As a Tenant, should I have to pay?

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  • As a Tenant, should I have to pay?

    Hi all

    I have a complex question that has aroused from complex circumstances.

    Basically I moved into a one bed flat in an old building just over 5 months ago and I paid £650 deposit into the Deposit Protection Service.

    After a month I noticed mould growing rather badly on the outside wall in the bedroom. I told the landlord and they told me to ensure air circulation etc so from then on I was very on top opening windows and I cleaned the mould well. I am a good tenant and pay all my bills and rent on time and I cleaned the flat all the time.

    It came back regardless and I told the landlord. They kindly lent me a dehumidifier and a portable oil heater/radiator which I put on for a few hours most days to help get the damp out of the room.

    The mould still came back, by which point I just carried on cleaning it off and it began spreading all over the flat. I would move a sofa and there would be mould behind it and it felt never ending but I was trying my best to keep it at bay. One day I got fed up and complained to the landlord. I thought that there must be a moisture problem in the flat. One thing I had noticed is that the double glazing isn't actually sealed properly and there is condensation inbetween the glass on some windows. The landlords told me that it was a wet summer and probably hadn't dried out well and that their previous tenant never had mould problems (which i dont believe). They also said it was probably because my partner (who was visiting me from denmark for a few months on holiday) was in the flat all the time and was a cause for moisture.

    Anyway moving on, I submitted my tenancy in the end as I was planning to move. I knew the mould was pretty bad and I had told the landlord a few times but I didnt really realise how bad because when I lifted my mattress off the carpet (no bed frame because I didnt have the money for it) there was a huge patch of bright orange foul smelling mould underneath it and infested into the carpet. It completely destroyed the carpet, all the fibres came away. I told the landlord because I was somewhat scared it might be a more serious dry rot from the floorboards but they lifted the carpet and there was no rot underneath so they continued to blame it on the sweat that we generate when we sleep.

    I feel bad because I know now that it was because the mattress was on the floor but a part of me feels like surely there is a moisture problem within the flat itself as well and that isn't my fault. They also came once a month to collect payment for the bills and check the fire alarms, so they had seen my mattress on the floor but didnt suggest anything to me.

    Now they are asking me to pay £147 in cash for replacing the carpet and that once I have done that they will return my deposit through the Deposit Protection Service.

    Should I have to pay? I understand it was my fault for having the mattress on the floor but I also told the landlord several times about the mould. I have even taken many photos. I had the mattress on the floor in same space for nearly 3 months in total, before that I moved it around regularly.

    What do I do? Is it just one of those things that I have to pay or should I act and defend myself?

    Thank you so much for any advice and help as I feel lost and on the fence with this one. I paid a lot of money each month in rent (550!).

  • #2
    For a speedy resolution, I would tell them to reduce the amount of the deposit by £147, and send you the rest.
    Do not pay them £147 in order to get "x" amount back. It makes no sense.
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by thesaint View Post
      For a speedy resolution, I would tell them to reduce the amount of the deposit by £147, and send you the rest.
      Do not pay them £147 in order to get "x" amount back. It makes no sense.
      I think theyre trying to do me a favour in that if I paid by cash, the full deposit will be paid back to me more quickly.

      My question is, should I have to pay?

      Comment


      • #4
        From what you say the answer is no. The adjudication procedure is free and will be looked at impartially so use it. If you don't agree the landlord has no choice but to "prove" his case, and there will be less onus on you to disprove it.
        The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Paul_f View Post
          From what you say the answer is no. The adjudication procedure is free and will be looked at impartially so use it. If you don't agree the landlord has no choice but to "prove" his case, and there will be less onus on you to disprove it.
          Would I go about doing that through the DPS?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MollyParker View Post
            Would I go about doing that through the DPS?
            Yes you would and you will find instructions on their website. You will need your registration number to access it.
            The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Do you know if the £147 is the full cost of replacing the carpet?

              The LL should take the life expectancy and age of the old carpet in to account eg 5 year old carpet expected to last 10 years worst case you would be liable for only half the replacement cost.

              Comment


              • #8
                Quite often, damp/condensation/mould problems are due to 'tenant lifestyle' as opposed to structural defects.

                Were you drying your clothes indoors on radiators/airing racks? If so, did you open windows, and ventilate properly?

                I have to say that the LL's claim of £147 seems fairly unaggressive and although, of course, you should not pay it if you are not in any way liable for the damage, if there is any doubt about the cause of the damp/mould then it may be sensible to consider a settlement.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I had tenants who dried their washing inside the flat and only heated the flat the bare minimum

                  This led to mould growing on their clothes kept under the bed. It has never been a problem before or since.

