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Damp, cold and full of mould

21 February 2023

Damp, cold and full of mould [ 1.8 mb]

The private rented sector has widespread problems with damp, mould and cold, driven by the poor energy efficiency of privately rented homes. At a time when renters are struggling to keep their heads above water, the average tenant is facing annual energy bills that are £350 more expensive due to poor insulation. People living in the least efficient homes are paying £950 a year. 

Our research found that:

  • 31 % of renters feel unable to heat their home to a comfortable temperature

  • 1.6 million children in privately rented homes are living in cold, damp or mouldy homes

  • Renters in homes with an EPC D-G were 73% more likely to experience damp than those with an EPC of  A-C  

  • They were also 89% more likely to experience excessive cold than homes with an EPC of  A-C.

We are calling on the government to:

  • Strengthen Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards to upgrade all homes in the private rented sector to EPC 

  • Raise the costs cap from £3500 to £10,000 for landlords to make improvements to their properties

  • Extend Awaab’s law to the private rented sector to place strict timelines on landlords to deal with serious issues such as damp and mould

  • End Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, so that tenants do not risk eviction when complaining to their landlord about their housing conditions

  • Kickstart the market for green finance to help landlords cover the costs of retrofitting their properties, through low interest loans and green mortgages