Damp started within four months of L's first letting

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

  • Damp started within four months of L's first letting

    Hi

    we moved out of our family home of 15 years (no probs with damp) in Oct 2007 and let to tenants.
    had phone call in Feb2008 saying patches of black mould were growing around windows and on ceilings.
    advised tenants to ventilate and heat house properly, also suggested they use a dehumidifier to help rectify problem(we never had to use one).
    all quite until a big bundle of mouldy pictures landed on the mat on new years eve! a bit annoyed to say the least as the dates on the photos were 6 - 7 Dec, accompanied by a letter suggesting that we have a faulty damp course and could do with cavity wall insulation (house is a 20 year old semi and was built with cavity insulation and i reckon they even put a damp course in). also threatened environmental health. Obviously if there is a problem with the property then we want to know so that we can protect our investment, also they have been pretty good tenants so want to rectify any problem. A phone call EHO revealled that the property had been visited in Feb 2008 and they had advised that the problem was due to condensation due to lifestyle.
    An unannounced visit to the tenant at 3pm showed that all the upstairs curtains and blinds where tight shut, windows running in water and a very obvious humidity in the air, she had no reason as to all the curtains being closed and burst into tears when i suggested that lifestyle might be a factor (but i did say it as nicely as you can) also refused to take the advice leaflet sent byEHO.
    decided that they are not able to try and help sort the problem themselves so gave them notice to quit.(EHO did suggest that we buy a dehumidifier and make a financial contribution towards running it if the tenants couldn't afford it).
    have sent them another letter and EHO leaflet with a list of suggestions on how they might tackle the problem in the last few weeks of the tenancy. drivebys of the house show that all the curtains are still shut during the day and neighbours have reported that the windows are never opened and the heating doesn't appear to be run.

    and finally my questions

    what is the chance of being able to retain some of the deposit to cover the cost of treating the house with antifungal preps and redecorate with an antifungal paint and also the cost of buying a dehumidifier?

    also although they do keep the house spotlessly clean i am reluctant to show prospective new tenants around until the house is sorted out ( a period with no rental income) any advice?

    and finally how would any of you more experienced landlords handled the situation differently?

  • #2
    Originally posted by sueb View Post
    Hi

    we moved out of our family home of 15 years (no probs with damp) in Oct 2007 and let to tenants.
    had phone call in Feb2008 saying patches of black mould were growing around windows and on ceilings.
    advised tenants to ventilate and heat house properly, also suggested they use a dehumidifier to help rectify problem(we never had to use one).
    all quite until a big bundle of mouldy pictures landed on the mat on new years eve! a bit annoyed to say the least as the dates on the photos were 6 - 7 Dec, accompanied by a letter suggesting that we have a faulty damp course and could do with cavity wall insulation (house is a 20 year old semi and was built with cavity insulation and i reckon they even put a damp course in). also threatened environmental health. Obviously if there is a problem with the property then we want to know so that we can protect our investment, also they have been pretty good tenants so want to rectify any problem. A phone call EHO revealled that the property had been visited in Feb 2008 and they had advised that the problem was due to condensation due to lifestyle.
    An unannounced visit to the tenant at 3pm showed that all the upstairs curtains and blinds where tight shut, windows running in water and a very obvious humidity in the air, she had no reason as to all the curtains being closed and burst into tears when i suggested that lifestyle might be a factor (but i did say it as nicely as you can) also refused to take the advice leaflet sent byEHO.
    decided that they are not able to try and help sort the problem themselves so gave them notice to quit.(EHO did suggest that we buy a dehumidifier and make a financial contribution towards running it if the tenants couldn't afford it).
    have sent them another letter and EHO leaflet with a list of suggestions on how they might tackle the problem in the last few weeks of the tenancy. drivebys of the house show that all the curtains are still shut during the day and neighbours have reported that the windows are never opened and the heating doesn't appear to be run.

    and finally my questions

    what is the chance of being able to retain some of the deposit to cover the cost of treating the house with antifungal preps and redecorate with an antifungal paint and also the cost of buying a dehumidifier?

    also although they do keep the house spotlessly clean i am reluctant to show prospective new tenants around until the house is sorted out ( a period with no rental income) any advice?

    and finally how would any of you more experienced landlords handled the situation differently?
    This Dampness you refer to with the mould, is a condensation mould, the secret to getting rid off it ( on walls ) is to wipe every bit of it away using a cloth with a fungicidal wash, Domestos does the trick, but you must wear gloves.

    If you do not wipe every bit away it will re grow, it ia a fungus that multiplies.

    The age of the property dictates it will have a DPC In it, the water on the windows is a sure sign of a condensation problem.

    When they move out the problem will disapear, you will need to remove all the mould and probably have to redecorate, the anti fungicidal wall papar paste does help.

    However you need to tackle the root of the problem which is a correct balance ot heat and ventilation.

    what type of heating is in the property ? and are the windows double glazed ?

    There are extractor fans that can be installed which have a built in de humidistat, ie they start working when the relative humidity reaches a level where condensation is happening.

    As to how i would have handled it, if they were paying good rent and no problems paying it.

    Id have looked at the property, started them off with a de humidifier you can buy them cheaply, id have got my decorator in to get rid of the mould, and looked at adjusting the heating in the property.

    I Have found in the past as long as you are doing something to try to help most tennants are okay.

    Condensation mould can also grow on shoes ,bags, and clothes, if it gets that bad, you need to think about extractor fans.

