Student living: mould in private accommodation

We're longing for some warmer weather, but winter is going to be here for a while, and we've heard from a lot of you that mould in private accommodation is becoming a problem for many students. Mould can come indifferent forms, and you do not have to have visible black mould to experience this problem. If you have mould in your accommodation and it is impacting you and your housemates, there are a few things you can do.


What do I do if my landlord says that it is our problem?

It is often the case that agents/landlords will suggest that the appearance of mould is a result of condensation caused by lack of ventilation and inadequate heating and that you, as the tenant, are responsible for this. In this case you are responsible for sorting this and any cost to ‘make good’ and remove the mould.

Using a dehumidifier is a lower cost and effective way to remove moisture from rooms –this might be something that you could apply to the Success for All Fund to cover – see details further down.

Here are some additional tips from Shelter.

We follow all the guidance to keep the property mould and damp free, but it keeps coming back. What do we do?

In some cases, mould and damp can be present due to structural problems with the house or building. You may have to contact your landlord to inspect the problem and they can hopefully make changes, such as: 

• providing an extra heater  

• fitting ventilation  

• adding insulation  


My landlord will not do anything about the mould and damp issue, what can we do next?

Often landlords can be reluctant to accept that this is a fault of the building and therefore their responsibility to fix. 

In this case it would be best to get a professional to see if there is an underlying problem that is causing the mould. That information could then be used to force agents/landlord to act.   

 Damp could be due to the poor design of the building. However, you can ask the local council to carry out an inspection to check for health and safety hazards in your home. If the damp problem is serious enough, the council can order your landlord to carry out remedial works.  

  If you want to have the house inspected you will need to contact the Private Sector Housing Team at Exeter City Council, telephone: 01392 277888 or email: 


We cannot afford to keep the house heated and this is causing the mould and damp to get worse.

If you are finding energy bills too costly then you can apply for the ‘Success For All’ fund to ask for financial support for energy bill costs. The fund’s purpose is to support all registered University of Exeter undergraduate and postgraduate students who are experiencing unexpected financial challenges ,affecting their ability to study - such as struggling day to day to meet their living costs with outgoings exceeding income, or if someone needs assistance with one specific outgoing or unexpected cost. 

We strongly advise that you read the guidance notes for a greater understanding of the purpose and remit of the fund and the evidence needed. Full information about the fund and helpful ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ can be found here.   


How To Get in Touch

You can come and talk to an advisor if you need support with your accommodation.


Or book an appointment.

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