The standard of rental accommodation across the UK has improved considerably over the last twenty years or so and the new Government is focused on driving improvements further. In particular there is the issue of mould and the Government announced in The King’s Speech that they propose to extend Awaab’s Law from the social housing to the private rented sector as well. This will mean that landlords will be expected to respond within certain time frames to reports of mould and furthermore carry out repairs necessary with specific time frames too. That makes mould a hot topic just now.

So, are landlords responsible for dealing with mould in their rented property? Find out here, as the expert team at Quealy & Co Lettings have put this helpful guide together for you.

What Causes Mould?

Mould in rented property can have several different causes including penetrating damp, rising damp, and condensation. The most frequently seen reason for mould developing in properties is, undoubtedly, condensation, but luckily, it’s also the easiest cause to address.

It’s trickier to resolve a rising damp problem, but fortunately, it is encountered far more rarely. Usually, this issue is found in older properties, however, new homes may also be affected, especially if they’ve recently had repair works carried out that could have caused damage to the damp proof course.

If your property suffers from rising damp, it’s likely to be your responsibility as the landlord to resolve it, although if the tenants have interfered somehow with the damp proof course, it could be their responsibility to deal with.

If your property suffers from penetrating damp, its source must be found so the issue can be solved. Usually, it will be down to missing roof slates or leaking pipework – issues that are the landlord’s responsibility to rectify.

What Are The Tenant’s Responsibilities With Regard To Mould?

Tenants will usually need to keep any condensation inside the property to a minimum. If a faulty heating system or inadequate insulation is the cause of condensation, the landlord must take responsibility. Otherwise, condensation is something the tenants need to control by ensuring proper ventilation and temperature levels. They should follow these tips to reduce condensation and mould in rented property:

  • Close the door of the bathroom when bathing or showering and open the window or use the extractor fan afterwards.
  • Dry laundry outdoors whenever possible or utilise a dehumidifier.
  • When cooking, cover pans with lids to prevent steam from escaping.
  • Wipe wet windows down and keep them open for ten minutes each morning.
  • Make sure furniture is 10cm-15cm away from the external walls to prevent the evolution of a microclimate.

What Are My Responsibilities As A Landlord With Regard To Mould In Rented Property?

If mould is affecting your tenant’s safety or health, or if it has occurred due to a property issue that can be repaired, it’s your responsibility as the landlord to rectify it. Currently, landlords must ensure their property is fit for living in under the terms of the 2018 Homes (Fitness For Human Inhabitation) Act.

Some repairs you may need to carry out to resolve mould issues include:

  • Repairing broken bathroom or kitchen extractor fans
  • Fixing a faulty heating system
  • Resolving guttering issues
  • Repairing window frames that have rotted
  • Fixing plumbing leaks
  • Repairing roof problems
  • Fixing large cracks in the external walls

What Next?

If you’re a landlord in Sittingbourne, Sheerness, Minster, Faversham, Canterbury, Rainham, Gillingham, Chatham, Rochester or Maidstone and you need advice, get in touch with the Quealy & Co Lettings & Property Management. If you would like to know more about Awaab’s Law and how we approach the situation to protect you please call us on 01795 429836 or email us on


Frequently Asked Questions About Mould In Rented Property:  

Is mould a landlord's responsibility? 

It is the landlord's responsibility to fix mould issues caused by structural faults or disrepair. Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 confirms this.

Can I withhold rent for mould? 

No! Tenants cannot withhold rent because a landlord has not made necessary repairs. 

How to clean mould on walls? 

  • Protect your hands with rubber gloves.
  • Mix one part bleach to four parts water.
  • Gently scrub the mould.
  • Wipe away the bleach mixture.
  • Dry the area well with a soft cloth.


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