Slightly painful tenant

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Awesomestow
    started a topic Slightly painful tenant

    Slightly painful tenant

    Wondered if anyone has thoughts on use of s21 (while we still can!) when a tenant has been great at paying rent but is just very demanding - significantly more work than the other four properties combined. The main issue is mould on the walls - it’s an old building recently refitted to modern insulation standards, so the two external walls get condensation on them. This has been confirmed by a damp expert who declined to sell us any of his services. We’ve fitted a humidity-sensing variable extractor fan (but the tenant leaves it off as it’s “too noisy”) and provided a high end portable dehumidifier which he uses to mitigate the problem but complains at needing to use it. Previous tenant had no problems but was an outdoorsy type and kept the door open quite a bit (daily).

    Current tenant wants me to replace windows with ones with trickle vents. Property is on a busy road and we deliberately used triple glazing to minimise road noise. If they don’t like a small electric fan they won’t like the lorry noise!

    Tenant has paid the rent on time even when we didn’t know definitively what the cause of the problem was and no problems in any other respect. That said it’s in an area where voids aren’t a problem and it would re let pretty instantly at current rent levels - though we would take time to strip back the walls and redecorate to remove all trace of mould first. Don’t really see how I stop it coming back with the way the tenant uses the place. It’s a normal AST and will soon revert to periodic so can use s21.

    Any thoughts?

  • champagnecharly
    replied
    Sorry i was thrown by this:
    Originally posted by Awesomestow View Post
    it’s an old building recently refitted to modern insulation standards, so the two external walls get condensation on them.
    Maybe if you could expand on insulation standards. It could be brick slips over the ewi...


    If gypsum was used and not lime for the internal walls and it went onto lime. It certainly wont help.

    Regards BC i presume. Don'd be overly confident in their own confidence. most construction firms try and use NON council BC officers.

    Anyway.. you have a solution. Good. I hope the tenant can cope with the minimal noise. I personally have them off as they drive me nuts. but i don't have mould issues (anymore). One solution could be to wire in a timer. It could then be set for times they are out of the house and or when they are fast asleep... just a thought.

    Leave a comment:


  • Awesomestow
    replied
    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
    I've got one PIV in a property which is essentially silent.
    I've never been in there at 3 in the morning, so it's possible it's audible when there's absolute silence otherwise, but you certainly can't hear it in the day.
    Possibly children might hear it.
    Thanks jpk. It's a one bed so children aren't at the property. Tenant does seem noise sensitive though. Knocking a hole in the wall (their preferred solution) will I'm sure be noisier given the location!

    Leave a comment:


  • Awesomestow
    replied
    Hi CC. Thanks for this. My understanding is that there's no External Wall Insulation of any kind, nor any render on the external wall - it's all bare brick. Not sure what was done on the inside but it's a plastered wall. It was signed off by Building Control who did seem pretty fussy about quite a lot of stuff. The flat hasn't had problems previously, we do have one other flat in the block which had problems a couple of tenancies back, but from tenants who had jobs that involved doing an awful lot of washing in a smaller flat. Again it was the external walls. Hasn't been a problem in that flat since, or in any of the other flats, which all have the same treatment. Hence feeling it's fundamentally down to the tenant behaviour - though I take the point that their conduct may be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

    Ultimately we've fitted an extractor fan and I feel they should try that and see if it fixes the problem. If it doesn't, we can look at a PIV system. But the extractor fan was chosen to be quiet, from what I read about PIV systems they're not going to be any quieter. Would be good to get an actual dB rating but I can't see one.



    Leave a comment:


  • champagnecharly
    replied
    Originally posted by Awesomestow View Post
    Champagnecharly - mould is on two external walls which are Victorian and therefore (I presume) solid. The other walls are well insulated further to a major refurb a couple of years ago. The extent of the mould varies, we've had a damp expert in, it's not damp (rising or otherwise) it's condensation, he's highly experienced and 100% certain, and declined to sell us any damp treatments at all because they won't have any effect.
    If it is solid wall. and whether condensation or not. The problem is that the wall is now unable to breathe as it was before. I wasn't suspecting rising damp although seeing with IR where the cold spots are would help and may assist in putting fault on the installer. Personally i wouldn't consider anything other than rockwool for external on solid walls other than below DPC. And then being carefull with the breahtability of the render there after. Remember solid walls were built with lime mortar. Internally the plastering would (maybe still is ) is/was lime and sand. Lime has the capacity to hold moisture and release far better than gypsum or cementitious products.

