Damp House
Housing Advice

Identify The Problem

It is not always easy to identify who is responsible under the tenancy for sorting out problems with damp/mould in rented accommodation and to do so it is important to establish the cause of the problem. Agents/Landlords are normally responsible if the dampness is a result of leaking pipes, a structural defect (such as a leaking roof) or a failing damp proof course.

Often, however, dampness is a result of condensation caused by lack of insulation, and/ or inadequate use of heating and/or failure to adequately ventilate for example whilst drying clothes on radiators. In these circumstances the tenant would be expected to take some responsibility for resolving the problem by addressing the cause.

Taking Action

Do your bit

Check that you have taken all reasonable steps to reduce the condensation in the property. Preventative actions include drying clothes outdoors; keeping doors closed and windows open when drying clothes indoors and keeping lids on pans when cooking.

If the problem persits...

If you are still experiencing condensation or other damp issues, raise the matter with your Agent/Landlord. Email them explaining the problem and keep a copy together with any responses. Describe the measures you have taken and request they take action within a reasonable timescale.

Raise a complaint

If you are frustrated that your Landlord/Agent has not responded to your issue within a reasonable timescale then you should contact them again. Advise them that you will be taking the matter further giving them a final opportunity within a specified time to address the problem.

Taking it further

  • If the Agent/Landlord is unwilling and/or unable to resolve the problem you can report the problem to Leeds City Council Environmental Health Services and request that they investigate the issue. The Environmental Health Team may decide to inspect the property to establish the cause of the damp. They have powers to require remedial work to be carried out and apply sanctions. Contact: hmo.team@leeds.gov.uk or prs.housing@leeds.gov.uk
  • Unipol Code property complaints can be raised with Unipol: unipol.org.uk/the-code/how-to-complain
  • Complaints in relation to your Letting Agent can be raised through the relevant Property Ombudsman. Contact the Students’ Union Advice Service at suadvice@leedsbeckett.ac.uk for advice on whether you have grounds for complaint and how to make a complaint.
  • You have the right to consider legal action against your Agent/Landlord. This should be seen as a last resort and may involve costs without the guarantee of a successful outcome. We would strongly advise that you seek professional legal advice if you are considering this option.

For further information and advice on damp visit: bit.ly/leedsgov_damp_mould

For information and advice on a wide range of housing and tenancy related issues, visit the website for Shelter: england.shelter.org.uk

Contact the Advice Service