1 Do you have mould in your rented property? Information for persons living in private rented properties
2 Keeping damp and mould out of your dwelling It is important that you live in a healthy dwelling There should not be damp and mould in a dwelling irrespective of whether mould growth is visible or hidden. It is therefore important that you are aware of whether there are signs of damp and mould, and if there are that you do something about it. Some brief information on damp and mould in dwellings It requires damp materials for mould to be able to grow. Mould spores only grow in buildings with damp, i.e. damp structures or high air humidity in the rooms. Damp in structures can be caused, among other things, by leaks in the roof or facades, rising soil moisture, or leaks in vapour barriers or thermal bridges. High air humidity can be caused, among other things, by lack of heating, ventilation and airing, or by drying wet clothes indoors. Mould spores can be troublesome. They can produce an unpleasant smell and give off harmful substances. Mould can cause illnesses in residents if there are large areas of mould growth in the dwelling for a prolonged period. In this brochure you can read about what you should do if you think you have damp and mould in your dwelling or the property you rent. The brochure also contains a chart of your legal options and rights if you have mould in your dwelling.
3 Getting help from your landlord If you become aware that areas of your dwelling may be damp or mouldy, you should first report it to your landlord to have the problem investigated further. What should your landlord do? After you have reported the problem, your landlord should investigate as soon as possible whether you have mould or anything else that is harmful. If the investigations show that there is mould damage, the damp problems should be addressed and the mould should be cleaned from the affected areas. If you have mould that has arisen solely due to improper use of the building, e.g. insufficient heating and ventilation, you will be responsible for removing the mould yourself. However, if the mould is not due to improper use of the building, your landlord is responsible for removing the mould.
4 Options for complaint if your landlord fails to take action or in the event of disagreement The Rent Control Board If your landlord fails to take action on the reported problem, or if you disagree with your landlord on the solution to the problem, you can refer the matter to the Rent Control Board. However, the Rent Control Board can only give a decision on the matter if the problem with mould is due to the landlord s failure to maintain the property or rented unit. The Rent Control Board cannot order the landlord to carry out improvements to prevent recurrence of the mould. All local authorities have a Rent Control Board. Housing court If you disagree with the decision of the Rent Control Board, or if the Board cannot give a decision on the matter, you have the option to refer the matter to a housing court. Local council The local council is obliged to supervise the area of homes and buildings. Provisions concerning this are contained in the Act on Urban Renewal and Development and the Building Act. The supervisory provisions entail, among other things, that the local council has to
5 take action if it becomes aware that a building or rooms are affected by mould. You can refer a matter to the local council if your landlord fails to take action within a reasonable time on a problem that you have reported. You can refer a matter to the local council even if the Rent Control Board has given a decision. You can find out more about the action that a local authority is required to take when you report a case of damp in the Vejledning til kommunerne om fugt og skimmelsvamp [Guidelines for local authorities on damp and mould] at Urban Renewal Board If you disagree with the local council s decision, you have the option to refer the matter to the Urban Renewal Board. You can do this if the matter concerns interpretation of the law or if the Board believes that the local council s decision is of general interest or has further major implications for you.
6 Overview of tenant s options and rights in connection with reporting cases of possible mould to landlords Tenant suspects mould Tenant rectifies the problem Tenant reports the problem to the landlord Case is closed Landlord investigates the problem Landlord rectifies the problem. Case is closed Landlord fails to rectify problem or rectifies it inadequately Landlord refuses to investigate Landlord s claim is upheld Tenant refers case to the Rent Control Board Tenant s claim is upheld Tenant refers case to local authority as per rules of Act on Urban Renewal and Development or Building Act. See Guidelines for local authorities Tenant refers case to the Complaints Board of Copenhagen City, housing court elsewhere in the country Landlord rectifies the problem. Case is closed Landlord refers case to the Complaints Board of Copenhagen City, housing court elsewhere in the country Landlord fails to rectify problem within the Rent Control Board s deadline (only in regulated properties) Tenant asks Houseowners Investment Fund (GI) to carry out ordered work at expense of owner. Landlord is put on register as per Rent Act 113 a
7 More information on damp and mould in buildings This brochure only provides a general description of your options for getting help if your rented property is affected by damp and mould. You can get further relevant information on damp and mould here: Material in Danish: Vejledning om kommunernes mulighed for at gribe ind over for fugt og skimmelsvamp Guidelines on the local authorities options for tackling damp and mould Danish Ministry of Social Welfare, Danish Enterprise and Construction Authority, Danish National Board of Health Vejledning til ejere af private udlejningsejendomme om fugt og skimmelsvamp Guidelines for owners of private rental properties on damp and mould Danish Ministry of Social Welfare Brochure in English: Is your dwelling mouldy? Brochures in Danish: Er din bolig muggen? Is your dwelling mouldy? By og Byg, the National Building Fund, Federation of Non-Profit Housing Associations in Denmark Skimmelsvampe Hvordan ser de ud? Hvordan undgår man dem? Hvordan fjerner man dem? Mould What does it look like? How can you prevent it? How do you get rid of it? Bo sundt hold fugten væk Live healthily keep the damp away Federation of Non-Profit Housing Associations in Denmark, Danish Building Research Institute The brochures have been prepared for use for social housing but contain information that may also be useful for residents of private rental properties.
8 Danish Ministry of Social Welfare Holmens Kanal 22 DK-1060 Copenhagen K Year of publication: 2008 ISBN: Photos: Byggeskadefonden vedr. bygningsfornyelse, Scanpix, Polfoto, Bolius Layout: Designgrafik A/S Printing: Sangill Grafisk Produktion
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