Mould is a very common problem in properties, especially in bathrooms, but it can cause health problems so you shouldn’t ignore it. So is mould the tenant’s fault or should your landlord sort it out? That really depends on what’s causing it.
If you believe the mould is caused by damp penetrating from outside, you should contact your landlord or managing agent as soon as possible. It might be that there is a faulty drainpipe, leaking gutters or a problem with a chimney that’s causing damp to seep through.
Landlords must make sure a property is fit for habitation, so if there’s damp, they should sort it out. However, if you don’t alert your landlord or their agent, they could hold you responsible for any damage caused.
When is mould the tenant’s fault?
Often mould is due to excessive condensation inside the property, so it’s important you ventilate bathrooms and bedrooms.
If there’s a window in the bathroom, you should open it whenever you shower or take a bath, or if there’s an extractor fan, you must always turn it on. Don’t leave the bathroom door open when it’s hot and steamy, otherwise you’ll cause damp in other areas.
Showers are really, really hard to keep free of mould, which tends to grow in the tile grout and along the sealant around the edges of the shower tray and in the corners. Rinsing the tiles and the sealant to get rid of any soap, gel or shampoo residue after every shower, then using a squeegee to wipe away any excess water will help.
You should also open bedroom windows, even in the winter, to reduce condensation – just by breathing you can cause up to a litre of condensation every night, apparently. Also, don’t leave the curtains closed during the day, because mould grows in damp, dark places.
Make sure your bed isn’t pushed up against the bedroom’s outside wall, because it will trap moisture on the wall and mould will grow in no time. The same goes for any fabric items.
Finally, try not to dry clothes on radiators because of the amount of condensation they’ll produce. If you do, ventilate the room.