Condensation mould is a common occurrence in rental property and becomes apparent in the form of black mould on internal walls. It is frequently noted on property visits and raised by tenants as a maintenance issue and a concern that needs rectifying.
There is often some confusion between the landlord and tenant as to who is responsible for the development of condensation mould. As agents we find it is automatically the tenants’ assumption that the landlord should be responsible but this is more often than not incorrect.
Condensation mould forms when warm air comes into contact with a cold surface (usually the internal side of an external wall or a window) and the moisture in the air turns into droplets of water. An average household roughly puts into the air 10 litres of water every day, mostly through showers, washing & drying, cooking and also just by breathing.
The landlord certainly needs to ensure the setup/condition of the property is in order to ensure the property isn’t prone to condensation mould, this can include the following;
- Ensure all maintenance issues such as leaks are fixed in quick time
- Ensure the property has an adequate heating system
- Ensure there is provision for ventilation such as extractor fans, windows, trickle vents
- Ensure the property is correctly insulated
It is the responsibility of the tenant to take all reasonable steps are taken to minimise condensation in the house. To include the following;
- Adequately heat the house through the colder months
- Ventilate through opening windows, use of extractors fans in bathrooms and kitchens
- Do not dry clothes on radiators or on clothes horses as the moisture produced will add to high condensation levels in the air.
- Keep a small gap between walls and furniture to allow for some airflow
Should mould form then the tenant is normally expected to wipe down and clean the affected surfaces from time to time to prevent any other associated damage that can be caused to the window frames, floor, walls and ceilings.