How to deal with damp in rental properties

With recent wet and windy weather battering the local area, the appearance of tell-tale wet patches in rental properties is enough to fill any landlord with dread.

Damp is unsightly, can damage your property and can cause respiratory problems for tenants if it is allowed to go untreated, so it’s important that you take a proactive approach to sorting out any damp issues as soon as they are reported. Leaving it isn’t an option as moisture ingress seldom goes away of its own accord.

Here are a few tips to deal with damp issues in your rental property so you can protect your investment while keeping your tenants happy and healthy.

Identify the root cause

Before you start ringing around damp specialists to come and sort out your issue, it’s a good idea to try and identify the root cause of the problem in the first place.

In many instances, damp can be caused by something as simple as leaky guttering or a dislodged roof tile, both of which can be sorted out with a little time and at minimal expense. Be sure to check out common water ingress areas such as the roof, chimney breast, lead flashing and gutters.

Remedy the cause, don’t treat the symptom

There are many specialist damp contractors that offer to seal walls or provide damp proof courses for floors, but more often than not, these services are only treating the symptoms and not tackling the root cause.

Regardless of how water is getting into your rental property, ‘hiding’ the problem isn’t going to make it go away on its own. You’ll need to identify and fix the cause of the damp before you do any repair works to paint or plaster.

Remember, if left to its own devices, damp can jeopardize the structural integrity of your building. Protect your investment by having any significant problems fixed by a professional.

Agree repairs or maintenance with your tenants

As with all maintenance and repair works, you’ll need to agree any contractor visits or repairs with your tenants in advance.

Not only will this guarantee that trades people can gain access to the property, but keeping your tenants informed about how and when you are going to have the problem looked at will improve landlord and tenant relations. It also shows that you are happy to listen to their concerns and provide them with a damp-free and healthy living environment.