Mould problems in our flat

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  • Mould problems in our flat

    Hi,
    I just have a little problem. I'm currenty having a dispute with our land lady over a few different things and its going to small claims court. One of the problems in the mould that was growing in the flat.
    Before we moved in we were told there was a little bit of mould with the last tennants that had be solved and on the inventory it states there is a little bit of mould in the corner of the shower. Over the 6months of staying there we got really bad mould growing in one bathroom and both bedrooms and a little in the lounge. We've lost a lot of clothes, cupboards and a matress because of mould growing on them so we complained.
    The got a surveyor in to have a look at the mould and he put it down to condensation.
    I was wondering if I post a couple of pics on here of the mould would you be able to tell me if it was down to condensation or not? Also because there was mould in the flat before and looking on an article on this website it says 'In addition to this, with lifestyle causes, once the mould growth has been allowed to take hold at some point in the history of the property, say with a tenant who lived with inadequate heating and ventilation, and produced excessive amounts of moisture (steam) through cooking, washing, internal drying etc, it can reoccur again and again.' do we stand a chance in the small claims court?

    Cheers in advanced, Matt

  • #2
    Mould is almost always caused by lack of ventilation, have you got a dehumidifier?, do you use trickle ventilators on your windows? Do you dry clothes indoors? You have to allow the moisture to get out or you will always get mould.
    I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by matt19849 View Post
      Hi,
      I just have a little problem. I'm currenty having a dispute with our land lady over a few different things and its going to small claims court. One of the problems in the mould that was growing in the flat.
      Before we moved in we were told there was a little bit of mould with the last tennants that had be solved and on the inventory it states there is a little bit of mould in the corner of the shower. Over the 6months of staying there we got really bad mould growing in one bathroom and both bedrooms and a little in the lounge. We've lost a lot of clothes, cupboards and a matress because of mould growing on them so we complained.
      The got a surveyor in to have a look at the mould and he put it down to condensation.
      I was wondering if I post a couple of pics on here of the mould would you be able to tell me if it was down to condensation or not? Also because there was mould in the flat before and looking on an article on this website it says 'In addition to this, with lifestyle causes, once the mould growth has been allowed to take hold at some point in the history of the property, say with a tenant who lived with inadequate heating and ventilation, and produced excessive amounts of moisture (steam) through cooking, washing, internal drying etc, it can reoccur again and again.' do we stand a chance in the small claims court?

      Cheers in advanced, Matt

      What is your claim for?

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi, we only ever dried our clothes in the lounge or on the roof terrace. When we showered etc we always had the windows open.
        At first we didnt have keys for the windows and the estate agents told us it was to expensive to get the windowsreplaced as they all had unique keys - we spoke to our next door neighbour and borrowed her keys they worked fine.
        We always ventilated the place as best as possible. We didnt have a dehumidifier because of the costs of running one and at the time we only had a month or two left of the tennancy.
        The claims are firstly for all the hassel we have had with the place - the costs involved in replacing our personal property because of the mould etc and the estate agents not being willing to help with any problems like not having hot water for 3 weeks etc.And secondly the other claim is because the estate agents didnt put our deposit in any tennancy scheme which we have been told to by our solicitor that its a criminal offence and were legally entitled to 3x the amount of the deposit back.

        Cheers

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        • #5
          Originally posted by matt19849 View Post
          Hi, we only ever dried our clothes in the lounge or on the roof terrace. When we showered etc we always had the windows open.
          At first we didnt have keys for the windows and the estate agents told us it was to expensive to get the windowsreplaced as they all had unique keys - we spoke to our next door neighbour and borrowed her keys they worked fine.
          We always ventilated the place as best as possible. We didnt have a dehumidifier because of the costs of running one and at the time we only had a month or two left of the tennancy.
          The claims are firstly for all the hassel we have had with the place - the costs involved in replacing our personal property because of the mould etc and the estate agents not being willing to help with any problems like not having hot water for 3 weeks etc.And secondly the other claim is because the estate agents didnt put our deposit in any tennancy scheme which we have been told to by our solicitor that its a criminal offence and were legally entitled to 3x the amount of the deposit back.

          Cheers
          The deposit protection issue is by far the most serious for your LL and I would certainly pursue it, unless you have had your deposit returned in full already. Have you?

          I wouldn't hold your breath over being reimbursed for the mould issue - it is notoriously hard to porve it was the LL's fault, as most mould is casued by condensation due to Ts lifestyle.
          '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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          • #6
            They returned our deposit as soon as the found out we were going to small claims court but we wrote them a letter saying we were returning the as the court case was still ongoing and posted the cheques back to them via recored mail.
            We did ask them not to send them out but they havnt listened for the last 6months of our tennacy.

            We have been told that the previous tennants wrecked the flat and they had to get the whole place re-decorated etc so they could have caused the mould then - looking at some of the mould that was appearing it looked like it was coming through the paint as if it had been painted over.

            Comment


            • #7
              Mould and condensation

              Hi Matt

              I could be wrong but the problem is almost always condensation that causes the mould, and if the mould/mildew isn't removed then the spores migrate and the contamination area is increased.

              My first tenant was apoplectic because of problems which she claimed were caused by damp. As we'd lived in the flat for over 20 years before renting it out, I was sceptical about this because there had never been any problems of that nature. Initially and with their permission, I visited and used Dettox Mould & Mildew Remover to scrub down the affected area, so that I could check everywhere thoroughly and then left the spray bottle with them.

              To show goodwill, I next asked a surveyor friend for advice; then I called in my builder; lastly I got the managing agent to check both the interior and the external elevation of the property. All said the same thing: condensation, lack of ventilation.

              So I offered to get a formal survey done but said that if the survey stated the cause to be condensation, then I would expect my tenant to bear the cost; the alternative was for the tenant to commission a survey which the I as landlord would pay for if the cause was not due to lifestyle. I also explained the need for ventilation, and added that we had always kept a window slightly open in the bedroom at night; apparently the tenant and her OH kept both the bedroom door and the window closed overnight (and the problem was confined to the bedroom).

              One of my friends pointed out the bleedin' obvious to me: it wasn't the sleeping that was creating the steamy windows.

              HTH and I hope you get the deposit issues sorted.

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree totally with that it could well be down to bad ventilation the only problem I have is we always ventilated the place really well. The place just always felt damp.
                I'm just not 100% convinced that the previous tennant was that great at ventilation and caused the mould then the land lady just painted over it.

                After moving out within about 3weeks our property was back up for rent - bare in mind that there was mould all over the walls in two bedrooms and in one bathroom and the lounge, also on the carpets. They way I see it is how can she be renting the place already surely they would have to get the whole place sorted before renting again i.e remove all traces of mould re-paint and poss even re-carpet the flat. On top of this on the surveyors report he did state there was slight penetration of moisture coming through on what used to be the old chimney in the lounge (apprently not enough to cause mould though) so this would have to be sorted too.

                This is why im a bit on edge and think it could have been mould there before and not sorted properly.

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                • #9
                  Matt,

                  You don't happen to live in Streatham do you? Because this is exactly the same problem that our neighbours had. Word for word.

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                  • #10
                    Afraid not - from Bournemouth nice to know im not alone though
                    What have your neighbours done?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      condensation and mould is not always down to the tenants.

                      Why do people always blame the tenants?

                      It is not the always the tenants fault.

                      I currently live in a new build private block of flats and all of the flats on the top floor are having problems with damp, condensation and mould.

                      They have brought builders in who have discovered that the flats were not built properly. There are no air bricks in the walls or trickle vents in the windows. The windows are also of a low quality.

                      There are no windows in the bathrooms or kitchen (as we are on the top floor), just sky lights. The extractors fitted in the bathrooms have been incorrectly fitted vertically instead of horizontally and they are not pwerful enough to suck the hot air out. Instead, they are sucking the air up a little bit, cooling it and it is dripping back down into the bathrooms.

                      The ceiling is leaking and causing damp which has led to mould in the built-in wardrobes.

                      This has nothing to do with me, the tenant. Its the landlord's responsibility.

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                      • #12
                        Read my next post as well mat. It is not always the tenants fault.

                        My neighbours had to move out. The landlord allowed to leave a month early. There was mould everywhere. The moved out 4 weeks ago and the flat has since been rented out. The landlord just scrubbed the mould off and painted over it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by foi1983 View Post
                          Why do people always blame the tenants?

                          It is not the always the tenants fault.

                          I currently live in a new build private block of flats and all of the flats on the top floor are having problems with damp, condensation and mould.

                          They have brought builders in who have discovered that the flats were not built properly. There are no air bricks in the walls or trickle vents in the windows. The windows are also of a low quality.

                          There are no windows in the bathrooms or kitchen (as we are on the top floor), just sky lights. The extractors fitted in the bathrooms have been incorrectly fitted vertically instead of horizontally and they are not pwerful enough to suck the hot air out. Instead, they are sucking the air up a little bit, cooling it and it is dripping back down into the bathrooms.

                          The ceiling is leaking and causing damp which has led to mould in the built-in wardrobes.

                          This has nothing to do with me, the tenant. Its the landlord's responsibility.
                          I agree that in your case, it does indeed sound as though the design or construction of the building is to blame.

                          However...the problem of condensation causing mould in rented property is endemic (there are several queries per week on LLZ about it, to the point where we will end up with a forum specifically called 'Mould-Related Questions'), yet owner occupiers rarely seem troubled by it. Seriously. Now, this could be interpreted two ways :

                          1. Owner occupiers live in better quality accommodation (than most rented property) and it is not as prone to damp as most rental properties, or,

                          2. Owner occupiers take better care of their property because it is theirs, and do not create the condensation in the first place.

                          I incline to the latter. Tenants of rental properties tend to have lower incomes and are not as willing to see the heat they have paid good money for, go out of the window. To save money, they tend to heat their homes to a lower temperature than owner occupiers do;they don't open the windows as much as they should and they take showers and dry clothes in the property with the windows shut. Owner occupiers know that this causes mould to grow and they use a tumble dryer or a washing line. Tenants may not have this option and understandably they do not want to pay to use the driers at a laundry.

                          Landlords who have any sense install good quality extractor fans vented to the outside in kitchens and bathrooms, but in the end, tenants must be responsible for the build up of condensation, assuming there is no basic fault in the design of the ventilation system or windows.

                          If tenants aired the property and did not dry washing inside, the great majority of mould would disappear.

                          For what it's worth, dampness surveys are carried out by people with a vested interest in discovering...er, damp, in the hope they will make a nice profit out of you. They are NOT independent or impartial!
                          '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


                          • #14
                            The thing is with a surveyors report saying its down to condensation the tennants (us) can't really do anything about it which doesn't seem fair. Although after reading the report again i've noticed this:
                            'The report does not purport to be any form of building survey'
                            Which to me looks like this report hasn't checked the building just the flat which in a way is pretty useless? Surely they should have checked the building - i.e walls, roofs or even to see if the flat below had bad ventilation but they hadn't they've just checked our flat which proves nothing.....right? or is that all wrong?

                            As for always blaming the tennants guess were the lucky ones - we get to spend the money on rent and get to pay out for damages that aren't caused by us

                            mind the gap - Reading your post we had ventilation in the ensuit but it was only a small extrator fan (which at one point had water coming out of it) but the windows were always opened when using the bathroom and we had a washer dryer already installed in the flat which we dried our clothes in

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                              I agree that in your case, it does indeed sound as though the design or construction of the building is to blame.

                              However...the problem of condensation causing mould in rented property is endemic (there are several queries per week on LLZ about it, to the point where we will end up with a forum specifically called 'Mould-Related Questions'), yet owner occupiers rarely seem troubled by it. Seriously. Now, this could be interpreted two ways :

                              1. Owner occupiers live in better quality accommodation (than most rented property) and it is not as prone to damp as most rental properties, or,

                              2. Owner occupiers take better care of their property because it is theirs, and do not create the condensation in the first place.

                              I incline to the latter. Tenants of rental properties tend to have lower incomes and are not as willing to see the heat they have paid good money for, go out of the window. To save money, they tend to heat their homes to a lower temperature than owner occupiers do;they don't open the windows as much as they should and they take showers and dry clothes in the property with the windows shut. Owner occupiers know that this causes mould to grow and they use a tumble dryer or a washing line. Tenants may not have this option and understandably they do not want to pay to use the driers at a laundry.

                              Landlords who have any sense install good quality extractor fans vented to the outside in kitchens and bathrooms, but in the end, tenants must be responsible for the build up of condensation, assuming there is no basic fault in the design of the ventilation system or windows.
                              Sorry, I do not agree with you. Our rent is the more than most people pay as a monthly mortgage payment for a similar property and I probably earn more than the average couple do jointly.

                              This is down to useless and unscrupulous landlords who want to make a quick profit at the expense of trusting tenants.

                              This is also down to the fact that most new builds are of low quality as they are built in record time. New builds nowadays probably have a shelf life of less than 100 years.

                              Comment

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