Fungus on wall..... Would this class as inhabitable?

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    Fungus on wall..... Would this class as inhabitable?

    Hi All

    I first discovered some mould / damp / fungus on some walls in the house in April 2012. The agent took photos then including behind the sofa where we sit each night. This area was damp to touch and the back of our cushion was also "wet".

    There has been works done on one bedroom but nothing has been done on an area behind our sofa. It is this area I am worried about.

    I checked behind the sofa again on the 4th November I saw and area spanning perhaps 1.3 meters across and perhaps 40cm high of a black/blue ash like stuff. As I said above I was told to wipe this which I did but I took pictures first.

    It seems to be growing again though 22nd November. It mentions in my contract about the place not being habitable and being able to cancel the contract after one month. It also mentions that a fair proportion of the rent should cease to be payable until it is resolved. Since this began in April I am wondering a few things:

    1. I am confused about this timing and who makes the call it is not habitable.
    2. Do I need to prove it is a fungus that affects health, who would be able to do that? Environmental health?
    3. How do you define inhabitable? The room does not resemble a scene from an alien film but I certainly would not put guests in the room.
    4. Do I have any right to see the Landlord’s Policy of Insurance to see if fungus / mould is covered?
    5. I only noticed now I should have asked for a reduction of rent at the very least. Can I retrospectively ask for that or how does the laws work here?
    6. My deposit is protected with the DPS but if I was able to leave the agreement with this, will the deposit be affected or should that be given back also as normal?


    Here is the section in question from the agreement.

    Interruptions to the Tenancy

    26.1. If the Premises are destroyed or made uninhabitable by fire or any other risk against which the Landlord’s Policy of Insurance has insured, rent shall cease to be payable until the Premises are reinstated and rendered habitable unless the insurance monies are not recoverable (whether in whole or in part) because of anything done or not done by the Tenant or his visitors.

    26.2. If the Premises are not made habitable within one month, either party may terminate this Agreement with immediate effect by giving written notice to the other party.

    26.3. In the event that any part of the Premises shall become unfit for normal use and habitation then a fair proportion of the rent shall cease to become payable until such time as the whole of the Premises are in a fit state for habitation and use.
    Would appreciate any advice, the canny amongst you will probably note I am interested in leaving the property anyway as it has been constant issues really but we have been locked in pretty good. Interested if this could be used to leave, and anyway if it is going to give me breathing problems I would rather not be sat 4 inches away from it each night.

    Thanks

    #2
    When did your tenancy start, and how long is the fixed term?
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by thesaint View Post
      When did your tenancy start, and how long is the fixed term?
      For reference under a different user name ! http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...=1#post4056392
      Fed up with nitpickers and rivet counters...

      Comment


        #4
        Whats the cause of dampness? To me it sounds as though there is a lack of ventilation behind sofa and its stagnant air and condensation. Try to give the walls as much room to aerate. Do you ventilate the room well?
        [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

        Comment


          #5
          Other than when you first noticed the problem have you reported it to the agent/LL?

          What are you hoping will happen:-
          Problem is fixed?
          Rent is reduced?
          House declared uninhabitable?
          You leave tenancy early?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by 45002 View Post
            For reference under a different user name ! http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...=1#post4056392
            Aaahhh, so they have renewed their tenancy despite having a damp problem.
            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

            Comment


              #7
              Agree with MrJB.

              What's the cause of the dampness? If it's condensation then it's [more than likely] the tenant's actions that are causing it.

              If it's not condesation then the cause needs to be found.

              As for whether the property is habitable or not I'd suggest it is based on the very limited information given.
              There is always scope for misinterpretation.

              If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

              Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

              Comment


                #8
                I did reply to you all, but it has not appeared ??

                Comment


                  #9
                  Says my post is a duplicate of a post made in the last five minutes?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Hmm

                    now saying a mod has to approve

                    Comment


                      #11
                      This is worth a read http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/utiliti...m?mediaid=5420

                      There are also a considerable amount of threads relating to condesation, mould, damp etc... contained in these forums so have a root around (assuming you're not Australian) the Energy Efficiency/EPC forum and this main one.

                      The vast majority of the time condesation is the cause of mould and this is a tenants issue to deal with.
                      There is always scope for misinterpretation.

                      If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

                      Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks I will do that indeed

                        IF i come across the info this may be moot, but just incase

                        Who can test it to tell what it actually is? Who has the authority to say "yep thats XYZ"?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by sungsam View Post
                          Thanks I will do that indeed

                          IF i come across the info this may be moot, but just incase

                          Who can test it to tell what it actually is? Who has the authority to say "yep thats XYZ"?

                          1 Clean up. Buy a tray of silica gel and place behind the sofa

                          2: Follow the advice on your local councils website or here http://www.arma.org.uk/doc/public/LA...--24-9-10-.pdf

                          if there is a significant improvement that C is the problem.

                          3: You can buy a hygrometer that will measure the moisture content.
                          De-humdifier can be rented for £30 a week. Agree that with the agent having tried the obvious.

                          That is not to say that some walls may have a problem or an external source such as wet wall from rain water gutters overflow high ground levels blocked cavity or just have a low U value.

                          But when you hear hoof beats you look for horses first, condensation, before zebras, building defects.
                          Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The tenant WILL more than likely be causing the condensation, however are they really responsible for the problem?

                            I have lived in many rental properties in Scotland in the past, from Old tenement buildings to 1950's ex council. It was the ex-council property that caused me problems and I had terrible condensation and mould everywhere. I had never had this problem before and I wasn't doing anything different that would cause it. I complained to the letting agent who said you need to open your windows to let air in,, Really? in a ground floor flat? I am meant to have a shower in the morning and leave the window open in the middle of Edinburgh when I go to work, allowing anyone to break in and rob the place?

                            I opened windows when I could, however the property didn't have an extractor fan in the bathroom or the Kitchen, I pointed this out to the Letting agent, but they were still not interested. A colleague who lived in a similar council property, but in Livingstone had an envirovent installed which totally cured the problem, its a fan that blows in air and stops mould growing. Apparently a lot of council properties in the area are getting them installed as its a major problem because concrete building don't breath and they are very poorly insulated, but then if you insulate a house by installing loft insulation or cavity wall insulation,, that can also lead to condensation and mould!

                            You can't build a house or do a major renovation without having mechanical ventilation so If you do have a property that gives you problems, ask yourself, does it at least have working extraction in the bathroom and kitchen? I have recently read that in the future that opening windows will no longer be a valid form of ventilation because of fuel poverty and heat loss, something to bear in mind.

                            Comment

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