Ask Lorraine – “My new tenant is complaining of condensation”

🙋  Landlord’s Question:
”Dear Lorraine,

Can you offer any advice as my tenants of 5 months are starting to complain about condensation and mould. Is this my problem or the tenants?”

Lorraine’s Answer

Condensation is a big bug bear of course and if not properly dealt with, it will become a major headache for both tenants and you the landlord.

If the property is not properly heated and ventilated then condensation will build up and eventually lead to mould growth which is capable of growing anywhere from carpet to clothing to ceilings.
In fact there are more disputes between landlords and tenants concerning mould and condensation than any other issue.

Along with the health issues it can bring, mould can be quite costly and difficult to fix. More often than not landlords and tenants will be pointing the finger at each other. Landlords believing that their tenants lifestyle has caused the problem and tenants seeing it as their landlords duty to prevent it appearing.

In my experience tenants will often dry clothes on radiators, shut air vents or block vents with furniture –  many easily remedied issues rather than actual faults with the building structure.

The most effective approach to take in avoiding or tackling mould problems is to implement measures that reduce moisture within a home, here are a few of my suggestions :-
1/If you have a tumble dryer in your property, ensure that it is vented correctly.
2/If possible, dry clothes outdoors to prevent excess moisture escaping into your property. If you have to dry clothes inside I would always advise that you open your doors or windows in these rooms, allowing the air to circulate.

3/When cooking, boiling a kettle, taking a shower or bath, ensure that your kitchen or bathroom door are kept closed to prevent steam going into colder rooms which will cause condensation to form.

4/When cooking ensure that you cover your pans with a lid to reduce moisture. Have a window in the cooking room open or if you have an extractor fan fitted, then use it! Don’t turn off the extractor fan or close the window as soon as you finish cooking, leave the fan on or the window open for 10 minutes afterwards to clear the air.

5/When taking a bath or shower ensure that the extractor fan (if fitted) is used, alternately open a window to get rid of the steam that is created when running warm water in a cold environment.

6/If you don’t have an extractor fan in your bathroom or kitchen then make sure that you wipe down the surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen when you have been cooking or taking a shower to remove any moisture that has settled on the surface. This excess moisture that sits on the surface will quickly turn to mould which is difficult to completely remove.

7/Make sure that your furniture is at least 50mm away from the surrounding walls and don’t block air vents so that air can circulate around the property. Wardrobes if possible should be positioned against internal walls.

8/Double glazing, loft insulation and draft proofing will help to reduce the amount of heat that is lost from a property. Installing insulation will help to keep the temperature of the surfaces inside your property high.

9/Having an adequate amount of heating in your property will improve the internal temperature of surfaces in the house and reduce the likelihood of condensation.

Annually, I always send my tenants a “how to reduce condensation brochure” it helps to jog their little grey cells, you will find lots of free information on Government websites.

Until next week.

For more thoughts and opinions on the Tamworth Property Market, if you are a Tamworth Homeowner or Tamworth landlord, please visit the Tamworth Property Blog you can catch up on previous blogs.

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