Landlord taken to Small claims/county court by tenant advice please?

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    Landlord taken to Small claims/county court by tenant advice please?

    Looking for advice as a landlord whose previous tenant is threatening with legal proceedings for claims for retrospective “ill-health and damaged property” caused by mould/damp. Property has absolutely no structural issues/faults and it’s been confirmed as being caused through condensation- exacerbated by overcrowding ( tenant numbers increased post-tenancy) and lack of ventilation- tenant not opening windows and drying laundry inside. Advice on how to proceed much appreciated. Thank you.

    #2
    What form have the threats taken?

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      #3
      Letters/emails from the previous tenant claiming for alleged damage to furniture, children’s clothes, clothing etc. Plus claims of medical concerns from “black mould” affecting the tenant and children...

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        #4
        Do they owe you anything? Is this a ploy to avoid you getting money from them?
        Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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          #5
          No they have paid up but they are trying to be rehoused through council authorities so I suspect it’s all part of a wider claim for a bigger council property.. to fast track their application.

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            #6
            If they are now ex-tenants, I would simply respond to the letters denying any liability (making the points in your first post) and see what they do.

            Alternatively, don't enter the arguments and simply deny any liability.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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              #7
              They had initially complained about mould/damp during the tenancy but I’ve attended and resolved the issues with new extractor fans, dehumidifiers and endless advice about opening windows and not drying laundry over radiators etc. As I stated there are no structural defects so am I correct in my understanding that it’s due to tenant misuse/lifestyle at the property? Therefore I’m not liable?

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                #8
                If they're no longer resident, they'll have to take you to court.
                Realistically, you can't stop them doing that.

                They'd have to persuade a judge that it was more likely than not your fault there was mould and that the mould caused damage that can be quantified in some way and that damage was reasonably foreseeable.
                If they're just chancers looking for a payout, it probably won't go anywhere.
                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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                  #9
                  Exactly what jpkeates has said above.

                  If you've had a damp inspection done by a reputable person, given the T information on how to avoid damp, then it is in all probability, the T's fault.

                  The judge may well view your T as a litigious complainant and I'm sure he will be able to see right through the claim.

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                    #10
                    When you respond include a copy of the damp inspection that confirms the cause.
                    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I also always send a copy of the NRLA Condensation Leaflet at the start of every Tenancy - include it with the prescribed info and get them to sign to say they've received it.

                      Amazingly, many many people have no idea what causes condensation and damp so it's actually a useful leaflet on its own.
                      My views are my own - you may not agree with them. I tend say things as I see them and I don't do "political correctness". Just because we may not agree you can still buy me a pint lol

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                        #12
                        Don't waste your time, ignore it move on.

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                          #13
                          Of course I search all the court records I can find and ask previous landlords -- so explain nicely that bringing frivolous claims will mean that their chance of getting decent housing in the PRS in future will be zero.

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                            #14
                            My tenant is currently refusing access to my property, despite requesting that I inspect and remedy a mould/damp concern which they have raised with me! They have advised me that I cannot access the property unless they have their “representative” present too, and are attempting to take me to court for apparently not resolving the issue!? How can I offer assistance without access? Where do I stand legally here? Please offer advice/experience on the best course of action? Thank you. ☺️

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                              #15
                              Contact your your environmental health officer to cover your back. Put it in writing what the issue is and that the tenants are refusing access.

                              You need to 'tell' the tenants you want access on such a date and that if they are not in, you will be entering the property using your own keys. Put it in writing and send recorded delivery.

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