Tenants requesting reduction in rent due to mould issue in one room

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  • Tenants requesting reduction in rent due to mould issue in one room

    The property the couple is renting is a ground floor 2 bed maisonette which was built in 1954.

    The mould issue is in the master bedroom where it appears in the corners and on the corner of wooden floor the damp experts confirmed that this is not a rising damp issue and that it is case of condensation.

    I offered that I pay for the cleaning expenses for the mould removal from the area but this obviously is reoccuring.

    I am looking into getting cavity wall insulation done but the question is whether I am entitled to not accept the rent reduction due to their main 2 reasons of 1. High electricity bills for using the dehumidifier that I provided and heating bills and 2. Not been able to use the main master bedroom. They also complained of coughing due to the mould particles in the air. (which they think its due to the mould but not sure)

    I am already charging them low rent compared to the maisonettes around here. What are my legal options as they are within the 6 month break clause as well. I know they are wanting the reduced rent and using mould as an excuse?? please help deseperately needing advise ASAP

  • #2
    This type of maisonette seems to be very prone to condensation especially in the area mentioned but I personally find dehumidifiers very effective and no, they do not cost a lot to run.

    I would not accept the rent reduction. Who is in charge you or tenant. You have no proof that they are coughing due to mould - ridiculous!

    Yes get cavity wall insulation but get tenants to ventilate more especially on fine days. Most tenants need housekeeping help I find. Leaving all windows (and doors if poss) open for a period of 15 mins minimum on a sunny winter day changes the air in the property and makes a big difference all round.

    Clean mould off and re-paint with anti-fungal paint. Lastly think of getting rid of tenants if they do not comply.



    Freedom at the point of zero............

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    • #3
      Give them a copy of this leaflet:
      http://www.staffordbc.gov.uk/live/Do...fo-Leaflet.pdf

      They may deny doing any of the things that cause condensation (except possibly breathing!) but on the other hand they may just not have thought about, or been aware of, some of the things mentioned... and the fact that it's an "official" publication may carry more weight than just their LL telling them what they should be doing. We give our tenants a house manual which includes info on the local area and utilities, advice on troubleshooting & what to do in an emergency, instructions for heating/shower/cooker etc. - and a copy of this leaflet.

      That's not to say that it won't be worth getting the cavity walls insulated too, of course.

      As for the higher bills, we have a dehumidifier and it's about 200W, so it takes 5 hours to use a single unit of electricity. That works out at about 3p per hour, £5 per week if it's in use 24/7... so I suppose they are fairly expensive to run if they're going all the time. But if the tenants ventilate the property better then they won't need to use the dehumidifier so much.

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      • #4
        I agree with the other comments - but would add a note of caution regarding cavity wall insulation.

        Condensation is a much bigger problem nowadays because properties are too well insulated, so make sure you get proper insulation advice, ie not someone who will make money if you buy it

        I am currently investigating 'positive pressure ventilation' from people like nuaire and remcon. Marginally more expensive than cavity wall insulation, but may be worth looking at for you?

        Comment


        • #5
          PIV does get a lot of good press (and in fact we've recently installed a Nuaire Drimaster in one of our properties; I've not seen how effective it's been but the tenant hasn't grumbled for a while so I'm hopeful!). However, I think it's still a good idea to insulate the cavity walls, because it's only on cold surfaces that condensation forms. It's the lack of ventilation - mainly draughtproofing as a result of new doors and windows and blocking up fireplaces - that traps the humid air in the house; having insulation in the wall cavities isn't going to make much difference on that count.

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          • #6
            I agree with lynneinjapan - we installed a Nuaire Drimaster in one of our properties that had persistent mould. Very bad in corner of the room. Didn't help that the T's dried their clothes in the house and rarely opened the windows in the house.

            Last summer we installed a Drimaster (we had mates rates ;-) on the unit) - we longer have any condensation in the corner of the room. The wall is dry as a bone. Plus no complaints from the current tenants!

            Comment


            • #7
              Interesting idea but would need to have a chat about actual application.
              There is always scope for misinterpretation.

              If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

              Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by freesena View Post
                The property the couple is renting is a ground floor 2 bed maisonette which was built in 1954.

                The mould issue is in the master bedroom where it appears in the corners and on the corner of wooden floor the damp experts confirmed that this is not a rising damp issue and that it is case of condensation.
                Have you satisfied yourself that the mould is not as the result of lifestyle with your tenants? Are they drying washing indoors? Failing to use fans if provided? Failing to keep the house adequately ventilated and heated?
                Ohm sweet Ohm

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