Wealden District Council
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Condensation Mould Policy

Condensation Mould Policy 2023

Condensation and mould in a property are generally caused by a fault with the building (i.e. the landlord’s responsibility) or how the building is used by the occupier (i.e. the tenant’s responsibility). This Policy sets out broadly how the Council will address the issues of damp and condensation, and any resulting mould that occurs.

Housing Services are committed to providing safe, energy efficient and comfortable homes. We have a responsibility to ensure our homes are safe, healthy, and free from hazards, including damp, condensation, and mould.

The Council will respond to these issues in accordance with this policy and relevant legislation. The Council will work with tenants where mould is present and identify solutions to the problem, some of which will be for the Council to take and some will be for tenants to implement.

It is also important that tenants report any issues, so we can work quickly to help resolve the problems. We recognise the impact that damp, condensation, and mould can have on our tenants, including distress, inconvenience and concerns about health and wellbeing.

The Council will continue improving the condition of its homes, including taking advantage of any external funding, and improving the Energy Performance rating (EPC) of a property as part of the decarbonisation programme which may help to reduce associated heating costs.

The scope of this policy covers how the Council’s housing team, leaseholders and tenants can work jointly to control, manage condensation, prevent dampness and remove mould. This includes:


  • All housing properties that are tenanted and communal areas, it also includes emergency and temporary accommodation.
  • The building structure in relation to leasehold properties
  • Identifying the types of damp: rising, penetrating and condensation damp.
  • Identifying the Council’s responsibilities for dealing with damp, condensation and mould.
  • Offering guidance, advice and assistance throughout the process to tenants living in council properties, leaseholders and council provided temporary and emergency accommodation.
  • Identifying hard to treat situations where the Council will look to alternative solutions.


The Policy will be subject to an annual review.

This policy aims to:


  • Re-enforce our zero tolerance to damp, condensation, and mould.
  • Ensure that tenants are treated in a fair and consistent way.
  • Focus on working in partnership with tenants ensuring that a safe and healthy internal environment is provided.
  • Undertake effective investigations and implement all reasonable remedial repair solutions and improvements to get rid of damp including, managing, and controlling condensation.
  • Ensure that tenants have access to and/or are provided with comprehensive advice and guidance on managing and controlling damp and condensation.
  • Comply with statutory and regulatory requirements and good practice.
  • Ensure that the fabric of our properties is protected from deterioration and damage, resulting from damp and condensation.


This policy will:


  • Explain the types of damp: rising, penetrating and condensation.
  • Identify the Council responsibilities as the landlord for dealing with damp and condensation.
  • Identify tenants’ responsibilities for dealing with damp and condensation.
  • Identify leaseholders’ responsibilities for dealing with damp and condensation.

The most common types of damp are:


  1. Rising Damp – This is the movement of moisture from the ground rising up through the structure of the building, this does not extend above 1.5m meters from the ground.


  1. Penetrating Damp (including internal leaks) – Water penetrating the external structure of the building or internal leaks causing damp, rot and damage to internal surfaces and structure. The cause can be, though not limited to, the result of, for example:
  • Water ingress.
  • Defective components such as roof coverings, external wall doors and windows.
  • Defective or blocked rainwater gutters and pipes.
  • Defective or leaking internal waste pipes, hot and cold water and heating systems.
  • Flooding due to burst pipes.


  1. Condensation Damp – Condensation occurs when moisture held in warm air comes into contact with a cold surface and then condenses producing water droplets. This can take two main forms:
  • Surface condensation, arising when the inner surface of the structure is cooler than the room air.
  • Condensation inside the structure (interstitial) where vapour pressure forces water vapour through porous materials (such as walls), which then condenses when it reaches colder conditions within the structure.


Condensation is by far the most common cause of damp and mould within properties, particularly during the winter months. It is often seen as water on windows and is more noticeable when the weather gets colder and the outside temperature drops. Moisture in the air can cause mould growth on walls and ceilings as well as on furniture and possessions.


The risk of condensation can be reduced through:


  • Adequate ventilation such as, opening windows and trickle vents, air bricks, ensuring space around furniture to assist air flow and mechanical extractors.
  • Adequate heating such as, energy efficient boilers and radiators which maintain an appropriate heat level.
  • Adequate thermal insulation such as, wall and loft insulation.


This policy focus attention on the most common type of dampness, condensation and resultant mould.

The Council shall investigate to determine the cause of condensation and mould and carry out remedial repairs and actions in accordance with the tenancy agreement, including:


