistent mould problems, you might want to try using a mould cleaner, which you can find in most supermarkets. Once you have finished cleaning the mould away, dispose of any cloths used and wash clothing to prevent mould being carried around the rest of the house.
Your landlord has a duty to ensure that your home is fit for habitation and to prevent any health risks to their tenants. If you have concerns about damp problems in your student property, you should contact your landlord and request that they arrange a damp survey on the property to identify the cause and put in place an effective solution. Our local specialists can provide advice and assistance on what can be done to improve condensation, damp, and mould problems in the property.
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 can:
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