Rising Damp - Rehousing

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    Rising Damp - Rehousing

    I moved in to my ground floor flat in May and soon found the bedroom to be suffering with damp, and mold has started to appear on the walls.
    I have not been able to sleep in the bedroom for three weeks due to the damp and affect on my health

    The problem has got worse and the environmental health have issued a notice on the landlord to carry out repairs within 40 day.

    The remedial work requires the plaster to be chopped out and the structure to be dried out, not much chance with the recent weather.

    The work would cause problems to a fit and health person, but it is worse for me as I suffer with M.E and depression and the whole situation has impacted on my conditions.

    Is the landlord responsible to find me alternative accommodation charging me no more than my current rent?
    Am I within my rights to stop paying my rent as I have half a flat that I cannot use?

    The landlord has breached the contract as it states they will keep the structure in a good state of repair.
    I am aware I can take them to the small claims court, but would like peoples views initially.

    Many Thanks:

    #2
    I sympathise with your problems but in the cold light of day your landlord has to rectify the situation at minimum cost to himself. When I had damp in one of my properties, my cheapest option was to remove the tenant by serving them with a section 21 notice and repairing the damp problem, costing several thousand. Then I found a new tenant to occupy my shiny newly refurbished property. Apart from the refurbishment cost, it cost me two months rent - much cheaper than finding new accommodation for my old tenant, moving them to and fro, e.t.c.
    I regret to say it, but the same may well happen to you.

    P.P.
    Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

    Comment


      #3
      Agreed, I wouldn't attempt that kind of remedial work with a tenant in situ anyway. The disruption would be too much. Best to serve notice, not because I want to get rid of a moaning tenant, but it's quicker to do that kind of work with no-one in there.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by philip heath View Post
        I moved in to my ground floor flat in May and soon found the bedroom to be suffering with damp, and mould has started to appear on the walls.
        From your comment I gather that damp was not evident when you moved in, but later. Then you noticed mould starting to appear on the walls.

        If I were the owner I would be undertaking a professional survey, as rising damp is a highly unlikely cause.

        The easiest route for environmental health is to issue a Notice, however these are not written in stone and I have successfully defended one. The reason? condensation and lack of ventilation by the tenants.

        I am almost sure that the damp you are experiencing is from condensation, and the cure will be better ventilation - making sure that damp air from cooking and bathing/showering gets exhausted from the room it occurs in. Bedrooms tend to be the coolest rooms in the house, so this is where the dew point is met first - thus where most condensation on cold walls occurs, and then the resulting mould.
        On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

        Comment


          #5
          The mould caused by condensation damp is unique in the fact that it is the only black mould there is. Easy to spot if this is the case. Lot of debate still regarding the actual existance of Rising Damp. If it were rising damp would this be an issue for the freeholder rather than the leaseholder?

          Comment


            #6
            I have a block of flats with this exact problem, and in my case it's condensation. Wall cavity insulation will help as it will prevent the offending walls being so cold. If you are on benefits (not saying you are) this can be rectified FOC by any number of contractors.

            Ventilation is also an important factor, a factor which you can play a big part in.

            It may still be rising damp of course, and if it is you're not going to want to be living there when they fix it. A very dusty messy unpleasant job.

            Comment


              #7
              The property has been inspected by an independent damp specialist and it is definately rising damp.
              I appreciate all the comments about it being messy and dusty, but nobody has told me yet if it is the landlords responsibiltiy to find me alternative accomodation.

              Comment


                #8
                The landlord does not have a duty to re house you, but if the property is unihabitable, he should release you from your agreement and therefore the rent you are not paying to him/her goes towards your alternative accommodation. There should be some mention within your tenancy agreement, but this is my understanding and is based on previous experience/legal advice obtained as a property manager.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I suspect that it might be a criminal offence to let-out a house unfit for human habitation; perhaps the AST is even frustrated [look it up] by such state.
                  Last edited by jeffrey; 11-07-2007, 15:25 PM.
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                  3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                  4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by philip heath View Post
                    The property has been inspected by an independent damp specialist and it is definitely rising damp.
                    Sorry to press you on this, but if the "independent damp specialist" was doing a free survey on behalf of a damp company, then the report is not worth the paper it is written on.

                    The norm is for the person attending to simply use a damp meter (essentially a resistance measurer with two metal prongs - the device measures electrical current between the prongs, with the electrical resistance reducing in inverse proportion to the moisture in the wall. It is in their interest to find damp: there is much money to be made from remedial work.

                    Rising damp is rare nowadays, as most properties have had damp course treatment (and much of it unnecessary). Trouble is, condensation tends to accumulate at the top or bottom of external walls, and gives similar damp readings to rising/penetrating damp.

                    You have not said how old the property is that you live in, nor whether it has cavity walls. These have an important bearing on the likelihood of damp issues.
                    On some things I am very knowledgeable, on other things I am stupid. Trouble is, sometimes I discover that the former is the latter or vice versa, and I don't know this until later - maybe even much later. Because of the number of posts I have done, I am now a Senior Member. However, read anything I write with the above in mind.

                    Comment

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