For years, students have been at their landlord’s mercy when it comes to complaints about mould. This is all going to change on March 20th when an update of the Landlord and Tenant Act of 1985 will allow people to take their landlords to court if their home is not up to scratch.
According to the charity Shelter, the new law will make mould, dampness, cold temperatures and the appearance of rodents a landlord’s responsibility. Many students have found their landlords to be dismissive of these issues in the past; an anonymous second-year student from Jesmond shared her experiences.
“Having a massive amount of mould in my room was terrible.” She told The Courier. “The room and my clothes smelt damp all the time. I noticed it made me sick after a couple of weeks... I contacted the estate agents multiple times and they said that there was nothing they could do and that it was probably my fault. I had to treat it myself with a mold spray that they provided. This spray was basically bleach which created an even worse smell.”
The chief executive of Shelter, Polly Neate, claims that the new law will give tenants “the power they need to tackle bad conditions- which is why Shelter campaigned hard for it to be passed as a law”.
According to a blog post by the charity, there are “almost one million rented homes with hazards that pose a serious risk to health and safety”, meaning that around 2.5 million people, both students and permanent residents, will benefit from this change in the law.