                  Pasted from another thread:
                  Horsepig’s FREE mould tips;

                  1. One of the main causes of mould growth is lack of air movement, so my number one tip is to keep ventilation going.
                  2. Number two tip is not to dry washing in the house on radiators, despite denying it profusely, I see many tenants that do just that and wonder why there is black mould all over the walls.
                  3. Number three tip is to install a 'whole house vent', although these are not cheap, they do cut down on mould growth by keeping a constant air flow through the house. They are generally mounted in the attic and have an outlet through the ceiling on the landing.
                  4. Number four tip, paint your bathroom and kitchen walls with eggshell paint NOT emulsion. The eggshell is oil based and forms a moisture barrier in the two rooms most likely to suffer from mould growth.
                  5. Use an extractor fan to remove water vapour from the kitchen and bathroom when cooking or using a bath/shower.
                  6. Keep the property warm, brickwork that is cold will condense the water content of warm/hot air out onto itself leading to mould growth.
                  7. Wash any affected areas with a mould inhibiting wash. 'Mould inhibiting wash' is just a generic term for any one of a number of solutions used to kill and inhibit mould, they do not have to be proprietory branded solutions although these are available. Substances like vinegar, ammonia, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, borax and baking soda can all be used to treat mould. Some of these things will already be within reach of the householder making the treatment easier. Each has it's own use. Most branded decorating manufacturers make 'mildew sprays' for pre treatment of walls etc before paperhanging or painting.
                  8. In extreme cases, use a dehumidifier to control the moisture content of the air.
                  9. Oh, here's a bonus tip, don't store large amounts of furniture or other goods that will hinder the passage of air, I once attended a property that was chocked full of stuff with literally a passage to walk through the house, needless to say, they had mould issues.
                  All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bel View Post
                    I had tenants who dried their washing inside the flat and only heated the flat the bare minimum

                    This led to mould growing on their clothes kept under the bed. It has never been a problem before or since.
                    Last year I had a tenant who complained of mould and condensation, the first ever time in over 10 years I'd had such a complaint, and I know there is no structural defect. The property is dry as a bone. It turned out he was regularly cooking a lot of rice, and not ventilating. Result: steam, condensation and mould.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Mould behind sofa etc does sound like condensation is the cause. What floor is the flat on?

                      Sounds like tenants responsibility to me and £147 for new carpet sounds reasonable.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MollyParker View Post
                        I think theyre trying to do me a favour in that if I paid by cash, the full deposit will be paid back to me more quickly.
                        If you don't dispute the amount with the DPS, it will take exactly the same amount of time to get the deposit back. If you do argue the toss, then all bets are off of course.

                        Originally posted by westminster View Post
                        Last year I had a tenant who complained of mould and condensation, the first ever time in over 10 years I'd had such a complaint
                        Yes I have a property which occasionally 'suffers' in this way; and it's very obviously dependent on which tenants are living there at the time.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by westminster View Post
                          Quite often, damp/condensation/mould problems are due to 'tenant lifestyle' as opposed to structural defects.

                          Were you drying your clothes indoors on radiators/airing racks? If so, did you open windows, and ventilate properly?

                          I have to say that the LL's claim of £147 seems fairly unaggressive and although, of course, you should not pay it if you are not in any way liable for the damage, if there is any doubt about the cause of the damp/mould then it may be sensible to consider a settlement.
                          No I was a good tenant. I thoroughly read the manual I was given when I moved in and I always used the washing machine and tumble drier supplied in the laundry room. I never dried clothes indoors. I left windows a crack open most of the time in the bedroom and bathroom. I also always put on the fans that suck out the steam from the shower and in the kitchen when oven and shower in use and left them on for a while afterwards. I always left the bathroom window open and the door closed so that moisture from in there was as trapped as possible.

                          What's is getting to me is that I did everything I could think of to help the damp. I can't help that I breathe moisture as a human being. It's an old Cornish building so I understand mould happens, but I had no idea that it would grow under the mattress like it did! I would have moved the mattress and propped it up on its side had I thought something like that was going to happen.

                          Also, I don't control the heating, it's controlled by the landlord who put it on at set times in the morning and evening. It's a ground floor flat and a very old building.

                          I can't describe enough how much of a clean person I am so when I saw the mould for the FIRST time, I was on it straight away and followed all advice given to me. I cleaned mould off walls and skirtings every two weeks. The landlords saw that I had the mattress on the floor the whole time I was there and never warned me of what could happen. I never intentionally neglected the flat or the carpet, it completely never occured to me the mould would grow underneath the mattress as I was so distracted by the mould on the walls.

                          I'd actually be quite happy to go halves on the price as a gesture of good will because the mattress shouldn't have been on the floor. To be honest the whole thing just leaves you feeling quite ripped off, it cost so much money to live there. My partner thought the mould was disgusting and far less fair on it than I was but he comes from Denmark where buildings are better and the heating is on 24/7. My parents weren't impressed by the mould either. I don't know I can see both sides.

                          I mean, rent that costs £550 pcm for a one bed flat, kitchen/diner/lounge all in one room. No control of heating times and the hot water for the taps was heated using an electric water heater. The only reason they are able to charge such amount is because of the location and I wish I could have found somewhere cheaper. I've paid so much rent and worked hard to keep the flat in good condition and it's all just been so stressfull because of the mould.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MollyParker View Post
                            I think theyre trying to do me a favour in that if I paid by cash, the full deposit will be paid back to me more quickly.
                            It would be quicker to deduct the money from the deposit held, than for you to pay, and then receive the full deposit back.

                            Originally posted by MollyParker View Post

                            My question is, should I have to pay?
                            No one here can tell you that. If you don't believe you should, then you dispute it.
                            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It's a poor do if you cannot control the heating as that is a major part of condensation control.

                              On the other hand you had the mattress on the carpet. The mattress or carpet underneath might have got wet at some stage and the carpet festered. You would have noticed if there had been a problem with the carpet before you put down the mattress. you cannot prove the carpet is a direct result of the other damp issues. It's likely the carpet would still be intact if your mattress was not on the floor.

                              You should not have to pay the full price of a new carpet though.
                              All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                              You can search the forums here:

                              Comment

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