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REPORT: Tenants reject responsibility for mould in rented properties

Two thirds of tenants say it is the landlord or letting agent who should fix mould problems, even when they may be contributing to the problem.

Nigel Lewis


Problems with mouldy walls in rented properties are a perennial headache for many letting agents, but new research reveals that most tenants reckon it’s not their job to sort it out, despite often adding to the problem themselves.

Mould grows in UK homes as temperatures drop, with 62.5% of people revealing they’ve been affected by the damp-induced blight, according to research by Uswitch, which found that 64% of them were tenants in privately rented, council, or student accommodation.

Its survey of 2,000 people revealed that two-thirds believe mould is solely the landlord’s responsibility, while two out five tenants claim they wouldn’t clean mould themselves.

Mouldy cities

London tops the list of the UK’s mouldiest cities, where 27.4% of people have experienced the problem, followed by Birmingham with 10.4% and Manchester with 8.9%. Plymouth is the least mouldy place, with only 2.3% of residents there experiencing mould.

However, for those who’ve had mould in their home, 40% admit to drying their clothes indoors, 21% put furniture directly against walls, 22% leave the kitchen or bathroom door open when cooking or showering, 12% have a cluttered home, 11% confess to keeping the shower curtain folded when wet, and 6% leave spillages.

sarah broomfield mouldSarah Broomfield, energy expert at Uswitch, says “With the findings that the majority of those who experience mould are tenants, it’s advisable that they contact their landlord to come to an agreement on how to tackle it. Tenants should also be aware that if they pay the heating bills themselves, they have the right to switch energy suppliers to find a cheaper deal.”

Read more about mould and properties.


January 8, 2021


  1. Its NOT surprising to see a lot of Tenants don’t accept responsibility for mould ( or other things, like paying the Rent ! )

  2. I am sure if the Landlord supplied a tumble drier which vents to the outside, these problems would be halved. But another appliance to go wrong of course.

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