Check out our new Landlord and Tenant Resource Guide

The relationship between tenant and landlord is often a difficult one when mould is involved.

Problems occur when tenants start drying clothes indoors, not using the cooker hood properly or blocking up the air vents. The landlord, of course, must make sure that the property is properly ventilated.

Mould grows at 65% Relative Humidity. The low average annual humidity level in London and Birmingham, for example, is 70%. Mould is therefore prevalent throughout the UK. Use this short guide to keep mould at bay.

5 Best Dehumidifier Tips!

  1. Desiccant dehumidifiers, such as the EcoAir ECO DD122 Desiccant Dehumidifier
    are more efficient in UK climates than compressor units. This means that they cost less to run.

Due to lack of compressor parts desiccant dehumidifiers are also:

    • Quieter
    • Lighter
    • Able to operate at lower temperatures than compressor units

Those with allergies, asthmatic symptoms and respiratory problems should buy dehumidifiers with an anti-bacterial filter and ioniser for cleaner air.

A great example of such a dehumidifier is the EcoAir DD122 MK5 Desiccant Dehumidifier which features an silver nano technology anti-bacterial filter as well as an ioniser.

Basically ionisers release negative ions into the air. These ions attach themselves to positive ions such as dirt and pollen. The enlarged ion becomes too heavy to float in the air and falls down into the dehumidifier’s filter or onto the floor where they can be vacuumed up.

  1. For drying clothes indoors in a safe and healthy manner buy a dehumidifier with a ‘Laundry’ or ‘Turbo’ settings. In conjunction also use a movable louvre with which you can aim the generated hot air from the dehumidifier towards the clothes. A timer function is also handy.

Place the washing in the smallest room in the house and close all windows and doors. The dehumidifier will keep moisture levels down thus avoiding growth of the dangerous Aspergillus Fumigatus spores.

The Meaco DD8L Desiccant Dehumidifier is superb for drying clothes indoors as when operating in ‘Laundry’ mode the dehumidifier heats the surrounding air by around 10C-12C which dries clothes faster.

  1. For black mould on silicon such as in showers/baths or on wall tile grout use HG Mould Spray.

Simply spray, wait a half hour and rinse of with water or a damp cloth.

According to the company HG Mould Spray contains more ingredients than bleach and water and keeps mould away longer.

  1. For mould in smaller spaces such as wardrobes and cupboards etc use Moisture Absorbers. You can buy either little packets which you have to replace entirely or you can buy moisture absorbers in which you only have to replace the crystals.

Who is Responsible?

In some cases it is very difficult to decide who is responsible for mould or fungi to appear in a property.

Generally we would say:

  • Building Defect = Landlord
  • Condensation = Tenant

Upon lettting a property the landlord should ensure that the tenant knows:

  • No Drying Clothes Indoors
  • No Blocking of Air Vents
  • No Excess Heat in Property
  • Use Cookerhood When Cooking
  • Open Windows Especially in Kitchen During Cooking and Bathroom During and/or After Shower

Likewise when inspecting a property a tenant should check for signs of damp.

After having moved in the tenant should report any building defects or leaks to the landlord straight away.

Black mould is generally formed from condensation. Activities such as drying clothes indoors, showrs, hot baths and cooking all have the potential to cause condensation.

Make sure that the extractor fans in the property are working properly and check that the filter in the cookerhood is clean.

Where to Look for Damp

Upon inspecting a property for tenancy look carefully at the following areas for stains, leaks, damp, mould and fungi etc:

  • Ceilings especially near chimney
  • Walls around Windows
  • Windows Themselves
  • Around and Under Taps or Other Water Supplies (Dishwasher, Washing Machine etc)
  • Pipes in Hot Press
  • Down Pipes Outside
  • Make sure Gutters are Clear of Debris

Drying Clothes Indoors 

Many households find it difficult to dry clothes during winter. Dryers shrink clothes and using horse-racks or radiators to dry clothes causes indoor humidity levels to increase by up to 30% which is the perfect breeding ground for dangerous Aspergillus Fumigatus spores.

Click here to read how to dry clothes indoors safely.

Further Information

Check out these articles for further information:

Be sure to check out this video on mould and damp in rental properties by Property TribesVanessa Warwick and Andrew Brookes from the Housing Team at Anthony Gold Solicitors.

The Tenant / Landlord Dehumidifier Guide is always expanding so check back regularly.

If you have any comments we’d love to hear them. Please use the comment section below.