How to avoid a dispute over mould

Fri 13 Feb 2015

Mould on wall

Recent winters have not been too kind to the UK, and this has led to a range of problems in properties up and down the country.

One of the most common is mould, which is an issue for thousands of homeowners and many tenants. Not only is mould particularly unsightly, it can have a negative impact on health, making it one of the most unwelcome visitors in any house or flat.

The Tenancy Deposit Service has explained this should be of particular concern to landlords, as the bill for dealing with mould and condensation damage can potentially be huge.

It also noted that while many of you will justifiably claim funds from your tenant in order to repair certain faults, those living in a property are not expected to provide a “blank cheque”. Indeed, the TDS said you must remain realistic about the amount you can reasonably deduct.

With this in mind, the easiest way to avoid a dispute over mould or the subsequent financial headache arising from it is to take steps that aim to prevent it before it has a chance to grow.

The most effective ways to achieve this include ensuring excellent ventilation throughout a property, which reduces the likelihood of certain areas becoming damp. You should also encourage tenants to avoid drying their clothes on the radiators and to keep the temperature at a consistent level.

It is imperative that you perform a thorough check-in and check-out inspection and compile an accurate report, as this is vital to proving that any charges for mould damage at the end of a tenancy can be justified.

This is where a great letting agent comes in. At Leaders, our experienced and knowledgeable staff have the expertise required to accurately gauge the condition of a property at various stages and to document this.

Both tenants and landlords are advised to read a check-in report thoroughly as its content will be central to any future claims.

Our property management teams will also be on hand to carry out mid-tenancy inspections that give you peace of mind your property is being treated in a suitable manner.

Prevention is always better than dispute, so it pays to be proactive – or allow a high-quality letting agent to act on your behalf – in order to reduce the threat posed by mould at all times.

Get in touch today for more expert advice for landlords and tenants.