Tenant unable to do final inventory/check out and has caused mould damage

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    Tenant unable to do final inventory/check out and has caused mould damage

    My Tenant who moved out a few days ago has notified he is unable to attend a final checkout. After going through and checking the property myself and inventory there is some major mould on most of the walls 'throughout' the property caused by the tenants unvented Tumble dyer and wet washing on radiators. There are also a few items missing and a broken door. The big thing is some of the mould is so bad quite a few rooms will require redecorating. It was newly decorated when tenant moved in 2 years ago.

    I have taken pictures and video evidence of all of this, which I presume I email / post to their forwarding address. After deductions I doubt they will have little if any deposit left.

    What if they object which they may, and say they know nothing about this or say it must be 'damp'?

    #2
    Did you carry out any inspections during the 2 years of the tenancy? If so, was this not picked up during the inspection? If it had been, it could have been halted before this level of damage occurred.

    If its as you suspect then I believe you are entitled to propose deductions from the deposit and if this doesn't cover it, to sue the tenant for the excess.

    If the tenants formally dispute the deductions it would be up to the deposit scheme to ask you for any evidence. In this case, it may be worth getting a specialist company to do a damp assessment and you could then use the report as your evidence. Others on the forum with more experience of the ADR process may be able to advise better.

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      #3
      I would suggest using an independent LA or inventory clerk to undertake the move out Inventory and opine on cause of mould (damp or condensation). Video etc may help but unless you have a detailed move-in condition report for comparison you will have difficulty in persuading T or ADR adj.

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        #4
        I agree with mariner. Get an independent inventory check done ASAP (before the tenant has the chance to say the mold arrived after he left). It should cost £80-£140 and would be a worthwhile investment to if you intend to withhold some or all of the deposit for redecorating.

        In my experience photos never really capture the true grottiness of damp patches so an independent assessment is much more valuable.

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          #5
          Originally posted by DPT57 View Post
          Did you carry out any inspections during the 2 years of the tenancy? If so, was this not picked up during the inspection?.
          Yes I inspected in the first year, and noticed 'very minor' condensation (I wrote an inspection letter and provided Tenant with Condensation letter from this website)

          The Tenant has obviously let the condensation get completely out of control and its spread through property due to heat generated by their unvented Tumble dyer, I have not been notified at any point by Tenant of damage or repairs. So they are in Breach of the AST agreement. Another breach is that tenants should clean walls of any mould, clearly this hasnt been done.

          Comment


            #6
            If your inspection letter contained a reference to the condensation problem then it may be helpful in the ADR process.

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              #7
              I agree with independent inventory check route. Then propose deductions and proceed from there (tenant likely to argue if it's a high deduction, but then ADR will likely side with you if evidence is decent).

              btw, obligatory: "is deposit protected properly?"

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                #8
                If I had only limited money, I would rather pay for a specialist company that can confirm mould is due to condensation than for an independent inventory that will only confirm the mould, not the cause and therefore liability.

                You say that the cause is explained by the dryer and drying clothes on the radiators. How do you know that? Did you notice the dryer and if so did you ask that it isn't used, or did they acquire it after the inspection? Expect them to deny that the problem was due to their lifestyle, with claims that they never dried clothes on the radiators, opened all the windows for hours each day etc... The onus is on you to prove that the damage was caused by their actions, not them to prove that it wasn't.

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                  #9
                  The last prof damp survey cost me around £500 several years ago.
                  Cause of mould and moisture can be due to T lifestyle (condensation, lack of ventilation) or penetrating damp (porous brick, cold external walls, cracked render, blocked or missing guttering/downspout, or rising damp via breached/faulty damp course , most of which are LL's responsibility to repair. Most Ts are not convinced if told mould is due to their lifestyle. In this case LL could perm vent Ts tumble drier to outside, provide mid range dehumidifier and check all windows/vents can be opened before considering more expensive remedies. Is the building double ski cavity wall or single stone construction (like many Victorian terraced properties?)
                  Nothing is better than Mk 1 eyeball for an alert, sensible LL.

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                    #10
                    Is it possible to give Tenants a copy of the inventory I did myself and then state in my letter to them that I will also be getting an independent Inventory? I guess this will also test the water to see how they react.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Mavis808 View Post
                      Is it possible to give Tenants a copy of the inventory I did myself and then state in my letter to them that I will also be getting an independent Inventory? I guess this will also test the water to see how they react.
                      I think the longer you leave it to get an independent assessor, the longer the tenants have to claim that they didn't leave the property in that state. If you reckon it's going to go to arbitration, you should just get an independent inventory done now.

                      You might want to put a figure to the tenants before showing them the inventory, and give vague reasons I suppose, but I doubt it'll do anything but get hackles up.

                      Also you didn't reply to this...?

                      Originally posted by tenant1001894 View Post
                      btw, obligatory: "is deposit protected properly?"

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                        #12
                        Full independent inventory inspection done. Mould is caused by condensation. Property is adequately heated and vented, so its the tenants fault. Just need to prove this now with ADR.

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                          #13
                          Yes the deposit is protected correctly.

                          Question: I inspected the property early in 2015 and all appeared in good order, there was a small patch of very minor condensation just started. So I advised the tenant to clean , gave them a dehumidifier and a condensation guide. I have all this in writing. Will this go for or against me with ADR? Is it good proof that I advised the tenant on condensation or will they say why did I not inspect since?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I have no experience of ADR but I would think that something like this should count in your favour. It would have been wise to inspect every few months thereafter to ensure the problem was not worsening but I don't think that could be held against you in this process.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              It should count in your favour that you took remedial action and could reasonably have believed that this would enable the tenant to control the problem. Obviously the failure to inspect since will be a consideration but dont think you could be expected to inspect more often than 6 months later.

                              Comment

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