Damp and mould is a real problem for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of tenants living in local authority housing and housing association properties. The airborne spores released by mould pose various health risks when inhaled, especially to young children who may develop breathing problems, flu-type symptoms and asthma. Damp and mould is a danger to the health of tenants of all ages, and can make pre-existing medical conditions significantly worse.
Local authorities and housing associations face the same legal responsibilities as private landlords in terms of keeping their properties in a decent state of repair, and taking swift and effective measures to deal with disrepair and damp and mould issues when they are reported. Apart from health problems, damp and mould can cause considerable disruption to tenants’ lives, including damage to personal possessions, stress, sleeping difficulties and time off work.
Damp and mould is usually the result of structural issues at local authority and housing association properties, such as damaged roof tiles, cracks in plastering and rot around window frames that allow water to penetrate inside the home. Once damp and mould is entrenched, it can be difficult to get rid of, which is why many landlords try to ignore such issues or delay having the necessary repair work carried out. By doing so, they endanger the health of their tenants, frequently causing emotional and domestic turmoil in the process.
Local authority and housing association tenants have a legal right to expect that their landlord will deal with damp and mould problems within a reasonable time frame, and at the very least will address the disrepair issue within 20 working days of it being reported to them. If they fail to do so, the tenant may then sue the local authority or housing association for property disrepair and the associated problems it has caused.
Find out more about damp and mould, disrepair and the expertise and experience of our housing law team in suing local authorities and housing associations: