Condensation/Mould issues in flat and Tenant complaints

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    Condensation/Mould issues in flat and Tenant complaints

    Hi all,

    I was wondering if I could get some advice on the following matter as my tenants are threatening legal action against me.

    Three weeks ago my tenants (who moved in at the beginning of August 2014) contacted me to say that some of their clothes which they had stored in a storage cupboard (which is situated on the basement level with no ventilation and opposite a bathroom) had been affected by mould spores, and that they expected me to cover the cost of dry cleaning them.

    A few days later I paid a visit to the flat to take some photos and examine the damage, which also included mould spores on other items on one of the ground floor room upstairs (incidentally which is also opposite another bathroom).

    I explained to my tenants that I would need to determine the root cause of the damage before providing any compensation as I believed the issue to be ventilation but agreed in the meantime to lend them a dehumidifier as well as also purchasing a non electric dehumidifier to keep their energy costs down, dehumidifiers for clothing and a moisture reader (the latter which I am still currently waiting for in the post). I also agreed that if the reader proved there was a damp problem I would have a survey carried out and would look to have an additional air brick fitted or a heat ventilation system installed. Although I initially felt I shouldn’t pay for the dry cleaning, I was advised by family members I should reimburse them as a one off good will gesture

    I also suggested to my tenants to see if they could claim via their contents insurance (I even suggested they could claim with my building insurance as I am a joint freeholder) as there was a leak the week before which affected some of the other flats in the building and thought there might be a possibility the two incidents could be connected? I also explained to my tenants that I was going to my on annual leave from 25th September and would not be back till early October so that they could liaise with my father on by behalf.

    While I was away I had limited access to my e-mails but when checking yesterday received two e-mails from them explaining that there was now mould spores on the painted walls, that they were unwilling to claim with their insurance as it would bring up their premium, and that they would be looking to take legal action against me if nothing further was done.

    I didn't have this issue with my previous tenants other than some black mould in the bathroom and a bit of a damp smell. When I originally purchased the property in 2012, I had a RICS home buyer report, but upon review there was no mention of the property having a damp problem. I did however have 4 companies in as extra assurance including Rentolkil and Enviorvent who told me that the problem was a ventilation issue and not a damp one because there hadn’t been signs of penetrating or rising damp.

    To make matters more complicated the flat next door has complained about damp problems, and has had Peter Cox in to run a report.

    I have thought about contacting my solicitor for advice but as her isn't a property expert felt it would be worthwhile getting some advice via the forum as well we possibly the citizens advice bureau?....

    Many thanks

    Stella

    #2
    Who on earth keeps clothes in a cupboard in a basement?

    Just issue a S21 notice, and get rid of the humid b*ggars. (Not Section 8) Don't pay any more compensation.
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

    Comment


      #3
      It sounds like you have the perfect mix of a damp property and dumb tenants.

      Your council will have some kind of tenancy officer who might be able to help.
      When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
      Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by JK0 View Post
        Who on earth keeps clothes in a cupboard in a basement?

        Just issue a S21 notice, and get rid of the humid b*ggars. (Not Section 8) Don't pay any more compensation.
        Agreed issue S21 ASAP!

        @jpkeates

        From my personal experience, my local council hindered the LL rather than help in such circumstances:-

        Why:-

        1. My local council appears to favour any such tenant

        2. I respectfully advise you any council will inspect your property in great detail, with my local authority approximately 30ish

        3. Most of such defects identified by a NON qualified inspector

        4. Other than Damp/mould - You could well be instructed to spend thousands on your property within a restricted timescale by your local authority for many defects

        Good luck..

        Comment


          #5
          Yep, get rid under S21, It does sound like the property has no fresh air coming in, my tenants appeared to be similar to yours (although they have now taken my advice), They now open a window or two every now and again and the '' problem '' has gone away..... amazing.

          Comment


            #6
            Indeed:

            Had 2 cases this year of different tenants complaining of damp/mould/condensation: One the worst I have ever seen. Gave notice to both. Opened windows a bit & turned heating on in both. 2 weeks later, both cases, problem solved.

            I'm told these guys...
            http://www.envirovent.com/news/artic...ng-award-2014/
            - have low-noise fans that can be wired in permanently...
            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...

            Comment

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