A London Labour council has announced plans to increase funding for enforcement against private landlords who allegedly ignore serious damp and mould issues. The council will allocate an additional £400,000, which is a 25% increase on the original budget, to its private sector enforcement team. This funding will supplement the council’s existing plans to tackle damp and mould issues in its own housing stock, which includes a five-day turnaround time to address reported problems and a next-day repair programme.
According to the council, it has already responded to over 70 reports of damp and mould in privately rented homes since December 2022. Each report has been acted upon within five days, and enforcement notices have been issued to landlords who have failed to resolve the issues.
Hackney Mayor, Philip Glanville, said that the council’s plans to tackle damp and mould in council properties will now be extended to private renters with this additional investment. Meanwhile, Sam Moema, Mayoral Advisor for Private Renting and Housing Affordability, stated that the funding boost will allow the council to use every power to raise accommodation standards and challenge rogue landlords in the borough. Additionally, the council will continue to lobby the national government for further protections for private renters.
Below are some recommendations for landlords regarding the prevention of mould in their properties:
- Ventilation: Encourage tenants to open windows and use extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms to improve air circulation.
- Heating: Ensure that properties are adequately heated to prevent moisture from condensing on walls and windows. In colder months, consider providing additional heating options.
- Insulation: Ensure that properties are well insulated to reduce the risk of moisture buildup.
- Regular cleaning: Encourage tenants to keep the property clean and tidy to prevent the accumulation of dust and dirt, which can contribute to mould growth.
- Repairs: Promptly address any leaks or damage to the property that could lead to moisture buildup.
- Dehumidifiers: Consider providing tenants with dehumidifiers to help reduce moisture levels in the air.
- Education: Provide tenants with information on how to prevent mould growth, such as the importance of proper ventilation and regular cleaning.
By following these tips, landlords can help prevent and tackle mould growth in their properties, creating a safe and healthy living environment for tenants.