Landlords and agents asked to tackle damp and condensation in their properties
Buy to let property expert and founder of PropertyChecklists.co.uk, Kate Faulkner, has been commissioned by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme to address issues in the private rental sector.
Faulkner claims a key priority for landlords should be to tackle damp, mould and condensation with great urgency.
The report for the TDS Charitable Foundation, found 41% of renters had experienced mould and 38% had experienced damp.
“Damp and mould is undoubtedly one of the biggest problems in the UK private rental sector, affecting the lives and proeprties of literally millions of people. But the problem is completely avoidable” says Faulkner.
“By tackling these perennial problems, we can significantly improve the sector, not only in terms of the quality of the tenants’ experience but also the value of properties and landlords’ yields.”
She added: “There are a number of steps that the sector as a whole must take to drive out damp, condensation and mould. Many people, including residents, landlords and even agents, do not recognise the first signs of these problems occurring, or understand how to fix them. There is also confusion over whose responsibility it is to treat the problem, so the first step is to educate the PRS on damp, condensation and mould in terms of prevention, identification, and treatment”.
Faulker believes that by introducing a tenant checklist to assess a property prior to a tenancy commencing, or a more comprehensive survey undertaken before buy to let mortgages are approved, substandard properties with existing water issues could be prevented from entering the market.
Damp, mould and condensation can be the basis of disputes between landlords and tenants over who is responsible for fixing it, however Faulkner believes it is always in the landlord’s interst to ‘nip it in the bud and fix the problem’.
“Damp and mould can lead to respiratory and health problems for the tenant for whom landlords ae legally obliged to provide and maintain a safe and comforatable proeprty. If a tneant identifies a moisture problem in the property, it is their responsibility to report it in writing to the agent or landlord. If the landlord does not respond within 14 days to make repairs, they may be unable to evict the tenant further down the line” claims Faulkner.
She concludes by saying that the legal obligations mean that landlords must bear the burden of damp and mould repairs, as if they are left untreated the problem will spread, increasing the costs involved to fix the problem and reducing the resale value of the property or potential rental income.
Full article and Faulkner’s full report are available on LettingAgentTODAY: https://www.lettingagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2017/7/agents-told-to-tackle-private-rental-sector-damp-condensation-and-mould