Problems re windows/insulation/damp/Letting Agent

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    Problems re windows/insulation/damp/Letting Agent

    afternoon
    this is quite long winded so will keep this as short as possible!
    i rented a proprty through a large LA. our deposit is with the TDS.
    Property was lovely when we moved in last april and had my baby girl. as the weather turned colder things started to get worse. the initial rental period was 6 months. we were bugged in oct by the LA to renew. we did this on the grounds that the LL would look and solve the windows as a matter of urgency which was advised in an emal form the LL to the LA. the property is quite old and detached, no insulation,damp proofing and single glazed windows in need of serious repair (putty coming away etc)
    throught the winter we repeatedly reported ice on the inside of the windows damp and mould spots occuring throughout the house. we repeatedly asked for something to be done as with a baby in the house this was not healthy and the house was always freezing evebn though the boiler was on, we had to use additional oil heaters in each room! when it came to the end of the 2nd 6month term we started to question again if the windows would be done. we were informed the LL had given us notice.
    we moved out and while moving out our belongings, found numerous items of ours to be damp and mouldy inc the back of our wardrobe, guys it was disgusting green mould all up the back of it!
    we cleaned the property and moved out. the LL has come back claiming to want to take nearly £300 out of our deposit for a variety of silly things. the LA who initially seemed to be on our side and over the phone reported only a couple of things wrong with the proprty, have now seemed to have taken the LL side - when asked to have a copy of the checkout reportm, it reads as a rewrite of the email from the landlord!
    i can accept a couple of cleaning issues ie i missed wiping down a couple of skirtings, but they are complaining that we havent upkept the garden (our argument is its not been the right weather to do so recently!) the bathroom floor is wooden and polished and they want to revarnish the whole lot saying we have cayused more fair wear and tear...the list goes on.
    id like some advice of if we go to the TDS if i have reported damp issues and my property is damamged am i in my rights to claim money back for this? i have photos of everything that has happened. i am worried that now it seems that the LL and the LA have teamed up together whether the TDS is on their side also or entirely third party?
    also the proprty is now being rented out again, can they do this?
    im sorry its very long there is so much that has gone on im just trying to narrow it down!
    any information would be much appreciated
    thank you

    #2
    Originally posted by bigbrowneyes View Post
    no insulation,damp proofing and single glazed windows in need of serious repair (putty coming away etc)
    Insulation isn't the landlords responsibility, and if the property NEVER had a damp course, neither is the damp course. Windows may be his responsibility under section 11 of the 1985 Landlord & Tenant act, but it depends on if they still served their purpose
    throught the winter we repeatedly reported ice on the inside of the windows damp and mould spots occuring throughout the house. we repeatedly asked for something to be done as with a baby in the house this was not healthy
    Damp is only the landlords responsibility if it is a structural fault - leaky roof, cracked walls etc. What is often confused with damp is condensation - this is caused by moisture in the house (cooking, bathing, breathing!, drying laundry) condensing on cold surfaces before it gets the chance to escape.
    and the house was always freezing evebn though the boiler was on, we had to use additional oil heaters in each room!
    Did you ask to see the Energy Performance Certificate (example) when you moved in? It was your legal right and would have given you an indication of the cost of heating and lighting the property
    when it came to the end of the 2nd 6month term we started to question again if the windows would be done. we were informed the LL had given us notice.
    As is his right
    we moved out and while moving out our belongings, found numerous items of ours to be damp and mouldy inc the back of our wardrobe, guys it was disgusting green mould all up the back of it!
    The problem is identifying if the damp was caused by the landlords failure or condensation - if the latter, you have no claim, if you can PROVE the former, then you could probably claim for the damage via www.moneyclaim.gov.uk
    we cleaned the property and moved out. the LL has come back claiming to want to take nearly £300 out of our deposit for a variety of silly things. the LA who initially seemed to be on our side and over the phone reported only a couple of things wrong with the proprty, have now seemed to have taken the LL side - when asked to have a copy of the checkout reportm, it reads as a rewrite of the email from the landlord!
    i can accept a couple of cleaning issues ie i missed wiping down a couple of skirtings, but they are complaining that we havent upkept the garden (our argument is its not been the right weather to do so recently!) the bathroom floor is wooden and polished and they want to revarnish the whole lot saying we have cayused more fair wear and tear...the list goes on.
    id like some advice of if we go to the TDS if i have reported damp issues and my property is damamged am i in my rights to claim money back for this? i have photos of everything that has happened. i am worried that now it seems that the LL and the LA have teamed up together whether the TDS is on their side also or entirely third party?
    An approach to TDS is exactly what you should do. The TDS is supposedly independant, but many feel that it errs on the side of the tenant because of the levels of proof required from the landlord.
    also the proprty is now being rented out again, can they do this?
    I am not sure why you think he wouldn't be allowed to re-let the property.

