damp property

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    damp property

    Hi there,

    Just wondering what my position might be regarding a flat I currently rent... The agency have simply told me to put the heating on to dry out the property. Can I ask the LL to pay a contribution towards the cost of heating the property in order to dry it out?

    I was not aware of damp issues when I first moved in as the property had just been decorated - now all of the damp is coming through the wallpaper and paint. I have been here just 2 months.

    I am also concerned as to where I would stand when it comes to vacating the property. Would I be able to terminate my AST early due to these damp conditions? I have no break clause. If I stay, because I can't leave early without penalty, am I likely to have my deposit witheld due to all the wallpaper that is now lifting off the walls?

    Thank you in advance for any advice you can give.

    #2
    Do you know what is causing the damp - is it condensation, or penetrating damp, for example?
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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      #3
      It is penetrating damp

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        #4
        Originally posted by sunny_d View Post
        It is penetrating damp
        At this stage, I don't know if you can just up sticks and move out, but I think you would be justified in writing to your landlord and demanding that he takes immediate action to solve the problem because you are concerned about your health - clearly you should not have to live in a damp property.

        It would be reasonable to ask him :

        a) to pay for the extra cost of heating to dry out the exisiting damp and having the decoration renewed
        b) to arrange for any necessary remedial work (e.g. re-pointing or re-rendering/dampsealing of exterior walls,)

        As far as your deposit is concerned, don't worry. He should have protected it with one of the deposit protection schemes and as long as you have evidence (take some photos now) of how soon the wallpaper started peeling, etc., he will not be able to justify making any deductions from it. If he hasn't protected it, you can claim 3x the deposit back from him.

        If he fails to respond to your request for repairs, extra cost of heating and redecoration, then you can get three quotes for this work yourself and tell him that unless he acts upon your request within 14 days, you will get the work done and take it out of your rent. You can do this, but keep the rent in a separate account until issue is resolved.

        If the damp problem turns out to be a long term problem, then yes I think you would be justified in moving out on the grounds that the property is uninhabitable.

        Good luck.
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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          #5
          HOw do you know its penetrating damp?? Are you ventilating the property? Are you drying wet washing without opening a window?

          Sometimes lifestyle can cause damp. If the LL refuses to discuss this with you I would also get environmental health involved.
          GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

          Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

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            #6
            Hi, having been through this myself, I had an Unfit for Human Habitation order placed on my property!, I done the various checks and found it was caused by my neighbours party wall and condensation, i.e no ventalation in the property, washing being dried without window open etc. The council had to agree that they were wrong!. But I still had a new chemical damp proofing put in to be safe, and all that goes with it as there was Slight damp in the lliving room. Another tenant placed a wardrobe next to an outside wall and it got damp, (solid walls) I read up on it, and they (website) say do not place anything against outside walls which prevent air being circulated around the wall and room, she moved it and all was fine again!

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              #7
              I know that it's penetrating damp because the builder came round and told me that it was. They redid the plaster in the kitchen on the part of the wall that was exposed (ie not behind any fitted cabinets) as that was particularly bad. They also put in a couple of air bricks on the other wall to allow for circulation of air behind the fitted cupboards as all the cupboards had gone mouldy.

              When he took a look at the lounge he said that they shouldn't have papered and painted over it until it was dry as now all the water is just lifting the paper. He said that it will take at least 8 months to dry out.

              I don't have anything preventing circulation of air around all these damp areas.

              Whenever I have spoken to the agent about this all they keep saying to me is put the heating on.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by sunny_d View Post
                I know that it's penetrating damp because the builder came round and told me that it was.
                If the builder was anything like O'Reilly in Fawlty Towers, I wouldn't believe a word. A "builder" needs no qualifications in construction, and though there are excellent ones around, there are also many who are literally thick as two bricks.

                Originally posted by sunny_d View Post
                They also put in a couple of air bricks on the other wall to allow for circulation of air behind the fitted cupboards as all the cupboards had gone mouldy.
                For the cupboards to be mouldy, it means there is moisture in the air. There might be an issue with penetrating damp, though this is fairly uncommon nowadays, but this mould is undoubtedly due to condensation.
                On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

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                  #9
                  Sunny d :

                  I expect you probably couldn't care less what is causing the damp and you have my sympathy for having to live in it.

                  However, you can only legally break your tenancy agreement if it can be established that the damp is not your fault, and there seems to be some debate about that.

                  I think your next step is to contact the EHO or Tenancy Officer at your local council and describe the problem. Ask them if someone can look at it and assess whether (a) it is likely to be your lifestyle which is causing it (drying clothes, not using extractor fan when cooking, use of calor gas heaters,etc).
                  (b) if it is not your doing, ask what you as a tenant can insist your LL does about it, or whether you are within your rights to leave.

                  Good luck
                  'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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