Condensation - resources for tenants and landlords

Last updated 8th September 2023 - publication of government guidance on damp and mould growth

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What is Condensation?

Condensation is the appearance of water on cold surfaces. It occurs where moist air comes into contact with air, or a surface, which is at a lower temperature.

Water produced from condensation is generally noticeable where it forms on non-absorbent surfaces (i.e. windows or tiles) but it can form on any surface and it may not be noticed until mould growth or rotting of material occurs.

Government publishes new guidance on damp and mould

On 8th September 2023, the Government published comprehensive guidance on damp and mould in homes. This follows the tragic death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak in 2020, following prolonged exposure to mould in his family’s housing association home.

This guidance provides comprehensive instructions on how to address damp and mould in the property. Of particular note, the guidance explicitly states that tenants should not be blamed for damp and mould growth in the property. Instead, it is the responsibility of landlords to identify and address the underlying causes of the problem, such as structural issues or inadequate ventilation.

Landlords should familiarise themselves with this guidance at the earliest opportunity.

Who is responsible for dealing with it?

Landlords are ultimately responsible for ensuring their property is let out in a safe condition and free from hazards. Damp and mould growth is one of the 29 recognised hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. It can cause breathing difficulties, exacerbate existing conditions such as asthma and anxiety or lead to the spread of fungal infections.

As a result, landlords need to take steps to address any structural defects or disrepair issues that may cause the growth of damp and mould.

Housing Health and Safety Rating System guidance for landlords - (pages 22 and 23).

However, condensation as a result of ventilation or lifestyle can also contribute to or cause damp and mould growth in the home. To avoid this, landlords should communicate with their tenants to explain what steps they can take to minimise condensation in the home and prevent mould or damp growth arising from it.

The remainder of this page provides guidance to members on reducing condensation in the property, as well as downloadable guidance that members can give to their tenants offering practical tips on reducing condensation in the home.

Members only

The rest of this page is available exclusively to members. It contains guidance for landlords on how to minimise condensation in their properties. It also includes a downloadable factsheet for tenants that sets out how to minimise condensation in their home.

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