Having dealt with rental property in the Twickenham and surrounding areas, and been a Landlord myself for many years I know that when the cold weather sets in that condensation will soon rear its ugly head again. The same debate always arises at this time of year, whose fault is it and could it have been avoided?
Condensation occurs when warm air comes into contact with a cold surface and moisture in the air turns into droplets of water. A good letting agent who carries out quarterly inspections to ensure the property is being maintained knows what to look out for. The first signs are black spots of mould often appearing in corners of rooms, or where furniture has been pushed up against walls or window frames.
Usually tenants report condensation as damp, but the problem can usually be avoided if the tenant follows some simple house rules that the letting agent or Landlord should make clear at the check in. This can save great expense at a later date.
Condensation can usually be avoided by keeping the property well ventilated and advising the tenants of the following:
- Do not dry clothes in the property. All too often tenants place clothes on clothes horses, pushed up in front of radiators or storage heaters.
- Use extractor fans in the bathroom, turning them off because they are noisy is asking for trouble. If there is no extractor fan then make sure the window is open when taking a hot shower.
- Keep air vents or air blocks free. Make sure if you trickle air vents in the windows that they are opened and if not, open windows in all of the rooms briefly to let fresh air in every day.
- Open windows in the kitchen when cooking hot food.
- Leave heating on lightly all day when it is very cold.
- If there is condensation on the windows dry it down with a dry cloth.
Landlords also have a part to play in making sure extractor fans are fitted and that the properties' windows are fitted with trickle air vents.
Condensation can be the cause of many disputes that a good lettings agent can help avoid in many instances or address early before it really gets bad.
Whether you are landlord or tenant, the most important thing is to look out for the signs, and act early, before the problem gets worse.