Mould caused by tenant never opening windows

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    Mould caused by tenant never opening windows

    Hi all, im a landlord and need some advise on some current tenants Im having problems with. The flat it self had been completely restored to high standard finish back in January.

    The new tenants moved in 7 weeks ago to a very clean and tidy flat with no problems and everything completely furnished (4 month contract). Two weeks ago the called me to tell me of mould problems that seemed to be growing within the wardrobes etc... Upon investigation it was clear that it was caused by their lifestyle and never opening windows! The flat has a power shower and I suspect the window was never left open in the morning.

    Anyway after a big frucus saying that everything had been damaged including clothes and that it was becuase of mould and structural problems, the tenants said they could not live at the place and that they would be moving out. This was all suppose to happen by yesterday, they still have things there. Ive had the council come in to inspect the place to check for structural problems and they confirm it is definetly condensation problems caused by the tenants.

    They also have FAILED to make a payment for rent this month and are more or less refusing to pay anything (this was before the council outcome). Today they are expecting to meet me to pickup their security deposit and just walk away.

    Now I understand that they have suffered as a cause of this but Ive had to change two bed frames, the whole place needs cleaning as they havnt done a very good job of it. Shower curtain has mould and I'm not certain if all teh bills have been paid for or not. Also, they have not really cleaned the place properly, the oven and fridge is a state!

    Im think of asking for the following:

    - Rent for upto 10 days of the month (They stayed for 12/13 days)
    - half of the cost for bedframes changing (£200 for the pair, was planning to change in January anyway though).
    - £50 cleaning bill (for time it will take to clean oven, kitchen etc.. @ £7.50 for 7 hours).
    - £10 for a halogen bulb (including time/labour to buy/install)

    What i want to know is, can this all be taken out from their security deposit without any legal implications or do I have to get the money from them seperately becuase they failed to pay rent? Or is it a case of deducting everything except the rent?

    #2
    If your tenants actions (or inaction) cause damage then you are within your rights to recoup the cost from their deposit. Make sure you obtain receipts of all purchases as proof. You cannot charge yourself for your time.

    What a perfectly idiotic set of people to not know that adequate ventilation involves opening windows on a daily basis. Can't wait to hear when they request a reference from you...

    Comment


      #3
      What annoyed me was that the blamed me for everything, wanted me to pay for all their dry cleaning bills, to professionally clean the carpets, matress, curtains etc...

      She also went onto to say her mother was a structural architect (over in the states) and that its was definetly a structual problem. Im trying to be friendly and not charge for other cleaning things such as resealing some parts of kitchen sillicon etc..

      So can I take out the outstanding rent from this or do I need to take that seperately?

      What about utility bills, phone line, internet? I dont want the address blacklisted or make it difficult to ontain credit for future tenants.

      Thanks in advance

      Comment


        #4
        Bad debts follow the person not the address so I wouldn't worry at all about the utilities. They are not your responsibility.

        Tell them that if there is anything left over from their deposit you will forward it to their new address .. and then if you get any bills in their name you can forward those as well.

        Originally posted by homeowner View Post
        What about utility bills, phone line, internet? I dont want the address blacklisted or make it difficult to ontain credit for future tenants.

        Thanks in advance
        Any information or opinion given in this post is based only on my personal experience, what I have learned from this, other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person. E&OE

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by homeowner View Post
          The new tenants moved in 7 weeks ago to a very clean and tidy flat with no problems and everything completely furnished (4 month contract). Two weeks ago the called me to tell me of mould problems that seemed to be growing within the wardrobes etc... Upon investigation it was clear that it was caused by their lifestyle and never opening windows! The flat has a power shower and I suspect the window was never left open in the morning.
          Have a look at this excellent article, on this very site:
          http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/pdf/Mould.pdf although might be a bit late in your case !

          Comment


            #6
            In the end, they paid for the 12/13 days they were there. Didn't ask for anything else as they will be spending the next few days on other peoples couches...

            The cleaning process has already begun, still lots to do, I definetly learnt from this experience and the dehumidifer I bought will definetly come in useful for the next tenents. If anyone is interested, I picked up a Amber Dry (http://www.breathingspace.co.uk/pages/amberdry.php) for £200 delievered and am very impressed on how much water it is sucking up!

            Thanks to all the replies!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by homeowner View Post
              the dehumidifer I bought will definetly come in useful for the next tenents.
              The trouble with humidifiers is that they are very expensive to run, and tenants are therefore disinclined to use one if provided. And if the underlying problem is caused by a building defect rather than the tenant's lifestyle (not sure which is the case here), then a humidifier is only masking the problem, not curing it: and is it really fair on the tenant to have to pay whopping electric bills as a result?

              Comment


                #8
                Have you considered having some sort of extractor fan fitted in the bathroom. My Aunt has one installed that switches on when the room reaches a certain level of humidity and then switches itself off after so long. I am not sure how much it cost and how much it was to be installed but it has made a difference in their shower room, even with the window open mould grew on the ceiling, now its very minimal.
                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
                  Humidistat fan £29.99 cat. no. 15722 from Screwfix.com or 0500 414141, ask for free catalogue Orders under £45 carry a £5.95 delivery charge. They also supply 2 other humidistat fanbut more expensive - but higher spec.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    But a dehumidifier also generates distilled water: useful for irons (and toppable-up car radiators) in hard-water areas.
                    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
                      So you may be eligible for an EU grant as you're saving all that water.....

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I had that problem, caused by airtight upvc windows and doors , bricked up chimneys, and draught proofing the house. I had air vents of the non-closable type installed in each room. As a matter of interest the mould in wardrobes, were they built-in wardrobes with the wall of the house forming the back or were they free standing? regards phil.

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