It's not the most exciting of topics, but mould and condensation can be a big problem for homeowners and landlords alike.

When it's your own home you can often spot the issue and take action quickly. But in rental properties, the tenants might be unaware of how they can avoid causing damp and mould and fail to report the problem to the landlord until it's too late.

And if landlords don't put certain measures in place before tenanting the property, they could be dealing with very expensive problems in the future caused by rot.

Here we detail some top tips from landlords within the Platinum Property Partners network on how to avoid damp and condensation in the first place and simple solutions that they have all tried and tested when it does occur.

Avoidance measures

The fact is, fungus spores are everywhere and can cause mould to grow in cold, damp and dark conditions. The causes are endless and range from the very minor to the extremely major.

So before tenanting a property in the first place, think about the following options:

- Fitting extractor fans, particularly in bathrooms, kitchens and utility rooms

Products such as Envirovent Cyclone Fans can run all the time. But make sure the settings are correct and that you check them regularly during property inspection.

- Whole house ventilation via a single fan in the roof

This usually involves installing a single fan in the loft which extracts all of the air. Make sure the builders don't take short cuts and that they have ducted the fans into the loft, roof space or floor void. For every fan you have installed, there should be at least one extractor grill on the outside wall, and if there isn't the right number then you have a problem.

- Ensuring radiators are fitted in the optimum place

The outside-facing walls are obviously the coldest in the house, so where possible, try and make sure your radiators are there.

- Consider cladding

This works extremely well but can be very expensive, so it's worth finding out if the property has suffered with major damp and condensation in the past.

- Install trickle vents

If you're replacing the windows in your buy-to-let properties, trickle vents are very effective. They can also be retrofitted to existing windows.

- Quality bathroom installation

Poorly fitted showers, sinks and baths are common sources of major leaks. Everything must be sealed correctly and think about using mould-resistant paint. Always check before tenanting.

- Tenant education

Damp, condensation and mould are never completely unavoidable, especially in the winter. So once the property is tenanted, there are a number of other avoidance measures you could put in place.

The best one is tenant education. Advise them to:

- Keep furniture away from external walls where possible and leave an air gap behind

- Refrain from drying clothes indoors or on radiators

- Make sure the cooker hood is up when in use

Simple solutions

When damp and condensation is discovered, either from the tenant or during a quarterly property inspection, make sure you act quickly.

Use mould spray to slow down the return and use chemical dehumidifiers if needed. Check shower fittings to ensure there isn't a leak and consider purchasing or borrowing a thermal leak detector which can help you identify cold spots.

Always make a note of where damp and mould first appeared so that the next time you visit the property, you can check the area again to see if it has returned. If it has, it could be because of a leak somewhere and further investigation is recommended.

More Blogs

Whether you’re keen to find out more about Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), or want information on the latest lettings legislation, you’ll find it here on the blog.