    Where i a currently am, there was horrific condensation, so much so that you could visually see the water droplets on the wall. Note this is cavity filled. I decided to strip the paint off including the mould resistant stuff. and believe it or not gloss. .. It took a considerable amount of time. but once stripped (using either paint to wetten the coats below or MAP gas blow torch) and "breathable" paints were used.(not vinyl) the wall was bone dry.. well at least in comparison. Their is still damp because of the inherent defects/ bridge. However allowing the materials to breathe/ absorb moisture and release it instead of covering it up with unbreathable coatings meant that there is no sensory evidence of damp. |m bad for not opening windows. But with the exception of the above and one other property where there was a real problem broken drainage underground i have never suffered with mould on walls.

    Summarise. Problems leading to condensation are:
    1) External insulation (presumably EPS) instead of rockwool EWI
    2) Wall coatings (paint)
    3) Gypsum plaster if it has been used
    4) The breathability of the external render.

    I've heard so many times the blame being put on tennants. ANd yes tennants can make the problem go away. But and the big but is isnt part of it ensuring that on old buildings the materials that are used are respected? I say this knowing full well that you have intended to make the property as cosy as you could and put the blame more on the tradesman who don't give two hoots or just don't quite grasp the concept.


    Think how your body would cope if you went out for a run then wrapped yourself up in clingfilm. Wrapping it up in a wooly jumper may not be comfortable but over time the moisture would escape.

    I like the damp absorbing beads they work 'quite' well.

    Bit of a long shot but are there any other potential sources of moisture? Could water be getting in from outside between the wall and insulation due to poor detailing? Again. although it is confirmed to be condensation if the walls ability to hold MORE moisture is compromised. Starw that broke the camels' back...

    Leave a comment:


  • jpkeates
    replied
    I've got one PIV in a property which is essentially silent.
    I've never been in there at 3 in the morning, so it's possible it's audible when there's absolute silence otherwise, but you certainly can't hear it in the day.
    Possibly children might hear it.

    Leave a comment:


  • flexy
    replied
    PIV systems are quiet as far as I understand it. I guess it depends on the specific system.

    Trickle vents are the little 'slits/covers' you put in the uPVC window frames.. Whilst they do trickle in some air, in my experience they are ineffective if the tenant still won't open the window.

    If the tenant still refuses a proper PIV system where you are doing the best you absolutely can, then they are being unreasonable. - in this case you are unlikely to appease them unless you can communicate all of this effectively and they're prepared to listen . Either that or they continue with the dehumidifier.

    If they don't want that, then they (and you) have got a choice to make! It needs to be their choice really, unless you just can't bear it anymore! It's this kind of thing that's brought on the end of S21.

    Leave a comment:


  • Awesomestow
    replied
    Thanks all. I'm not 100% sure of my terminology - by a trickle vent I really just mean a hole through which air can pass. This is what the tenant wants because he doesn't want anything electrical because that's "not normal". We have already installed an electric extractor fan which is variable depending on humidity level - hard to gauge the effectiveness as the tenant leaves it off. He mitigates using the dehumidifier I provided.

    Champagnecharly - mould is on two external walls which are Victorian and therefore (I presume) solid. The other walls are well insulated further to a major refurb a couple of years ago. The extent of the mould varies, we've had a damp expert in, it's not damp (rising or otherwise) it's condensation, he's highly experienced and 100% certain, and declined to sell us any damp treatments at all because they won't have any effect.

    Suspect we may need to install a PIV system as per Midlandlandlord's post - but it doesn't look like that will be any quieter than the extractor fan and it's impossible to tell for sure unless I can get the tenant to leave the extractor fan on!


