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Advice to tenants: If you spot black mould in your rental property, it's dangerous! Here's what you should do next!

Black Mold Even a small amount of black mold is dangerous to health!

If you spot black mould anywhere in the property you are renting then inform your landlord or letting agent immediately. Even a small amount of black mould can be dangerous to health because it produces mycotoxins, which can be harmful when inhaled, ingested, or come into contact with the skin.


WHY IS BLACK MOULD SO DANGEROUS?

Black mould, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, is a type of fungus that can grow in damp, humid environments. It is typically black or dark green in color and can produce a musty, unpleasant odor. Black mould can release spores into the air, which can lead to serious health problems when inhaled or touched.

Exposure to black mould can cause a variety of health issues, including respiratory problems such as coughing, wheezing, and asthma-like symptoms. It can also cause skin irritation, eye irritation, headaches, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms. In rare cases, exposure to black mould can lead to more severe health problems such as neurological damage and even death.

Black mould can be particularly dangerous to individuals with weakened immune systems, such as young children, elderly individuals, and people with chronic health conditions. In some cases, exposure to black mould can exacerbate existing health problems or lead to the development of new health problems.

It's important to take black mould seriously and address it as soon as possible to prevent potential health issues. If you suspect that your home or workplace has black mould, it's recommended to have a professional mould inspection and removal service address the issue. This will ensure that the mould is safely removed and the area is properly cleaned to prevent future growth.


These black mould mycotoxins can cause a range of health problems, including:

  1. Respiratory problems: Exposure to black mould can cause respiratory problems such as coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. This is because the mycotoxins produced by black mould can irritate the lungs and respiratory system.
  2. Allergic reactions: Some people may have an allergic reaction to black mould, which can cause symptoms such as itchy eyes, runny nose, and skin rashes.
  3. Headaches and dizziness: Exposure to black mould can also cause headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. These symptoms can be especially problematic for individuals who already suffer from migraines or other chronic headaches.
  4. Neurological symptoms: In some cases, exposure to black mould can cause neurological symptoms such as confusion, memory loss, and mood swings. These symptoms are usually more severe in individuals who are already at risk for neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.
  5. Immune suppression:  Prolonged exposure to black mould can also suppress the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections and other illnesses.


WHAT CAUSES BLACK MOULD?

Black mould can grow on a variety of surfaces, including walls, ceilings, floors, and even household items such as furniture and fabrics. In residential properties, black mould typically occurs due to one or more of the following reasons:

  1. Water damage: The most common cause of black mould in residential properties is water damage, such as from leaking pipes, roof leaks, or floods. When water enters the property, it creates a moist environment that is ideal for mould growth.
  2. Poor ventilation: A lack of proper ventilation in bathrooms, kitchens, and other high-moisture areas can also contribute to the growth of black mould. Without proper air circulation, moisture can accumulate and create a breeding ground for mould.
  3. Humidity: High humidity levels can also lead to the growth of black mould. In humid climates, moisture in the air can condense on surfaces, creating a damp environment that is conducive to mold growth.
  4. Condensation: Condensation can occur on cold surfaces such as windows, walls, and pipes when the temperature difference between the surface and the surrounding air is significant. This moisture can provide a prime environment for black mould to grow.
  5. Poor building maintenance: Poor building maintenance, such as failing to fix leaks promptly or neglecting to clean and maintain air conditioning systems, can also contribute to the growth of black mould.
  6. Lack of care by tenant: Tenants also have a responsibility to make sure they don't create an environment for mould to grow by making sure there is adequate ventilation in those high moisture areas mentioned above, also not to put damp items on radiators to dry etc. Any signs of mould should be reported to immediately to the landlord/property manager to avoid spread.


TREATING BLACK MOULD

If you notice black mould in your home, particularly if it has spread extensively and are experiencing severe health symptoms then you need to get it dealt with ideally by a professional IMMEDIATELY! You must notify your Landlord or Property manager immediately. If you don't want to delay treatment there are a number of things you can do before the professionals arrive. Warning: always wear a mask when tackling black mould:


  1. Ventilate the area: Black mould thrives in warm, damp environments, so one of the best ways to treat it is to increase ventilation in the affected area. Open windows and use fans or dehumidifiers to help dry out the space and prevent the mould from spreading.
  2. Use vinegar or bleach: Vinegar and bleach are both effective at killing black mould. Mix either of these with water and spray the affected area, then use a scrub brush to remove the mould. Be sure to wear gloves and protective eyewear when handling cleaning solutions.
  3. Baking soda: Baking soda is also effective at removing black mould. Mix baking soda with water to create a paste, then apply it to the mouldy area and scrub with a brush. Rinse the area with water and dry it thoroughly.
  4. Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal and antibacterial agent that can kill black mould. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with water and spray the affected area. Let it sit for a few hours before wiping it away with a clean cloth.
  5. Use commercial mould remover: There are several commercial mould removers available on the market that are specifically designed to treat black mould. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and wear protective gear when using these products.


WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TACKLING BLACK MOULD IN A RENTAL PROPERTY?

