What is it?

Condensation mould is a common occurrence in rental property and becomes apparent in the form of black mould on internal walls. This can be seen in patches as small as a penny and as large as the entire wall itself, you may find this on your walls or ceilings and 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 of 4 people roughly puts into the air 14 litres of water every day, mostly through showers, washing & drying, cooking, we also produce moisture into the air space around us just through breathing and during our sleep we can produce 1 litre of moisture each per every 8 hours!

So who is responsible for tackling this issue?

The Landlord

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 a reasonable time frame.
  • 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 to remove “cold spots”.

The Tenant

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 and during cold mornings and nights.
  • Ventilate through opening windows and trickle vents, 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 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 furnishings, window frames, floor, walls and ceilings.

If you have any queries regarding condensation mould and how to control this, please do not hesitate to contact us for helpful hints and tips on prevention and removal.

Joe Milburn

May 2022