I’ve noticed mould and damp in our flat. It's mainly in the bedroom, including some black mould on the carpet. I’ve been in contact with our letting agency, who say they’ll speak to our landlord. I’m really worried about how this might affect our health. Our tenancy agreement isn’t up for eight months, what can I do?

It’s good that you’ve already raised the issue with your letting agency. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to work out the cause of mould or damp.

This can make it difficult to work out if your landlord is responsible, unless there’s an obvious cause, like a leaking roof. There are many causes of damp that properties can get.

The most common are rising, penetrating, construction and condensation damp. There is information on our website that may help you work out what type of damp you have, who is responsible and what you can do.

Check your tenancy agreement too for any mention of repairs and damp. Reach out to Citizens Advice on anything you’re unsure about.

A landlord will have to act in relation to damp if it makes the property unsafe for someone to live in. The landlord will also be responsible if the damp is related to repairs they should have carried out.

Condensation is a common cause of damp. To prevent this, it’s important to keep homes well-heated and well-ventilated, but for a lot of people this will be trickier to do given higher heating costs, particularly during the colder weather.

You may be eligible for help to insulate and heat your home, visit our website to find out more and about things that can make damp worse and which may impact the landlord taking responsibility for repairs. These include drying clothes on heaters or blocking air vents.

If your landlord is responsible for the damp in your property but doesn't act, you can report them to the local authority.

If you’re in social housing, you might also be able to use the landlord’s formal complaints procedure. If it reaches the point where you want to get out of a fixed term tenancy agreement early, do speak to an adviser first, as there might be better ways to approach the issue.

Call the Herts Citizens Advice Helpline on 0800 144 88 48

Opening hours are 10am to 9pm Monday to Wednesday, 10am to 8pm Thursday and Friday, and 10am to 4pm on Saturday.