    Comment


      #3
      hi thanks so much for your input!
      i thought if there was a amount of the deposit under dispute the landlord should not be re renting the property until this is resolved?
      we had a lot of damp around the windows from condensation the the windows im assuming this would then leak in around the walls causing mould which we had to constantly wipe off. their was a damp patch/leak in my daughters room but this didnt affect anything. we got mould on our pillows and our mattress which we had to throw away. the wardobe wasnt even right up against the wall in the bedroom!
      just from reading our tenency agreement i thought that if we notified them several times of the problems, and the fact that he advised us he would get it sorted and didnt, that we would be entitled to claim off him? we even got somebody from environmental health in to look at the proprty who advised there was a major issue (oh and the loft conversion was illegal) and advised there was a grant avaliable for the council to pay for half of everything i.e double glazing insulation etc etc and he didnt even bother contacting them!

      Comment


        #4
        A copy of the EHOs report would probably stand up in court if you wanted to sue him for your damaged items - you would have to prove what was damaged, and like a landlord making deductions from a deposit, you would not get 100% of the value - for example, you might only get half the replacement value of a 5 year old wardrobe.

        Comment


          #5
          I would definitely refuse to accept the loss of your deposit, even if you cannot recover the value opf any of the other items.
          Mrs Jones
          I am not an expert - my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as fact!!

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Mrs Jones View Post
            I would definitely refuse to accept the loss of your deposit, even if you cannot recover the value opf any of the other items.
            I agree. There is no good reason why the LL should get to keep it. Raise a dispute.
            '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


              #7
              Property was lovely when we moved in
              Yeah, go on...

              we had a lot of damp around the windows from condensation the the windows

              we had a lot of damp around the windows from condensation the the windows im assuming this would then leak in around the walls causing mould which we had to constantly wipe off. their was a damp patch/leak in my daughters room but this didnt affect anything. we got mould on our pillows and our mattress which we had to throw away
              Sounds to me like lifestyle-related condensation.

              That means, caused by the tenant(s).

              Tenants dry their washing indoors, use calor gas heaters and boil water/have baths without ever allowing the moisture out of the property, THEN, when they have caused hundreds of £££ in damage, they blame the landlord.

              Seen it all before...

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Perplexed View Post
                Yeah, go on...



                Sounds to me like lifestyle-related condensation.

                That means, caused by the tenant(s).

                Tenants dry their washing indoors, use calor gas heaters and boil water/have baths without ever allowing the moisture out of the property, THEN, when they have caused hundreds of £££ in damage, they blame the landlord.

                Seen it all before...
                RUBBISH! I myself was a tenant in a flat with appalling windows, took LL 10 months to replace a large window on 2nd floor of building that was on the verge of falling out.. EHO out too! i could do NOTHING about the condensation, I could not open the windows as one was perspex, one the frame had rotten so badly it did not even hold the pane of glass and the third was getting as bad! The flat also had no heating....

