Condensation/mould mid-tenancy

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    Condensation/mould mid-tenancy

    We have a nice couple living in our one bed flat. It's an old building with thick, uninsulated walls. We've owned it for 10 years, and in that time had 1 tenant who managed to cover the place with mould due to how she was living in it, everyone else since has been absolutely fine.

    I visited the property today for the first time since our current tenants have been properly settled in - a few months. They have brought in quite a lot of additional furniture. The bedroom was let with a double bed, wardrobe and large chest of drawers, it now has an extra wardrobe, desk and chair, extra shelves, rugs, etc. The furniture takes up all the wall space, and there are also items such as boxes, suitcase, etc stacked on top up to the ceiling.

    There was a very strong smell of mildew, and in the far corner, when I pulled back the curtain I could see there was black mould growing up the wall. I could not easily get behind the other furniture to see how far this spreads.

    My question is, how prescriptive can I be mid tenancy about the way they are living? I have no other issues with them as tenants, but I don't want the problem to get worse, or to find it impossible to let due to the smell and damage to soft furnishings, etc. Can I ask them to remove the extra furniture? The tenancy agreement doesn't say they can't bring in extra, but does say for tenants : "To take all reasonable precautions to prevent condensation by keeping the Property adequately ventilated and heated."

    When they moved in we provided information on the importance of heating, ventilation and airflow, which we have done as standard since the issues a few years back.

    They are on holiday at the moment so were not there for me to discuss this with, but had said it was fine for me to check the property over and to carry out some minor maintenance.

    I would welcome suggestions.



    #2
    They'll never change. S21 notice IIWY.
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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      #3
      The additional furniture would not cause this issue, unless they were placed to block the airflow/ heating. You might suggest a dehumidifier or supply this to the T, they are around £150.00 but need to be emptied. Alternatively there is a damp spray which you can get from most DIY stores, it does work and the mould is removed within minutes (HG Mould Spray), if the mould re-occurs the best way would be a dehumidifier.

      You could check the gutter and down pipes to check that this isn't the root cause of the damp, especially if it is in a corner of the room where the rain water pipes are located outside.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by ash72 View Post
        The additional furniture would not cause this issue, unless they were placed to block the airflow/ heating. You might suggest a dehumidifier or supply this to the T, they are around £150.00 but need to be emptied. Alternatively there is a damp spray which you can get from most DIY stores, it does work and the mould is removed within minutes (HG Mould Spray), if the mould re-occurs the best way would be a dehumidifier.

        You could check the gutter and down pipes to check that this isn't the root cause of the damp, especially if it is in a corner of the room where the rain water pipes are located outside.
        The furniture is a huge issue - it goes right to the ceilings with everything piled on top, in a small room with a small radiator. There is no circulation at all at that end of the room, but all outside walls. When we had this issue a few years ago it was with someone who brought lots of extra stuff in and didn't ventilate. They couldn't get to the wall to be able to spray it without moving everything out of the way, though I absolutely expect them to do this. I may suggest a dehumidifier.

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          #5
          Originally posted by bethy View Post

          The furniture is a huge issue - it goes right to the ceilings with everything piled on top, in a small room with a small radiator. There is no circulation at all at that end of the room, but all outside walls. When we had this issue a few years ago it was with someone who brought lots of extra stuff in and didn't ventilate. They couldn't get to the wall to be able to spray it without moving everything out of the way, though I absolutely expect them to do this.
          You are correct, the lack of airflow is being caused by the room being effectively used as a storage unit, i do agree with another of the posts though..... they may never change and a S21 may be the only way out of it. I have had the same issue and some tenants just do not get it, the information on what causes it is out there, it's not a secret but still it manages to come up all the time. I would sit down with them and explain the link between a lack of heating, damp air and no airflow.... if they still do not get it then i would evict them.

          Comment


            #6
            Some tenants just have to stamp their personality on properties by buying loads of furniture/goods and it does cause these problems. I'm a big fan of dehumidifiers. Get them one and inspect more regularly.



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

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              #7
              I had this, modern 2 bed flat but the tenants did not have a clue. My glasses steamed up on an inspection I told the it was a health hazard, it was awful. So in 12months mould everywhere, freshly painted at start of tenancy. Went to dps the inventory report stated tenant lifestyle and photos, I claimed 1000 GBP repaint as that's what it cost. I was awarded 200 GBP. Even the agent couldn't believe it.

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                #8
                you knew this was a problem building so you should have had the entire place painted with anti-mould paint and provided a dehumidifier.

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                  #9
                  Yes, I also had this issue with a Spanish couple with young child i n a modern flat. They didn't quite get it about drying clothes indoors and everything had mould on it. They bought new blinds, learned a lesson as did I. After that experience I provide tumble dryers, as I feel there's no excuse then, and make sure I carry out a check half way through winter, but otherwise if they won't listen 🤷‍♂️

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
                    I provide tumble dryers🤷‍♂️
                    Me too..... i also get them to sign to confirm they have received the '' how to avoid mould guide '', that i issue to all tenants along with the other paperwork, but for some..... you cannot help it simply all passes them by.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I put labels on the windows, with helpful tips on how to avoid mould. Still get mould!
                      To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I have a old house where the tenants complained about damp and in one room there was a lot of Black Mould.
                        The tenants complained to the letting agent and they were loaned a De-Humidifier and we dropped the rent by £10 a month to cover the additional cost of electricity.
                        I was able to easily remove the Black Mould using Cillit Bang Black Mould Remover. It was only surface mould and had not penetrated the wallpaper as I had used Bathroom Emulsion in the bedroom which does not allow damp to penetrate into the wallpaper.
                        I found out after they left in the bedroom where iI had boarded off the open fireplace and put in a large vent, they had pushed the bed right up to the vent , blocking it.
                        Also as a young couple, the lady had just given birth and the washing machine was (apparently) on all the time with maidens placed in front of 3 radiators with clothes on them. Also they never opened the windows. (I pass the property every day)

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                          #13
                          The above post just goes to prove that you cannot help some people.

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                            #14
                            I beg to differ. From experience it was slum landlords not sorting out the property by means of fixing penetrating damp along with missing roof tiles for years. Black mould covering a whole wall, damaged stairs that was just clipped back together under the stair case along with collapsing kitchen ceiling from bathroom above leaking that was reported many years prior. Constant tripping electrics every few weeks in kitchen area I could go on.

                            One day I’ll bother to upload photos.



                            Comment


                              #15
                              Older properties do not have enough insulation to go with modern central heating And blocking fireplaces and addi ng double glazing transfers the window condensation to walls and cielings. It will get worse this winter with energy prices rising! And landlords will get the blame as usual.

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