Damp/condensation, a landlords curse.....can anyone help?

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    Damp/condensation, a landlords curse.....can anyone help?

    Hi Guys

    Hoping someone can help.

    Letting agent informed me on 10th November that a tenant had complained of damp in one bedroom and bathroom (bathroom has an extractor fan) and that they had asked my contractor to take look.

    The tenants have told letting agent that the damp is very bad in the front bedroom, they have recently moved their wardrobe as they have noticed that the mould has destroyed some their clothes and shoes, they noticed thick damp behind the wardrobe which is also 'destroyed'. Tenant has sent pictures of all of their damaged items and of the damp. Tenant has stated they wish to be compensated for these items. They are also going to contact environmental health if I don't rectify the issue as they feel the property is slowly becoming uninhabitable. From the pictures (attached) damp does not look that severe to me.Tenant has told letting agent that her father who is a property developer (!) has looked at the damp and believes it is because there are no air bricks in the chimney.

    Contractor has reported back on 20th November with:

    'Following my visit to to the above property I have found condensation to front bedroom as the tenant was using the room to dry their laundry, and recommend the installation of a positive air control unit along with a new extractor fan to bathroom.'

    Tenant is still insistent she wants an air brick fitted.
    My issues are:
    1) my contractor is saying this is condensation therefore is the issue more the tenants lack of ventilation? It certainly looks like condensation damp to me...but I am not an expert.
    2) has the tenant any right to request compensation given this is seemingly a condensation issue? I feel I am acting on the problem swiftly, and have authorised the replacement of the extractor fan.
    3) I am in a bit of a dilemma. I have fitted these loft mounted air circulation systems in other properties and they are expensive but seem to work well but the tenant complains about electricity usage. Has anyone any thoughts on what they would do?
    4)I really don't want to fit any air bricks..I've read around damp forums and the general feeling is install them as a last resort only. Can anyone advise. Added to this, my contractor has since been back to the property for a second visit and checked the chimney which he states is fine.

    I have asked the tenants to get an insulation assessment from British Gas. I think the property is too old for cavity wall insulation and I know it has loft insulation already, but I think it wouldn't do any harm for British Gas to come in. However they are reluctant to do this saying the cavity is not adequate! Surely this is not their call!

    The property has an up to date damp proof course and EPC is energy rating D. The property is also accreditated to 5 starts by the local councils property accreditation scheme (the maximum it can achieve).

    Can anyone advise what I should do?

    Thanks for any help!
    Attached Files

    Assuming you have done everything you should have with the deposit, issue a S21 notice.


      Thnks for your reply JK0.Yeah deposit all protected correctly.

      I have attached another photo



        That is not massive, destructive damp!

        Agree with you that drying clothes is the room is responsible also 'still' air behind wardrobes is the classic place for damp.

        Suggest tenants get a dehumidifier if they persist in drying clothes in the rooms. I have a clause in my tenancy agreement saying that if T causes damp via condensation they are responsible for mold and damage resulting from that.

        Freedom at the point of zero............


          Agreed, lack of ventilation by tenant has caused this damage. Looks like an older property so you would expect some of this, more than in a modern property for sure.
          Long suffering Landlord.


            As said, the words from your contractor said it all ''drying clothes'', classic cause coupled with a lack of fresh air. Why people will not open a window or two every now and again is beyond me.


              Thanks too you all for your kind replies.....it has really helped.

              Thank you!


                Evict, s21.
                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...


                  Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                  Evict, s21.
                  Agreed, S21 ASAP.!

                  From your photographs, yes damp via condensation created by T - From my personal experience this is very minor, however it could much worse. Please do not let this happen.!

                  Also I suspect this is yet another T looking cash in on a self inflicted problem within your property..

                  As the lyrics go. It's Christmas Time......


                    Minor mould caused by condensation (T drying clothes, no air circulation behind wardrobe,wardrobetoo close to wall). Not LLs resp unless cold external wall or penetrating damp (broken gutter?). T should have contents insurance for her belongings.
                    To my knowledge, chimneys do not have air bricks, which are really to ventilate a cavity wall and certain rooms.


                      Originally posted by mariner View Post
                      To my knowledge, chimneys do not have air bricks, which are really to ventilate a cavity wall and certain rooms.
                      chimneys that have been capped off or have the fire opening bricked up often have air bricks to ensure that no damp issues arise from lack of air circulation.


                        Clean the walls and paint using an additive in the paint to stop the mould. These additives actually work! I have had to do this several times, as most tenants have no idea about opening windows. This will not cure the problem but will keep the mould at bay for some considerable time! You will never cure the problem until they start opening windows.


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