Tenant leaving no notice due to damp

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    Tenant leaving no notice due to damp

    First post, any opinions would be welcome. I have a 2 bed rental flat with rooms let separately to sharers, through an agency. In Nov we had a bathroom leak, took about 2 weeks for plumber to find it and fix by end of the month. The flat was very damp at this stage so as soon as we were sure the problem was solved I bought a dehumidifier, delivered mid Dec. The tenants used it for a week before going away for Xmas so flat still damp as of today (3rd Jan 13) but getting better, expected back to normal mid Jan.
    The agency got an email 31st Dec from one of the tenant's HR people to say due to the damp she was leaving as of 3rd Jan and expected the deposit back other wise they would take legal advice.
    Is this fair? I understand she hasn't had a great time so far but I've done all I can to fix the problem. Does she have grounds to leave with no notice?

    I can not comment on 'rights' but I suspect that if you expected tenants to pay for the running of the humidifier to sort out your problem then that may not put you in a good light if you were to take this to court - possibly the tenant could convince a court that it would have been unreasonable for him/her to stay in the property.

    Did you offer alternative accomodation or expect tenants to stay in a 'very damp' flat in the middle of winter?

    Personally, I'd swallow it. Return the deposit and once the flat is presentable, find a replacement tenant.


      I agree with Snorkerz. Get the place dried out and get another tenant. If this happens again offer to pay for the elec and maybe an amount towards heating to dry it out.

      You've done what you can. These things happen.


        What have the tenant's "HR people" have to do with anything?
        They do not know anything about the law in this area, and one would have assumed that they would have taken legal advice first...

        I would start by playing hard ball (communicate with T only, claim for rent for full tenancy if fixed term or until end of a valid notice to quit), then make a good will offer to soften the pill if they don't let go.


          I agree fully with Snorkerz, I very much doubt this is worth pursuing.


            Thanks for the replies. Sorry, forgot to mention I've agreed to pay any extra electric for the dehumidifier. The HR person is involved as the tenant is only 18 and on a placement from abroad so they are kind of chaperoning her.
            I may try a compromise and give half the deposit back but it seems like I may have to let it go.


              Originally posted by mrrichard View Post
              I understand she hasn't had a great time so far but I've done all I can to fix the problem. Does she have grounds to leave with no notice?
              No, in a word. I assume the bathroom was still useable, albeit damp?

              When does/did the T's fixed term expire?


                Some crazy answers here... If the Landlord takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the damage is rectified then the tenant has no right to claim the lease is null and void - without a clause for unilateral termination, the tenant would have to apply to the courts. Why should you as the Landlord be out of pocket when you've done your best to resolve the problem?
                [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]


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