Terminating tenancy early due to health hazard

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    Terminating tenancy early due to health hazard

    Dear All,

    Sorry for long post, I am also aware there have been similar threads before, but I couldn't really find the answer that would fit to my issue.

    I have just recently moved to a ground floor flat (England, 6 months tenancy agreement). I not only want to, but need to terminate my tenancy agreement due to damp and mould that are in the flat. I have only lived in here for 5 days and I was not aware of an issue when I was viewing the flat back in May. It is a middle of the night and I can't sleep, having a headache and blocked sinuses due to spores...

    Flat is a conversion, I can see it has been refurbished recently, kitchen and bathroom look quite modern and walls have been painted quite recently I suppose. However, on the first day I moved in, I found a note from a landlady asking me to put a dehumidifier on at least 3 times a week to "prevent" damp. Well, not only damp but mould are already in the flat. I discovered mould patches underneath my mattress as I couldnt sleep at night due to a foul smell. Pillows and fabric on a sofa bed have the same terrible smell. There is also a decorative wooden chest in a living room, which I presume was not cleaned inside, there is a mould in there as well which I tried to clean with antifungal spray and left open to ventilate. Only now I can see that the mould on the walls has been painted on, there are visible, characteristic small patches on a bedroom wall... There is also mould in the shower, bathroom has no window and only extractor fan which turns on with light.

    I keep windows slightly open (they have a ventilation mode) 24/7 but it gets unbearably cold in the afternoon and at night (mind we are only in August). Dehumidifier is on during the day for about 12h but I'm afraid this is rather an issue with a building construction rather than condensation... I have not cooked and I have no dried any laundry in the flat yet and I don't really want to think what is going to happen when I actually start "living" in here.

    I am not willing to stay in here for entire 6 months as I have a strong belief this flat was not properly prepared for me to move in in the first place. I work as a junior doctor in a local hospital and I cannot really afford to put some of my vulnerable patients at risk by bringing fungal spores on my clothes to work and exposing them to a risk of an infection... I already can't sleep at night, have a headache due to sinusitis and can't imagine living here long term...

    I have tried to contact a landlady to explain what the issue is - she left me a message saying that a "ground floor flat is prone to mould" and that she is going to inspect mattress as she did not look at it when the last tenant moved out. I appreciate gf flat can be cold and hard to heat but it should not be let mouldy...?

    I really hope she will be reasonable enough to agree to end this tenancy agreement after 2-3 months as a mutual agreement, which will leave her with plenty of time to find a new tenant and get a professional to remove fungal spores.. Please, would you advise me if this is a reasonable move to make and what are my chances of her agreeing to that? I suspect it only gets worse at winter time and I really don't want to face mould and damp then...

    I would really appreciate some advice...

    Are you intending not to go to work for 2-3 months, or are you offering to move out now and pay 2-3 months rent in exchange for being released from your contract?
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong


      This may provide so info..
      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...


        I can't not go to work just like that. Will need to talk to occupational health, etc. They might just change a part of my responsibilitirs till then (not attending immunocompromised patients,rtc) My idea is that we agree on a date, when I'm not longer bound by the tenancy, I pay rent till then but I'm moving as soon as I find sth more suitable. I hope it makes more sense now.


          Please complete & paste http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ll-new-posters

          You can offer early surrender of remainder of fixed term, which LL can accept, on payment of rent up to end of fixed term max, or decline.
          It is possible mould may cause your symptoms, esp if you have a tendency to asthma/hay fever. It is also possible you picked up a head-cold virus from a patient/visitor et al at work. (nosocomial infection?)

          All you can do is negotiate a Deed of Surrender with LL,. to end your Tenancy when signed.


            Q1 – Where is the rented property located - England

            Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. sole tenant / multiple tenant / room only? -> sole tenant

            Q3 – What date did current TA start dd/mm/yy? ->23/07/16

            Q4 – How long was initial fixed term (6/12/24 months / other)? -> 6 months

            Q5 – Does the TA state that rent is due weekly? / 4-weekly? / per calendar month (if so, on what same date each month)? -> 20th of each month

            Q6 – Did the TA require a tenant damage deposit to be paid? If so, on what date was this paid (dd/mm/yy)? - it was paid on 09/06/16 and registered with TDS on 25/07

            Q7 – If your query relates to a notice for repossession from the landlord (a Section 8 or Section 21 notice) or a tenants's notice to quit to the landlord, please provide the exact date the notice was sent/received (dd/mm/yy).

            Q8 – Does the landlord live in the same property as the tenant? ->no


              I don't have the expertise of others on this forum but wonder if the fact the landlord acted illegally in not lodging the deposit with the TDS within the specified time give you some leverage in negotiating an early release.

              You could also say you are entitled to ask the council to inspect the property citing the "Housing, health and rating system". If considered necessary they can order remedial work to be done. The prospect of that may encourage your landlord to release you from the agreement.


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