One of the many frustrations of living in a rented property is having your home invaded by black mould and damp, as it can be difficult to deal with.

Not only can it be harmful to your health, but it can also damage your belongings.

Various factors can cause black mould including structural, design or disrepair problems.

But when it comes to knowing who is to blame, how do you know if you are causing it or if it’s an issue for your landlord to fix?

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You might even be wondering if you can claim compensation from your landlord if black mould taking over your home turns out to be their fault.

Let’s find out what Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis found out when he spoke to the experts in a recent episode of his newly launched Not the Martin Lewis Podcast.

Is it the landlord's responsibility to get rid of mould?

Financial guru Martin spoke to experts Ben Leonard from ACORN and Judy Ford and Emma Jackson from Citizens Advice to discuss topics such as rent hikes and securing necessary repairs from landlords.

The panel also delved into some of the limited protections available to renters under current legislation, as reported by The Mirror.

In the episode, Martin asked some of the most asked questions from those who are currently renting such as "are you entitled to compensation for issues of severe damp which arose prior to occupation but took the landlord seven months to move tenants out?" and "is it okay for my landlord to just tell me to keep the window open?”

How to Prevent Condensation in Your Home

Commenting on black mould problems for renters, Judy Ford from Citizens Advice said: "It's about understanding how the mould and damp is actually being formed. Sometimes they are structural which is 100 per cent the landlord's responsibility.

"And sometimes, unfortunately, it can be tenant lifestyle and in those situations, yes, making sure you ventilate the property correctly would help. It's not about whether it's legal to just say to the tenant 'open the window', it's more about actually getting to the source of what the damp and mould actually is."

When Martin asked Judy who’s job it was to figure out the cause of the black mould, she explained: "It will be the landlord's responsibility as it comes under his repairing obligations as the structure of the property. So that's his starting point, and from there, once you know where the source is, you can decide."

Can I claim against my landlord for mould?

According to We Are Citizens Advice, your landlord will be responsible for black mould if the problem is caused by:

  • disrepair to the structure or exterior of the property, e.g. leaking roof,
  • problems with installations like pipes, radiators, boiler sink etc
  • any disrepair in communal areas
  • design faults — e.g. inadequate insulation, heating or ventilation
  • construction faults — e.g. a faulty flat roof
  • a building poorly adapted into flats/bedsits
  • causing overcrowding in the property

Is black mould taking over your rented property?Is black mould taking over your rented property? (Image: Newsquest)

If your landlord is found to be at fault for black mould and damp, you can claim for compensation.

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Shelter England said you can do this if black mould and damp has:

  • damaged your belongings
  • caused you health problems
  • made all or parts of your home unfit to live in
  • cost you money, for example because you have to run a dehumidifier all the time

However, you must have evidence of the problems before you begin your claim.

More information can be found on Shetler England and Citizen’s Advice websites.