We’re midway through what’s been a pretty wet winter so far and as we come in to spring more and more landlords will start seeing problems with mould affecting their property. Though it is seemingly harmless, mould can affect both the integrity of your property and your tenants’ health and is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.
Mould, as you’d expect, likes wet and warm conditions. Temperatures of between ten and twenty-five degrees are ideal for fungi to breed so places like bathrooms, behind kitchen sinks and above radiators tend to get most affected. Mould can only spread along surfaces, though, it won’t jump or travel from room to room so if you have a particular area which is affected then keep it contained.
The best solution is prevention and that only really comes from keeping affected areas well ventilated so that they dry quicker. Extractor fans are very useful and even just requesting that your tenants open a window while they’re in the shower can help. If you are affected, though, there are lots of anti-fungal agents that are very nasty indeed but do the job well. You’ll have to leave most of them on for twenty-four hours or so but they should kill most spores.
Mould is something that needs to be dealt with on an ongoing basis and it’s just not practical for you to be checking up. Your tenants will have to be in charge but make sure they know it’s their responsibility. Some landlords like to write a clause into the contract about mould control and if you find it does affect your property because your tenants have been negligent you may have a right to claim damages on your landlord insurance.
During the summer months when things are a bit hotter and dryer, mould doesn’t tend to be such a problem. For now, though, keep your eyes peeled and perhaps give your tenants a ring to check that everything is going okay.