  • The Council will ensure that remedial work for the treatment of mould or condensation on void properties are undertaken before being let to new tenants.
  • Diagnose the cause of condensation and mould correctly and deliver effective solutions based on dealing with the cause of condensation not just the symptom.
  • Promote and provide advice and guidance on how to manage mould and condensation, taking into consideration the current social climate.
  • The Council will ensure that the relevant staff are aware of and fully understand the procedures and delivery of the service that will meet the aims of this Policy.
  • The Council will ensure that competent contractors are employed to carry out any works associated with condensation and mould within the agreed timescales.
  • The Council will inform the tenant of the findings of the investigations following the visit through a follow up letter and a copy of the report.
  • The Council is responsible for insulating the Councils housing stock properties in accordance with Decent Homes Standard to help reduce the likelihood of condensation, insulation failure and excess mould occurring.
  • The Council is responsible for maintaining a tenant’s home to avoid penetrating and rising damp and for carrying out remedial action if these do occur.
  • The Council will undertake reasonable improvement works required to assist in the management and control of condensation.
  • The Council will have regard to the constraints of the existing building design and structure and will take a pragmatic approach in finding appropriate solutions.
  • The Council will make good internal surfaces following any remedial work carried out ensuring that surfaces are prepared to a condition ready for the tenant to redecorate. This can include a fungicidal wash down.
  • Under certain exceptional circumstances where the tenant is unable to carry out redecoration the Council will provide support and assistance. This will be decided on a case by case basis.
  • Where internal conditions within a home (for example as a result of overcrowding and excessive hoarding of personal belongs etc) are having an effect on the health and wellbeing of the occupants, or are preventing inspections or remedial works being carried out, the Council will provide support and assistance to review the tenant’s options that may include moving to more appropriate alternative suitable accommodation. Effective remedial action may not be possible in these instances until the situation(s) have been resolved.
  • If it is unsafe for the occupants to remain in the property while the works are carried out, alternative accommodation arrangements will be made. This may be on a day by day basis or a temporary move to an alternative property. This will be decided on a case by case basis.

Tenant’s responsibilities include:


  • Reporting to the Council any concerns over condensation and/or mould, and faulty equipment that could make the management and control of condensation more difficult (e.g. faulty extract fan, unable to open windows, lack of heating etc.).
  • The tenancy agreement also refers to the tenant using the measures that have been installed to help manage condensation and failure to do so maybe considered a breach of tenancy conditions.
  • The tenant should regularly check for mould and clean signs of mould as soon as they are discovered, reporting any concerns to the Council.
  • Allow access for inspections and for the carrying out of remedial works.
  • Tenants are asked to manage condensation by reducing the conditions that lead to mould by:keeping moisture levels to a minimum e.g. covering pans when cooking, drying laundry outside, keeping the kitchen or bathroom door closed when cooking or bathing, and adequately heating rooms and keeping humidity between 40-60%. The average recommended temperatures should be maintained at around 20°C.
  • Keep the house well ventilated e.g. opening windows when cooking / bathing, turning on and ensuring that the extractor fan is working, keeping trickle vents in windows open, and allowing air to circulate around furniture.
  • If the tenant fails to take the advice and reasonable steps to reduce condensation and mould, this will be viewed as a failure of their tenancy and the tenant may be charged for any resulting repairs required which are considered to be result of this neglect.
  • In most instances, where remedial works and mould wash treatments have been undertaken by the Council, the tenant is responsible for redecoration and it is recommended that anti-fungal paint is used. The Council will redecorate in extreme cases or where the tenant is particularly vulnerable. This is to be decided on a case by case basis.

Leaseholders shall manage and maintain their properties including condensation and mould in accordance with their lease agreement. The Council do not carry out damp and condensation remedial works to leasehold properties unless covered by the lease, or the issue is caused by the external building.


Any neglect by the leaseholder to manage or carry out repairs for which they are responsible for and where this has a direct impact on the condition of a Council owned property will be dealt with in accordance with the lease.

Where damp or mould has been identified either by a tenant or by the Council or a property has been assessed as high risk through the Councils investigations, tenants will be required to allow access for inspections and for the carrying out of remedial works (in accordance with their tenancy agreement).

 If the Council consider there to be a health and safety concern for tenants they will consider alternative methods of gaining access, such as seeking an injunction.

 All properties identified as hard to access or refusal of access will be managed through the Councils standard process.

The Council will not be able to control condensation damp where it is unreasonable or impractical to do so or if any remedial action would be ineffective for example:

  • Poor construction or design (not meeting current construction and living standards) for example: Cold bridging areas in the fabric of the building that cannot be eliminated.
  • Non habitable rooms, e.g. out –buildings and sheds that have been converted including linking buildings between the house and out building and other add-on structures.
  • Unheated or uninsulated external toilets and store rooms.

Vulnerability Factors

The most at risk customers are the very young and elderly. This also relates to known medical vulnerabilities such as asthma, allergies, chronic conditions and learning difficulties, where self-management present added complexities. The most at risk therefore fall into the high-risk category with medical/vulnerability present.

 Scale and Scope of Damp and Mould

It is important to recognise that not all damp and mould presents the same risk to our customers. The most immediate risk, however, relates to severe mould growth which is therefore especially dangerous to those described above. Mould growth within living/habitable rooms is also a factor as well as spread in multiple areas.


Minor instance of mould such as around window frames and in silicon is considered lower risk and should be treated as non-urgent. Once mould appears in any degree on ceilings walls and soft furnishing it becomes higher risk and needs urgent attention.

 Damp from either building fabric failure, DPC or DPM failure (rising damp) leaks through roofing guttering etc (penetrating damp) and internal leaks also present high risk. Immediate response should be actioned in the most severe/obvious case.


We will attend to carry out inspections within a reasonable timescale as defined by best practice guidelines, regulatory/statutory requirements and following an individual risk assessment (red, amber or green rating as identified in the Customer Journey Map).