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UK is becoming a ‘Mouldy Nation’


UK is becoming a ‘Mouldy Nation’

Damp and mould is a growing concern across the UK.

As temperatures drop, mould in UK homes begins to grow with 58% of people in the UK experiencing mould in their homes at some point in time. With this in mind, Uswitch Energy has produced the Mouldy Nation Report where we looked at the prevalence of mould across local authorities, residents’ experiences and feelings towards mould in homes, and the habits that may be contributing to mould.

Ben Galizzi, Uswitch energy expert:

“Living in a mouldy home is not only an unpleasant experience but one that is potentially dangerous for our health. Yet so many of us have lived with mould at some time in our lives. Whether you’re a tenant or homeowner, tackling mould can be an ongoing issue if the root cause isn’t rectified. But with so many properties being poorly insulated, and energy costs rising, keeping mould at bay is a difficult task.”

Of the top ten local authorities that were complained about relating to mould or dampness, nine were in London. Haringey received an estimated 46.6 complaints per 10,000 housing units making it the most complained about local authority to the Housing Ombudsman.

Key findings from the study reveal that 63% of those who’ve experienced mould were tenants in privately rented, local authority, housing association, or student accommodation. In the last two years, 69% have put the heating on less due to cost and of these people, over half (54%) believe that mould has become more of a problem in their homes because of this.

67% of people believe that mould is the landlord’s responsibility when found in rented accommodation while heating the home was a financial struggle for 57% of people when they experienced mould in their home and 38% believe that UK properties are not suitably built to prevent mould.

For those with mouldy homes, the findings discovered the percentage of people doing simple things around the home that may have contributed to mould growth such as hanging wet clothes around the home to dry, cooking with the kitchen door open to allow steam to flow around the rooms, same with showering and lack of ventilation by keeping windows closed.

Ben Galizzi, Uswitch energy expert:

“Reasonable steps should be taken by both landlords and tenants to make sure mould is tackled head-on. This could mean that tenant habits need to change within the home, whilst larger projects to fix the building are worked on by the landlord. Keeping a home warm, especially in winter, will help tremendously with preventing mould, so compare energy deals to see if there might be a suitable fixed tariff on offer that you could switch to.”

Local authorities with the most damp complaints

Rank Local authority Total complaints (financial years 2018/19 – 2022/23) Estimated Complaints per 10,000 units (financial years 2018/19 – 2022/23)
1 Haringey 134 46.6
2 Hammersmith and Fulham 125 46.4
3 Lambeth 210 41.0
4 Lewisham 112 28.2
5 Camden 90 25.6
6 Newham 87 25.5
7 Westminster 70 25.2
8 Southwark 142 24.9
9 Islington 102 24.0
10 Thurrock 29 23.2

(Most damp and mould complaints made to the Housing Ombudsman per estimated 10,000 housing units for financial years 2018/19 – 2022/23)

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