Letting agent lied about damp problem?

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    Letting agent lied about damp problem?

    Hi,

    I am a first time renter and have been in my property just under two months on a year contract with a 6 month break option.

    When I was initially shown around the property I was informed that bits had recently been done up and there was a section that was miss coloured in the hallway which I was told that there had been a damp problem but it had been completely fixed and the discolouration was just due to it drying out, I asked if this was the only place affected and they said yes.

    Fast forward a month and I started seeing wet patched appearing in the kitchen, I thought at first it might just be condensation but it got worse and a small amount of mould started forming in one of the place. I got the letting agent to arrange a damp specialist to come out who visited today and have confirmed the kitchen is riddled with damp ( which would need the entire kitchen ripped out to fix), that there is still damp in the hall in the place I had been told it had all been fixed and sorted (clearly a lie or the landlord had a cowboy in to do it), there is damp around light sockets and electrical sockets, the pluming in the shower is causing another leak somewhere and there is a possibility the (BRAND NEW) boiler is also leaking.

    All in all I am pretty peeved to be honest. If they hadn't said initially that the section I'd pointed out in the hall asking what was wrong with the walls, had had the damp problem totally fixed I never would have signed into the contract. From what I've seen so far the landlord has cheaped out in a lot of aspects.

    Ultimately I wonder where I stand in regards to the damp issue and the fact I was lie to by the letting agent that the bit that was noticeable at the time had been totally fixed and it was just drying?

    Emma

    #2
    This sort of thing is usually caused by the tenant not ventilating the property adequately, then condensation turns to mould. Depending on your TA you may be responsible for it, unless it is rising damp.

    Comment


      #3
      The damp specialist who came to check the property today has said categorically this is not something that we have caused. Being in the kitchen and obviously cooking etc I even have to keep the windows open the entire time because the extractor fan doesn't work too well.

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        #4
        From what you are saying it is not a lot of mould and so it won't affect your health. Keep the windows wide open. Meanwhile your LL is probably doing all he can do to help you; after all LA brought the damp specialist. Wait till the fixed term of the tenancy finishes and then leave if you are still unhappy but don't create trouble for your LL as he does not want mould in his house anymore than you do.

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          #5
          or you can activate the 6 month break clause with NTQ.

          Comment


            #6
            Emma
            I have lived in damp properties and it isn't pleasant. Eventually all your belongings and furniture will get damp.
            Bearing in mind the very wet winter, some normally damp free properties have been suffering, and the next four months until the break should be drier, so you may wish to wait and leave on the break day. You don't say where the property is and how difficult it will be to find somewhere else.
            If I were you I would contact the Landlord directly and ask for a site meeting to show the damp. If that offer isn't taken up, I would ask another specialist company to come in and report to you. Usually this would be free, and pass on their report to the LL.
            The damp must be coming from somewhere, either penetrating damp from leaking roofs, roof valleys, chimneys, gutters downpipes etc. or failure of Damp Proof Membranes. Is the property traditionally built? Solid walls? Age etc.
            Bodging the decoration to get a place let is very common, and useless even in the short term. The cause of the damp has to been found and corrected first.
            In my view, together with a specialist report you have the right to walk away, pay rent to the last day of occupation and put a claim in for the return of your deposit. If you can take photos and videos as evidence that will help.
            Good luck
            Richard Oppé

            Informed, Independent and Honest Property Advisor

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by emmalouise281 View Post
              I was told that there had been a damp problem but it had been completely fixed and the discolouration was just due to it drying out
              emmalouise281, this is not necessarily deception... damp is always tricky. I have personal experience of being informed by experts that the damp issue in a property has been resolved, only to find out that there was still an issue. The biggest problem is that when work is carried out, you do have to wait some time before you can properly assess results, then - if the treatment hasn't worked - you're back to square one again. Damp is frustrating for everyone.

              Originally posted by emmalouise281 View Post
              ...confirmed the kitchen is riddled with damp ( which would need the entire kitchen ripped out to fix)
              It sounds, to me, that you are either in for a long-term damp problem or major inconvenience if all the work necessary is carried out to remediate the problem. If the Landlord agrees to rip out the kitchen to fix, does that make you happy or more annoyed? If the Landlord says it's not needed, against the advice given, is that more convenient or does it annoy you that it's not been addressed correctly?

              It sounds like you should decide to exercise your break clause in 4 months now. By that I mean - start planning everything you need to do now, start looking for another property etc., but make the decision that (unless you fail to find something more appropriate) you will be exercising the 6 month break clause.

              Originally posted by emmalouise281 View Post
              All in all I am pretty peeved to be honest.
              I think you should action your plans to move on... let the Agent and Landlord try to fix this when it's unoccupied or let it to some other mug. Just do everything you need to make sure no deposit deductions are claimed from you for causing any issues due to poor ventilation (I think you should be covered, so no real worry).

              Originally posted by emmalouise281 View Post
              Ultimately I wonder where I stand in regards to the damp issue and the fact I was lie to by the letting agent that the bit that was noticeable at the time had been totally fixed and it was just drying?
              Unfortunately, a lie can't really be proven, so I don't think you can get anywhere. I've personally had people tell me damp was fixed and it needed to dry out (and be monitored over months) only to find another problem later on, which was then addressed, then another. I think you need to punish the Landlord and Agent with your purse and walk away to another better property. Leave them to it unless there are reasons you would want to / must remain on in this environment.

              Comment


                #8
                Follow the advice here...
                http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad..._to_a_landlord

                &
                http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...d_safety/hhsrs
                & watch
                http://england.shelter.org.uk/campai...watch_our_film
                I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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