                Please do not tar all tenants with the same brush.....
                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!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by justaboutsane View Post
                  RUBBISH! I myself was a tenant in a flat with appalling windows, took LL 10 months to replace a large window on 2nd floor of building that was on the verge of falling out.. EHO out too! i could do NOTHING about the condensation, I could not open the windows as one was perspex, one the frame had rotten so badly it did not even hold the pane of glass and the third was getting as bad! The flat also had no heating....
                  Well, you were lucky! In our cardboard box, we didn't even have any winders! Condensation would ha' bin a luxury! We could ha' sucked it up through a straw for us breakfast.
                  '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


                    #10
                    It's the condensation culture...
                    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.
                    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                      It's the condensation culture...
                      Yeah, condensation comes in through the windows, we all know that!

                      Unless it's caused by that nasty landlord, of course...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Damp v Condensation.

                        We had previous tenants who contacted us re a damp problem in a flat. Initially I went to inspect and immediately saw it was condensation forming on cold surfaces because the tenants refused to have the heating turned up to a level that I would consider normal....in fact we wondered if they were using it at all. Added to this they had no windows open even on vent and had washing drying in the bathroom. They had also disconected the automatice extractor, that came on with the bathroom light, so that it didn't come on at all.

                        I tactfully explained that it was the way they were living in the property that was causing the problem but they refused to accept this. We therefore requested a surveyor who worked for the property's managing agent (it was a leashold flat) to come out and inspect the property for any underlying structural problems. He found none but did comment on the fact that the replacement UPVC double glazing was too good at keeping out the drafts that would have naturally ventillated the property. His solution was more heating and more ventillation. The tenants were horified by this and said why should they waste money heating a flat that was empty all day and that they didn't want more ventillation as that would let heat escape. We therefore agreed at our own expense to fit a ventillation unit - it works by slowly filtering new air in and old air out thus ventillating the property without loss of heat and costs just pence a day to run. It is silent and mounted high up on a wall so we felt this was a good solution.

                        Long and short of it - 2 years later they have moved out leaving a mould and damp problem because we have subsequently found out they turned the ventillator thing off and still were not using the bathroom extractor. Seems with some people you just can't win!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Perplexed View Post
                          Yeah, condensation comes in through the windows, we all know that!
                          Windows XP?
                          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.
                          2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                          3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                          4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by HelenP View Post
                            Damp v Condensation.

                            We had previous tenants who contacted us re a damp problem in a flat. Initially I went to inspect and immediately saw it was condensation forming on cold surfaces because the tenants refused to have the heating turned up to a level that I would consider normal....in fact we wondered if they were using it at all. Added to this they had no windows open even on vent and had washing drying in the bathroom. They had also disconected the automatice extractor, that came on with the bathroom light, so that it didn't come on at all.

                            I tactfully explained that it was the way they were living in the property that was causing the problem but they refused to accept this. We therefore requested a surveyor who worked for the property's managing agent (it was a leashold flat) to come out and inspect the property for any underlying structural problems. He found none but did comment on the fact that the replacement UPVC double glazing was too good at keeping out the drafts that would have naturally ventillated the property. His solution was more heating and more ventillation. The tenants were horified by this and said why should they waste money heating a flat that was empty all day and that they didn't want more ventillation as that would let heat escape. We therefore agreed at our own expense to fit a ventillation unit - it works by slowly filtering new air in and old air out thus ventillating the property without loss of heat and costs just pence a day to run. It is silent and mounted high up on a wall so we felt this was a good solution.

                            Long and short of it - 2 years later they have moved out leaving a mould and damp problem because we have subsequently found out they turned the ventillator thing off and still were not using the bathroom extractor. Seems with some people you just can't win!
                            A had a similar amusing tale, one of our tenants phoned me saying "Matthew, Matthew you must come and see this problem in the bathroom, you must fix it!" he is Eastern European and his English is not great to I came to see the problem.

                            There was a huge growth of black fluffy mould growing around the bath, it was quite amazing and it was apparent the bath had not been cleaned since they moved in (18 months previous). I went and bought the poor chap some mildew and mould spray and some limescale remover and showed him for the first time in his life, how to clean a bath.

                            Armed with his new knowledge he and his girlfriend no longer have a mould problem. (btw they also disconnected the extractor fan)

                            Beggars belief

                            Comment


                              #15
                              If the bath was full of mould, however did they store their coal?
                              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.
                              2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                              Comment

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