    Leave a comment:


  • flexy
    replied
    Trickle vents are quite easy to install, but in my experience don't really help much,

    I have a similar problem, but my current tenant is quite good - he worries about it and does the best he can to ventilate - I cannot ask for more.

    I would consider fitting the specialist systems as per midlandlandlord's post above. This would surely be better than an eviction on the basis of disagreement over ventilation?

    Leave a comment:


  • champagnecharly
    replied
    Is the building solid wall or cavity? Which type of insulation was used (EPS,XPS or rockwool) ? Is the damp rising? Where is the mould and to what level? Have you had a thermal survey done to check for bridging? Its a really awkward situation and you've gone to quite an expense to make the property more comfortable and economical. Am i not right in thinking that trickle vents can be retro fitted and would not need replacement windows?

    Leave a comment:


  • midlandslandlord
    replied
    Originally posted by Awesomestow View Post
    Any thoughts?
    If they are asking for Trickle Vents then they clearly also want an open fire to cook on :-).

    Agree with the others that this is tenant lifestyle, but I think you have another option before incurring the costs of a tenant change.

    You have a humidistat fan in there, which T leaves off. Personally I have never found such fans reliable, and I far prefer constant silent background ventilation and a Timed Boost.

    Consider fitting something like a Nuaire Flatmaster (or Nuaire Drimaster if you have a suitable inlet space) to bring air in, and a Vent-Axia Lo-Carbon Centra T (which is a fan that goes in a normal 100mm outlet) to take it out. Put them at opposite ends.

    The Centa T fan has 2 trickle setting (6 and 9 l/minute) and a timed boost like a normal fan. The background ventilation settings are silent.

    I have often used the Tempra HR version, but these do make some noise.

    I have these or similar in all my properties, and it does a lot for resilience to T lifestyles in a well sealed place. Cost should be around 300 for all the kit, plus half a day fitting.

    Some heavy handed education as to how it will save them money by saving them heating up all the water vapour in the air might help. From next time, put it in the lease not to switch off he trickle ventilation.

    ML

    Leave a comment:


  • Awesomestow
    replied
    Interesting tip. Will give that some thought when we redecorate - which needs to happen either way.

    Leave a comment:


  • jpucng62
    replied
    I have student rental which suffers just a little from mould caused by condensation because the tenants dry all their washing inside & don't open windows much! Like your property it is mostly external walls that suffer. I supply them with 'damp traps' to absorb the moisture & have painted troublesome areas with bathroom paint. I have found this has made a significant difference, especially on external walls behind furniture (wardrobes in my case) where the condensation tends to settle. Bathroom paint comes lots of lovely neutral shades & you would not know the difference except for the fact that the mould is kept at bay.

    Good luck.

    Leave a comment:


  • buzzard1994
    replied
    Tell the tenant the property is not suitable for their lifestyle and invite them to leave, s21 if they dont.

    Leave a comment:


  • Awesomestow
    replied
    Thanks all. I suspect leaving the whisper quiet extractor fan on will fix the problem. Hard to tell because he hasn't left it on. And if he turns that off he'll turn off a PIV system too.

    MdeB - yes Jpkeates is right. Warmer air can hold more moisture so there's more water to condense onto cold surfaces. We bought the property with tenants in and it took a few years for them to go, during which time the unrenovated poorly insulated property had no mould or damp problems. We then refurbished, a single tenant used it for a full year with no problems, this couple moved in and there are problems.

    Alex - yes the refit completely replaced a flat roof and the flashing and repairs to the tiled roof. It's five flats and all internal walls were removed, only the external walls and the pitched tiled roof are unchanged. The problem isn't weather dependent. We've had it in one other flat, when it was occupied by a couple who had multiple jobs as personal trainers so had wet washing in there the whole time. Two other tenancies have had no problems at all.

    So I really do think it's tenant behaviour.

    Leave a comment:

Latest Activity

Collapse

Working...
X