Category: Residential Lettings

Land and Property Professionals

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What is rising and penetrating damp?

Damp takes on a few different forms and can affect almost any type of property. Rising damp is when water from below a building rises through porous materials, such as bricks and mortar. When houses are built, they have a damp course laid within the walls near to the ground to prevent rising damp but it can fail over time, allowing rising damp to happen.

Penetrating damp is caused by issues such as leaky guttering, cracks in external walls and faulty roofing, all which allow water to seep through into a property.

Condensation

Condensation appears when excess moisture in the air comes into contact with a cold surface, so you’ll likely have seen it on cold walls and windows. It can lead to mould growth and tends to be worse in winter. It can be caused by poor ventilation, poor insulation or faulty heating and ventilation systems in the property.

What causes mould?

All of the above issues can cause mould to grow. Damp that is left untreated or if the type of damp isn’t properly diagnosed can lead to mould in a property. Mould is a fungus that can affect people’s health and can appear in a variety of colours and textures, depending on the type of and extremity of the damp causing it. It could be green, fuzzy, black or even blue.

What responsibilities does a landlord have?

Because there are different causes of damp and mould, tenants and landlords can have difficulty deciding who is responsible for fixing the problem. The repairing obligations will be set out under the relevant Tenancy Act (Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 or where applicable the Agricultural Holdings Act 1986) which have slightly different responsibilities. However; Generally defects and repairs of the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house will be the landlords’ responsibility.

When damp is caused by condensation, it is usually because the property needs to be properly ventilated and heated. If this isn’t due to faulty heating systems or windows, the tenant needs to make some changes to help alleviate the problem. For example, cooking, hanging washing inside or taking a hot shower all create high amounts of moisture and can cause a lot of condensation.

Landlords should also be aware that treating damp is a mandatory repair under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

Prevention

To beat condensation, the three main steps are:

• Improve ventilation;
• Consider your heating and insulation; and
• Clear any condensation that does form.

A landlord should also make sure that that the roof, guttering and drains are all kept in good working order, particularly after heavy rain, storms or snow.

Some other tips include:

• Wipe down windows and sills every morning;
• Deal with steam from cooking by using an extractor fan and always cover pans and pots when cooking;
• Get rid of bathroom moisture: keep the door of the bathroom closed and open a window when showering;
• Open a window for at least 15 minutes each morning;
• Keep a property evenly warm, especially during the colder months; and
• Don’t hang clothes to dry indoors.

For more information or to speak to our Residential Lettings team to find out how we can help you, please call 01234 351000.

Jennifer Holbrow, Head of Residential Lettings, provides the following advice for looking after your property during the winter months.

Tips for looking after your heating system:

If your property is empty then ensure the following:

  1. Ensure the heating is on a timer or the system is drained down
  2. Make sure that all locks, including windows, are locked 
  3. Make sure all light bulbs are working, particularly when viewings are taking place 
  4. Put your lights on timers as this shows activity in the house as the nights draw in
  5. Organise for someone to visit the house regularly

For further information or to find out how our Residential Lettings department can help you, please contact Jennifer Holbrow on 01234 362906 / 07876 835832 or email jeh@robinsonandhall.co.uk.

We are delighted to announce that Natalie Scrafield joined our Residential Lettings department in October 2020 as Residential Lettings Assistant.

Natalie Scrafield

Natalie loves being part of the Lettings team and believes in a proactive, not reactive approach to her daily role.

Natalie is looking forward to working towards her ARLA Propertymark qualifications in the new year and to fulfil her career with Robinson & Hall.

In her spare time Natalie loves spending quality time with her family and loved ones, which includes her very energetic son! Natalie enjoys walking, reading, movie nights with her family and lots of shopping and concert trips.

Jennifer Holbrow, Head of Residential Lettings comments “We are thrilled to welcome Natalie to our team. She has previously worked for Robinson & Hall on a temporary basis and excelled in her role. Expanding the team means that we can cater for our increasing client and tenant enquiries and ensure we can offer first class customer service”.

To organise a free market appraisal or to find out more about the services our Residential Lettings team provide, please call 01234 351000 (options 1) or email lettings@robinsonandhall.co.uk

Our Residential Lettings department has been working tirelessly to implement new software systems to overcome the challenges that Covid-19 has brought to the industry.

One of the main issues to overcome was how to move people into their new homes with minimum contact throughout the process. We have therefore introduced the following new processes:

Jennifer Holbrow, Head of Residential Lettings, comments “The systems we have invested in are extremely simple and easy to use and provide both landlords and tenants with the same excellent service as pre-Covid-19. They enable us as agents to maintain our promise to look after both the property and our clients.”

To book a free, no obligation lettings appraisal to find out what rental value your property could achieve please contact 01234 351000 option 1 or email lettings@robinsonandhall.co.uk