When dealing with property issues, it's essential to know your rights as a tenant. Legally, it is the landlord's responsibility to ensure that the property is safe and maintained to a good standard and that any repairs are carried out promptly. If you are concerned about raising issues with your landlord for fear of being evicted or having your rent increased, you should remember that your landlord cannot retaliate against you for reporting problems with the property. If you are unsure about your rights as a tenant, you should seek advice from a housing specialist or the citizens advice bureau. It is in the landlord's (or property manager/letting agent's) best interest to address issues with black mould in the rental property for several reasons:

  1. Legal requirements: They have legal obligations to provide a safe and healthy living environment for tenants under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Failure to address black mould issues could lead to legal action from tenants, resulting in financial penalties and damage to their reputation as a landlord.
  2. Property damage: Black mould can cause structural damage to property if left unaddressed for an extended period. This damage can be costly to repair and may affect the ability to rent the property in the future.
  3. Reputation: If a property has a reputation for having black mould issues, it may become more challenging to find future tenants. Addressing these issues quickly and effectively can help maintain a positive reputation as a responsible and responsive landlord/letting agent.


GOT A QUESTION?

There are a number of ways to get your property questions answered on WiggyWam. We run a weekly webinar taking questions from tenants, landlords and others. If you'd like to submit your questions for inclusion in a future episode please email us. Or you can register and post your questions in our help forums. 

To register, select the profile type that best represents you below:



ABOUT WIGGYWAM

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We don't want under-performing professionals in our network. We want to be able to guarantee to the public that whoever they choose on the platform is working to an agreed standard level of service that puts the consumer at the heart. If that's you, we'd love you to join us! All the tools you need to achieve these standards are built into WiggyWam. You don't need fancy tech, there are no integrations needed. Just register, invite your contacts to join and you are good to go! What have you got to lose? 

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Comments 6

Guest - Deb on Thursday, 02 March 2023 10:12

There is black mold in our flat and I have reported it to the landlord nearly a month ago and it is still not sorted. I have been trying to remove it myself with washing up liquid and sprays but it keeps coming back. I can't afford to pay anyone professionally. I shall now contact the citisens advice on this as my partner has been sick for a few months now and I am concerned it is the mould causing it

There is black mold in our flat and I have reported it to the landlord nearly a month ago and it is still not sorted. I have been trying to remove it myself with washing up liquid and sprays but it keeps coming back. I can't afford to pay anyone professionally. I shall now contact the citisens advice on this as my partner has been sick for a few months now and I am concerned it is the mould causing it
Guest - Ashley on Thursday, 02 March 2023 22:48

I became seriously ill as a result of black mould. I rented the top floor of an old victorian house. The bathroom was covered in it. I was a student so wasn't aware of the dangers and just kept cleaning it off. I have suffered ill health as a result ever since. I am now 39 and all the things I planned for my life were no longer an option due to this. Take it serious. I wish I had.

I became seriously ill as a result of black mould. I rented the top floor of an old victorian house. The bathroom was covered in it. I was a student so wasn't aware of the dangers and just kept cleaning it off. I have suffered ill health as a result ever since. I am now 39 and all the things I planned for my life were no longer an option due to this. Take it serious. I wish I had.
Guest - Ady on Sunday, 12 March 2023 13:42

I am very p**sed off with our landlord right now. We have a mould problem due to gaps around windows and water coming in. This is in both bedrooms. He won't do anything about it unless we accept a rent rise of £100 a month which we cant afford.

I am very p**sed off with our landlord right now. We have a mould problem due to gaps around windows and water coming in. This is in both bedrooms. He won't do anything about it unless we accept a rent rise of £100 a month which we cant afford.
Guest - Ady on Sunday, 12 March 2023 13:42

I am very p**sed off with our landlord right now. We have a mould problem due to gaps around windows and water coming in. This is in both bedrooms. He won't do anything about it unless we accept a rent rise of £100 a month which we cant afford.

I am very p**sed off with our landlord right now. We have a mould problem due to gaps around windows and water coming in. This is in both bedrooms. He won't do anything about it unless we accept a rent rise of £100 a month which we cant afford.
Guest - Ady on Sunday, 12 March 2023 13:51

I am very p**sed off with our landlord right now. We have a mould problem due to gaps around windows and water coming in. This is in both bedrooms. He won't do anything about it unless we accept a rent rise of £100 a month which we cant afford.

I am very p**sed off with our landlord right now. We have a mould problem due to gaps around windows and water coming in. This is in both bedrooms. He won't do anything about it unless we accept a rent rise of £100 a month which we cant afford.
Guest - Ady on Sunday, 12 March 2023 13:52

I am very p**sed off with our landlord right now. We have a mould problem due to gaps around windows and water coming in. This is in both bedrooms. He won't do anything about it unless we accept a rent rise of £100 a month which we cant afford.

I am very p**sed off with our landlord right now. We have a mould problem due to gaps around windows and water coming in. This is in both bedrooms. He won't do anything about it unless we accept a rent rise of £100 a month which we cant afford.
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