    The thing about condensation is you nearer get complaints in the summer, windows open, heating not on etc, so it cures itself in the warmer weather.

    In the winter, windows and curtains are close heating on full blast, and condensation streaming down the windows, and mould grows on the cold corners of the room, due to condensation.

    Anyway i hope that helps you.

    Comment


    • #3
      thanks for your reply

      we have gas central heating and double glazing

      did suggest we go down the dehumidifier route but tenant says they cannot afford to run it (even if we buy one) and cannot afford to run the heating more.

      has not followed any of the advice we have given, seems to think I can wave a magic wand and make it all better.

      do you think we will be able to retain some of the deposit to put things right?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by sueb View Post
        thanks for your reply

        we have gas central heating and double glazing

        did suggest we go down the dehumidifier route but tenant says they cannot afford to run it (even if we buy one) and cannot afford to run the heating more.

        has not followed any of the advice we have given, seems to think I can wave a magic wand and make it all better.

        do you think we will be able to retain some of the deposit to put things right?
        In my experience taking money from there deposit leads to endless problems, not to mention the possibility of a brick through the window.

        Personally i always pay back the deposit and move on, i assume you self manage so you get a deposit from the next tenant who moves in.

        At least with the new tenant you can explain before they move in about how they are to look after the property.

        As soon as they move out, and you open the windows and ventilate the property the problem dissapears, so apart from minor decoration works, you are good to go again, but this time you are on the front foot.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by sueb View Post
          and finally how would any of you more experienced landlords handled the situation differently?
          All the advice above, about getting rid of the mould - and educating the tenants about its prevention - is sound.

          If your tenants are tediously determined neither to open the windows, nor to remove the mould themselves on a regular basis, it might be worth mentioning to them that it can be injurious to health to allow the mould to grow, especially black mould, which can be toxic. It is especially risky if anyone in the house suffers from asthma.

          Sometimes this is sufficient to knock some sense into them.
          '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

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for your help.



            Looking at all the other posts our problem is pretty insignificant so i think we will just move on, tidy up and relet with some "how to live in a house" info.

            Comment

            Latest Activity

            Collapse

            • S21 or S8 to evict a tenant
              BlueMystery
              I have a tenant who the local council have provided the deposit bond for. He has been nothing but a pain paying his rent and has always been 1 month late or 6 weeks maximum, paying at the end rather than the beginning. He was initially on a 6 months AST, which reverted to one month rollover in the absence...
              26-07-2017, 19:21 PM
            • Reply to S21 or S8 to evict a tenant
              KTC
              That ....
              26-07-2017, 21:41 PM
            • Long Term Tenant - how to protect both LL and Tenant
              Paul4321
              Hi All,

              I'm hoping for a little guidance. I'll almost certainly be following up with some professional advice but hopefully some folks here will have been in a similar situation and can offer some advice. I have done a quick search but not found anything obvious.

              I already...
              20-07-2017, 10:07 AM
            • Reply to Long Term Tenant - how to protect both LL and Tenant
              KTC
              A tenancy of more than 3 years to be executed as deed (Law of Property Act 1925).

              A tenancy of less than 7 years - landlord's repairing obligations (Landlord and Tenant Act 1985).

              A tenancy of more than 7 years - registration with the Land Registry.

              If you're going...
              26-07-2017, 21:39 PM
            • Reply to S21 or S8 to evict a tenant
              MrShed
              I dont see a benefit in Section 8 in this circumstance as the grounds are discretionary not compulsory (is my reading of the situation anyway).

              Its worth issuing it anyway but then proceed down S21 when it expires?
              26-07-2017, 21:14 PM
            • One tenant moving out and two remaining - who pays for the checkout/inventory?
              IoIo
              Q1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)? England

              Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. sole tenant / multiple tenant / room only? Three people all listed as the Tenant under the agreement

              Q3 – What date did current...
              26-07-2017, 16:38 PM
            • Reply to One tenant moving out and two remaining - who pays for the checkout/inventory?
              MrShed
              Yes I cant agree with JK on this one, although I agree its an elegant solution in theory. A few issues with it though:
              - Subletting
              - The previous tenant in effect remains a tenant (in the eyes of the law)
              - Any damage that has been caused up to now should in fact be deducted three...
              26-07-2017, 21:08 PM
            • Reply to Long Term Tenant - how to protect both LL and Tenant
              Logical.Lean
              I would make a list of the improvements / repairs which are required and get some ball park quotes for the work from trades(wo)men in the area.
              Then I would offer a 6 month rolling tenancy, at a fair rent. I would ask the tenant to quote for a few of the simple jobs, and pay him once completed....
              26-07-2017, 21:06 PM
            • Reply to One tenant moving out and two remaining - who pays for the checkout/inventory?
              Wright76
              I can't see the departing tenant agreeing to withdraw their notice and nor should they simply to get their deposit back.

              They are ALL responsible. The tenancy Is ending for all of them and they are jointly responsible for any damage.

              I'm amused by your insistence for a professional...
              26-07-2017, 20:43 PM
            • Ending tenancy early / returning advance rent
              purpleangel
              Landlord has served me with S21 to leave property by 10 September. 12 month AST in England. Tenancy has been difficult last few months, major delays in repairs and I am still waiting to be refunded for a locksmith call out a month ago. I paid 12 months rent in advance due to having CCJs.

              ...
              25-07-2017, 21:35 PM
            Working...
            X