Damp and mouldy homes are a serious health risk for everybody, and can present significant risks to those already suffering from conditions such as aspergillosis. Here are some tips for asking your council, or housing association, to fix your damp home.
Where is the damp? : Common places that Aspergillus may be found in the home include: damp walls, wallpaper, leather, filters and fans, humidifier water, potted plant soil and decomposing wood. It is often found in living rooms, kitchens and bathrooms. Use our guide to finding the source of the damp.
Try to find the underlying repair issue that is the source of the damp problem as it will give you more leverage if you can prove that you are not responsible for the problem. Be wary if you are getting close to the mould, or trying to clean it – you should wear a face mask.
What to do? : Submit a formal request ASAP for the repair via the normal channel for your council or housing association.
They might claim that you are responsible for the damp, and in the UK that is often partially true as some tenants refused to adequately ventilate their homes in winter. However there are usually measures that the landlord can take too. If this is the case, a compromise needs to be reached and in the UK there is a housing ombudsman service who can mediate these disputes
If you are still sure that the damp is your landlord’s responsibility, ask Environmental Health (in writing) to do an HHSRS assessment. In your letter mention that mould is a category 1 hazard, and give specific examples of how it is affecting the health of your family (and visitors, if relevant).
In some circumstances a report from an independent buildings surveyor may be useful.
Look into whether the Right to Repair scheme applies to you
Further information can be found at: