Another damp property.....

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    Another damp property.....

    Hi

    My boyfriend and I moved into a top floor room on a house. It is a lovely room, with huge double glazed windows and a skylight. When we moved in in August, the room was like a sauna, but we really didn't mind.

    However about two months ago or maybe longer, condensation started building up on all our windows. At first this didn't seem such a big deal, we wiped the windows down each day, kept things clean of mildew - or so we thought. I first contacted our land agents early November to tell them I had found mildew growing all along the wall closest to outside and I suggested we needed a dehumidifier, which I think the landlord might supply given we will have to pay the electricity to run it. We have one set of radiators in our room, under the large double glazed windows, which are on the opposite side of the room from the skylight and wall where we have the mildew problem.

    I wiped all of the walls down, but a lot of our personal belongings had to be thoroughly cleaned. I asked the agency to come and have a look at the room, as the skylight in particular gets so wet, the water trickles down the wall and onto the floor. I was told someone would come look on November 10th. No one came.

    I kept a very close eye out for any mildew and cleaned it up whenever it appeared. I also want to point out that we have the trickle ventilators on the large double glazed windows open 24/7, we never close them. The sky light has two locks - one which lets air through, which we also have open 24/7. The skylight itself cannot be left open properly, it just slams itself shut. Given the temperatures outside lately, we do not leave our windows open at night. We only dry very small garments in our room.

    Last night we discovered everything in our wardrobe covered in mold. I have had to throw away expensive shoes and wash every item of clothing. We also found a corner of the room with hundreds of droplets of water on it and mildew everywhere. I took pictures and cleaned everything up. I have today again asked the agency to send someone to come and look, but is it reasonable for me to think we have done everything possible to prevent this dampness? (ie, trickle vents open, very little washing dried in room, cleaning regularly, opening windows when weather permits). Other than not breathing at night while we are asleep, I don't see how else we can prevent the damp building up without a decent dehumidifier. Also, I reported this problem and wanted it investigated almost two months ago. It is a reasonable request that the landlord supply a dehumidifier?

    Any help greatly appreciated thanks!

    #2
    Is tenancy an AST in England or Wales, where annual rent < £25k?
    Was an inventory completed at check-in?
    Have you written* to LL requesting an inspection or a dehumidifier?

    * This is similar to the advice you were give for another tenancy, so I expect you may know the procedure: Damage to property prior to signing agreement
    The information in my posts is provided 'as is'. This is not intended to be legal advice. Legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on this information or any part of it. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage arising from errors in the information or the way in which a person uses the information on this . For more information on your query use the '' link at the top of this page. Agreements, Forms & Notices can be found .

    Comment


      #3
      Is tenancy an AST in England or Wales, where annual rent < £25k?
      In England, rent is <£25K, and is an AST

      Was an inventory completed at check-in?
      We agreed to inventory already taken before we moved in - in August, no signs of mildew at all and no condensation as it was still very warm weather

      Have you written* to LL requesting an inspection or a dehumidifier?
      I have now emailed twice to letting agent to come and inspect and to supply dehumidifier. The first time I wrote, in November, they told me someone would come look within a week. No one came. I wrote again today and this time I have pictures. Am waiting for a reply

      * This is similar to the advice you were give for another tenancy, so I expect you may know the procedure: Damage to property prior to signing agreement
      [/QUOTE]
      This time when we moved in there was no damage to the property, and no signs of mildew due to the mild weather. We were happy with the inventory as it stood, and signed the agreement as such. We would not have signed had we not agreed with the inventory or seen any such evidence of a mildew problem

      Comment


        #4
        I would suggest trying to contact the LL directly (LL's address should be on your AST; as your contract is with LL not agent), requesting an urgent inspection within the next 21 days, or you will be taking appropriate action.

        Was a deposit taken by LL and protected?
        The information in my posts is provided 'as is'. This is not intended to be legal advice. Legal or other professional advice should be sought before acting or relying on this information or any part of it. I will not be held responsible for loss or damage arising from errors in the information or the way in which a person uses the information on this . For more information on your query use the '' link at the top of this page. Agreements, Forms & Notices can be found .

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by tom999 View Post
          I would suggest trying to contact the LL directly (LL's address should be on your AST; as your contract is with LL not agent), requesting an urgent inspection within the next 21 days, or you will be taking appropriate action.
          I will do this is I do not hear back from Agency, but normally they do reply

          Was a deposit taken by LL and protected?
          Yes deposit was taken and all put into a scheme properly

          Comment


            #6
            This is what our tenancy agreement states -

            To take reasonable and prudent steps to adequately heat and ventilate the premises in order to help prevent condensation. Where such condensation may occur, to take care to promptly wipe down and clean surfaces as required from time to time to stop the build up of mould growth or damage to the premises, its fixtures and fittings.

            I feel we are already doing everything we possibly can to prevent this, so is our landlord obliged to buy a dehumidifier? The agency has just emailed me and told me we have to solve the problem, not the landlord

            Comment


              #7
              I think that 'reasonable and prudent steps' are what you've been taking. It sounds as if you are aware that you need some ventilating to let out the wet air and you've been doing some mopping up as well.

              If you're living in one room with your partner does that mean you're also cooking in it, with a bath or shower en-suite? You may be chucking out an awful lot of humidity, which when it's cold outside can pour down any cold surfaces like glass or external walls. The sauna in the summer has the opposite effect in winter with the glass just acting as a cold-bridge.

              A humidifier would help, but have you got any forced extraction from the bathroom or kitchen where the most moisture's produced.

              In any event, your landlord can't simply ignore your reasonable requests and should, at least, come and offer advice.

              As you've now discovered, condensation loves soft furnishings/ clothes - ruining them.

              If all else fails call your local authority Environmental Health Officer, who should at least come round and talk to you about it.

              Comment


                #8
                Another damp property.....

                Thanks to everyone that helped out with this.

                Thought I would let you know the conclusions. After suggestions from tom999, I asked the letting agency for our landlords address so I could write and ask him myself for a dehumidifier. Surprise surprise they then said we could buy one and they would refund me. This was all before Christmas, and nearly every day since we have pulled a litre and a half of water from our room. The window sills are finally dry and I have yet to have to clean any mildew from any walls or windows.

                Meridian, we do not have kitchen facilities in our room, only an en suite. Our en suite does have an extraction fan, which we use all the time.

                When my boyfriend took the receipt for the dehumidifier in, for reimbursement, the agents ones again tried to tell him everything he should be doing to prevent dampness (all of which we are already doing) and also told him that it was strange that no other tenants had any problem with damp. Implying we were doing something wrong.

                Last weekend, a friend of our flatmates came to visit. He used to rent our room, about 3 or 4 years ago, and he told me that he definitely had damp problems when he lived there, and he had reported it, and that is why he had moved out. He also said he had gotten the agency to paint the roof twice, to cover all mildew stains. So to have them try to say it was all us, and that no one else had had damp problems in our room, is wrong. We would never have known this if he had not come to visit. The next time I speak to the agency, I will be pointing this information out to them.

                Thanks for everyone's help, the dehumidifier is doing it's job well!

                Comment


                  #9
                  But did they actually reimburse? You don't say so.
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
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                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                    But did they actually reimburse? You don't say so.
                    Yes thanks, we did get reimbursed

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I have a two bedroom flat in East London I am currently having condensation grief with, I was quoted about £1500 + VAT for three or so wall mounted ventilators, but the dehumidifier sounds more like what I need?
                      What are the differences between mains powered ventilators and dehumidifiers?
                      What brand did rmarnane use and how how much please?

                      I am a landlord, and the agency I am using to manage the property came up with a company who quoted for the ventilators, but I am wondering if there are any other choices as I don't want the tenant to suffer the current level of excessive condensation (mildew EVERYWHERE!!) but I know he won't comply with my agents repeated instructions to open windows and ventilate the flat daily as the tenant has a newborn in the house..

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The dehumidifier we bought was
                        B&Q Compact Dehumidifier 10L EAN: 0000005226405 Only £79.98.

                        There are far better out there, but the agency did say we couldn't go overboard, and wanted something around the £80 mark. This dehumidifier would not work for a whole house, just for our large room. A wall vent in our room would probably solve the problem, but that was never an option from our agency, who had enough trouble accepting there was a problem.

                        Comment

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