Landlords: Why is Mould Growing on Your Walls & What Are You Responsible For?


If you lease a property to tenants, it is often your responsibility or that of your facility management  to ensure any building defects are identified and dealt with. One of the most common problems is mould, which, if left untended, can raise health risks for tenants and cause severe damage requiring expensive renovations.

Here, we’ll take a look at why mould grows, your responsibilities as a landlord, and the preventative measures you can take.

Why Does Mould Grow?

The most common reasons for mould to appear in a building are:

  • Rising damp
  • Condensation
  • Water leaks

Mould thrives where there is water, which may get into a building through leaking pipes, improper ventilation causing high levels of humidity and condensation inside your property, or rising up from the ground through untreated walls. Mould can be particularly rife in older properties and will only get worse if left unaddressed.

Dangers of Mould

Mould can seriously harm the structure of a building, causing floorboards to bend and rot, and walls to weaken. What’s more, if mould spores are inhaled by tenants, they can be a threat to a person’s health, depending on the type of mould and the level of exposure.

If a mould problem is found in your property, it should be treated immediately to prevent the problem getting worse and risking harm to your building and its tenants.

How to Identify a Mould Problem

Mould can be spotted visually through regular inspection. If you suspect your property may be at risk, you should look for black splotches on carpets, a musty odour, water stains on walls, and weak or buckled floorboards which indicate a sign of rotting.

How to Protect Your Property

If the mould problem in your property has reached the drywall, the risk is that you will have to completely replace the walls in order to ensure the problem does not repeat itself.

However, if you catch it early, your mould problem can be treated and steps put in place to prevent it from happening again. Preventative measures include:

  • Using a dehumidifier in your property
  • Ensuring your property is ventilated
  • Keeping water-prone and dark rooms carpet free (windowless rooms, kitchen, bathrooms etc)
  • Using a mould-inhibitor paint in prone areas
  • Using mould-killing cleaning substances in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Replacing furniture and upholstery that has been exposed to mould.

Legal Issues

It is important to know when you as a landlord are legally responsible for mould and damp, and when your tenants are.

Mould is your responsibility if the exterior of the property, plumbing and water supply or lack of maintenance are to blame. As plumbing can be a common cause of mould, it’s essential that this is maintained regularly.

Your tenant is responsible for mould if it is caused through their daily activity – for example, not properly ventilating their property.

Find Out More

At Red Rock FM, we offer a full facilities management and property maintenance service across the UK. Our services aim to provide landlords with the peace of mind that your building is being managed and maintained in total accordance with all legislative requirements, keeping your property safe and free from the disruption unexpected discoveries such as mould can cause.

To discuss using our facilities management services for your property, simply get in touch with our team today and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.

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