Ask Our Solicitors
Solicitor & manager Housing Conditions Department
I live in a council home. For the past six months, I have had problems with mould and damp. I’ve reported this problem several times to my council landlord who has not fixed the issue. I’m a single parent struggling with the energy crisis and already very stressed about the cost of living. I’m worried about the wellbeing of my two daughters.
What should I do?
First of all, I’d like to express my sympathies for the situation you’ve found yourself in.
These issues should not be dismissed easily. I have worked with cases of damp and mould posing serious health risks to tenants in the past.
Many of my clients explain to me the lengths they have gone to in order to keep the mould and damp away. Whether it was repeatedly wiping down walls or buying dehumidifiers, often in vain.
Sometimes, councils may attempt patch repairs which may solve the issue in the short term. However, when the underlying cause of the issue remains, the problems can return. Some landlords may even fail to acknowledge the complaint entirely.
Your frustrations are completely warranted. It should never be this difficult for a tenant to have basic obligations fulfilled; yet it’s something that a lot of tenants face every day. According to the English Housing Survey, one in seven homes do not meet the National Standard. Your experience with damp and mould is a story I have heard time and time again.
You have taken the correct action up until this point, such as making repeated attempts to contact your landlord. Continue to maintain a record of all of these attempts.
For now, I’d advise you to take photographs and videos of the issues within your property.
I would also recommend that you notify your landlord in writing as opposed to just over the telephone.
It’s more common than you think for tenants to take action. A report from YouGov in December 2022 revealed that 18% of the population are living in cold and damp homes, leaving many with little choice but to take legal action.
Do not be concerned about bringing legal action against your landlord. It is illegal for a Landlord to retaliate against tenants for making a Housing Disrepair claim.
We appreciate that starting the claim at court can be a daunting process. We will attempt to settle your claim with your landlord amicably without the need for a trial.
In conclusion, find a solicitor who will represent you on a no-win, no-fee basis. With the right legal help, you may be entitled to compensation, on top of the repairs being forced.
Feel free to refer to our FAQs if you have any more queries. Alternatively, contact us if you’d like free legal advice without any obligation to begin a claim.
In the meantime, refer to my top tips below for a summary of what you’ll need to have the best chance of succeeding with your claim.
James’ top tips
Always keep a variety of photos and videos of your disrepair from different angles and varying distance.
Make a note of every exchange you have with your landlord. Back everything up in writing. If you do not get any reply, write to your MP and your landlord.
Know your rights. Your landlord is under an obligation to maintain the structure and exterior of your property. Whilst there are some exceptions your landlord is also obliged to ensure your property is fit for human habitation, which means that they are safe, healthy, and free from things that could cause you serious harm.