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I've been having varioud problems with the house that I am renting, from mold growth on the lounge wall to finding kitchen items kept in the cupboard covered in flurry mold.
I initially wrote to my landlord explaining the issues at the end of November and seeing that we were away for a month, I expected it all to be resolved by the time we got back. No such a thing and as the weeks went by and there was no sign of activity, I wrote again saying that if he wasn't going to take any action then i wanted to bring somebody in to carry out an assessment. I then received a very unfriendly reply saying that many of the problems were my fault for not opening the windows (???) and that there was some structural problem which won't be addressed until the weather improves. He also made it clear that he would not give me permission to bring somebody else in to assess the problem.
I did challege his comment about the windows not being open as one of the issues, damp above the shower cublicle, was already there when I moved in and the previous tenants had painted over it with plain white paint. This was my first complaint.
A friend of mine came to visit at the weekend and she stated that the house requires damp proofing. She also owns an older property (late 1800s) and her and her partner have done extensive work on their house.
I don't want to base everything on my friend's opinion but there have been a number of things which make me thing that my landlord is being rather dishonest with me. I am not entirely sure where I stand here and who to go to first. I would more than happy to take pictures and go to the CAB but is that the best starting point? /Should I be seeking a reduction on my rent seeing that I have 1/4 of a wall with mold on it and kitchen utensils (and food) having to be thrown away?
We live in a very expensive part of town and my rent certainly isn't cheap so I wasn't expecting this at all. Also, just for the record, I am a landlady myself so I appreciate the meaning of looking after a property properly (although my house is only 7 years old and my tenants have had no issues with it so far).
Thank you in advance and sorry for the very long post...!
It would be environmental health at the council that you need to report it to. But as the LL has said there is a structural issue that will be addressed when the weather improves, that may be enough to cover him.
I can't remember the ins and outs of it, but if they have said they are going to do something about it as soon as practical (which could well be when the weather improves, it depends on what this structural issue is) then that will probably be as far as EH will take it for the time being. But CAB or EH would be able to explain the process to you.
Are you airing the house? It is written into standard tenancies that you can't dry washing in the house, and must use extractors where fitted and ventilate etc.
I think I'm right in saying that you can't withold rent for this. If the house is dangerous EH will take action to make the LL do the repairs in a set time frame and I believe can prosecute. They can also make the LL pay for/provide alternative accomodation if the house is unhabitable.
So what I'm rambling on to say is phone EH and get them to look into it. (very fuzzy headed today and can't quite process my thoughts ).
Thank you for your reply to my post! I will get in touch with the EH as you've suggested. The house is aired daily all around, especially the bathroom and kitchen where there are no extractors.
I hasn't crossed my mind to withold rent, I just want to make sure that I understand my rights and exercise them accordingly. Unfortunately, I don't believe that my LL is trustworthy and I could give a number of examples where he just cut corners or tried to 'patch things up' (or left them unfinished for months).
I wouldn't mention to your ll about your friends advice as its based on no evidence. If the damp is high up, then damp proofing (ie injection of a damp proof course) won't do a thing. In old houses it can actually make the problem worse in any case as isnt recommended. You (or ll) need someone independent in to identify the cause of the moisture. I would suggest you have a look outside at the roof and the guttering as a start. I think you should also confirm in writing if you take this forward that the house is ventilated daily- puts the onus back on them. Also don't dry washing indoors- it can create huge problems. Good luck!
Sounds exactly like the house we have just moved from. Damp throughout but worst in the kitchen and bathroom - and we had mouldy walls and threw out mould covered food too. Very annoying, but we complained and nothing happened so in the end we bought free standing storage (just shelf units) instead of using the cupboards, bought small cheap dehumidifiers (from Aldi) and regularly kept windows open.
The LL did eventually get the flat roof of the extension redone, and replaced the guttering. But then winter hit and the house has had no opportunity to dry out since then. Your LL is right to wait really, it won't make much difference at this time of year if its a roof/guttering issue. Very annoying to live with though, I know.