Who is responsible to remove mould? Tenant or landlord?

(37 Posts)
fatnfrumpy Wed 23-Jan-13 12:11:23

Our tenant is in the process of renewing contract for another year.
He has told us in Nov last year and again now that there is mould growing on the wallpaper on the outside wall of the bedroom.
We inspected in November and advised him to ventilate as they NEVER open the windows or curtains.
When they leave for work at 7am and return at 7pm the windows and curtains are shut. We have never seen them open!
We said they should sleep with the window slightly open to prevent condensation on the double glazing.
They also dry their clothes in the bedroom opposite although we provided them with a whirlygig washing dryer in the garden ladt march.
They have now said the wall paper is coming off and black mould is coming through.
We had the house surveyed this time last year and there is no damp, no leaking roof or gutters.
Who's responsibility is it to get rid of and prevent?

YDdraigGoch Wed 23-Jan-13 12:15:47

I would say that the tennant is responsible for getting rid of the actual mold, but the landlord is responsible for dealing with the cause of the mold.

If you've given them the wherewithall to prevent mold occuring, I would have thought you could ask them to meet the cost of redecorating, although there is no point in doing that whilst they are still living there, and not changing their habits.

I am not a lawyer though - this is just what I think!

MN044 Wed 23-Jan-13 12:19:42

The responsibility lies with you I think, though I'm baffled as to why they leave the house sealed up all day. Black mould is very bad, all they'd have to do is speak to the council's environmental health team and they'll be on at you to fix it. A whirly gig is going to be useless in winter anyway, I moved from a flat to a house with a garden in November and have yet to actually use the washing line. Provide them with a properly vented tumble dryer.

MN044 Wed 23-Jan-13 12:22:03

And if you're renewing the contract, put a new clause in saying windows must be opened every day. I HATE doing this, I really hate the perception of paying for heating that just gets lost, but wiping windows down every day and opening the windows for a half hour seems to do the trick. But in a house where the mould is already there, you really need to sort it out properly. My old landlords solution was to paint over the black, and my dc's health suffered as a result. My ds had chest infection after chest infection as he was sleeping in a damp room, and we never dried washing in there. Make sure you have extractors in the kitchen and bathroom too

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Wed 23-Jan-13 12:22:35

They shouldn't have to sleep with the window open to prevent mould!

Sounds like you need to deal with the underlying problem. We dry clothes indoors and have never had damp.

bluecarrot Wed 23-Jan-13 12:22:54

When I rented ( council) we had mould growing in the portly fitted windows. Was told it was my responsibility to deal with it. ( I aired plenty- it was structural issue)

Def advise they air. 10 mins each morning as they get ready to leave for work should be plenty. For windows you can get little tubs of powder that absorb the moisture and should help.

Do you have it in writing that there is no damp?

expatinscotland Wed 23-Jan-13 12:25:18

Sleep with the windows open? I'd tell you to get knotted. But then, as on the other thread, I never rent any non-new or newish built place because from prior experience they all have mould and damp. You should not need to air a place out if there are proper extractor fants, ventilated windows/window vents and proper damp course/preventative measures.

Also, who would want a landlord who is watching the home you are paying rent on from 7am-7pm?

This past year has been the wettest on record. A whirlygig? Who can use one of those in the weather we've had, especially if htey're out of the home working all those hours?

here

PigletJohn Wed 23-Jan-13 12:43:47

A load of washing can contain up to two litres of water.

If you squirted that around your house with a garden sprayer or a watering can every day, would you expect it to be damp?

Ventilation allows the water vapour to go outside the house.

Lack of ventilation keeps the water vapour inside the house, until it finds something to condense on.

If you have a tenant who delivers water to the home and won't let it out, it will always be damp.

Some people think an extractor fan is expensive to run.

specialsubject Wed 23-Jan-13 13:03:08

sounds like they are above housework. As mentioned, if they wipe up condensation, open the windows for 10 minutes before they go to work and use the washing line in the summer - it does NOT actually rain all the time.

also do some idiot proofing- take off the wallpaper, clean up the mould thoroughly, repaint the wall with wipeable paint once dry. Check they have extractor fans and that they are wired so that they turn themselves on when the shower is used and stay running.

I live in a ground floor flat and we have awful damp problems on the exterior walls. We have the windows open for a minimum of an hour every morning after sponging off all the condensation, we use a tumbledryer as much as possible and always have the kitchen and bathroom windows open when cooking or showering.

Doesn't make the blindest bit of difference.

fatnfrumpy Wed 23-Jan-13 13:10:30

EXPATINSCOTLAND,
I don,t watch there house but everytime we walk or drive past in the last year we have never seen the windows or curtains open!
We live in the next road and it is on the way to town centre.

expatinscotland Wed 23-Jan-13 13:12:50

'sounds like they are above housework.'

Sounds like they're hardly home. Maybe this tenant will wise up and move out to a new build. We did after a few times when wiping, airing, etc did nowt and LL always tried to blame it on us.

PigletJohn Wed 23-Jan-13 13:13:52

then you probably have another source of water, such as a leak. It might be a rainwater pipe, or it might be a pipe in or under the floor, such as a radiator pipe or watersupply, or a bath trap.

have a look under the carpets for signs of damp, and in the kitchen and bathroom.

fatnfrumpy Wed 23-Jan-13 13:15:10

I find it odd we live in a similar house of the same age.
We do not put clothes on radiators, we run extractor fans in the kitchen and bathroom, which incidently we put brand new in our tenants house last Feb.
We also sleep with the window ajar, which expatinscotland is Healthy!!!
Funny that we don't have mould!

expatinscotland Wed 23-Jan-13 13:16:56

And as for a survey this time last year, a lot can happen in a year, especially given the weather we've had.

expatinscotland Wed 23-Jan-13 13:19:28

'We also sleep with the window ajar, which expatinscotland is Healthy!!!'

Says who? Millions sleeps with windows closed and are perfectly healthy. Talk to anyone in Scandanavia, they're always agog that Brits find freezing so healthy. I find it odd that so many immediately blame the tenants, it's entirely possible there's a leak or something else in the year since teh property was inspected.

fatnfrumpy Wed 23-Jan-13 13:19:47

Thank you PIGLETJOHN for you as usual no nonsense advice!
There are no carpets downstairs as we have varnished original floorboards.
The wall where the mould is next to front window where there are no pies taps etc. The roof is fine as is the guttering which was replaced last year.
This is the tenant who just before xmas asked for carpets because they are cold!

expatinscotland Wed 23-Jan-13 13:20:58

We don't have mould, either. We don't have extractor fans, either, we just open the windows when cooking or after a shower or bath, vent the dryer, run the heater. No need to air daily at all. According to some professionals, see attached thread, there shouldn't be the need to do so in a well-maintainted and insulated property.

PigletJohn Wed 23-Jan-13 13:22:41

that was for puddlejumper

constantnamechanger Wed 23-Jan-13 13:26:27

my sister went to live with mum.

she dries clothes on radiators

since she moved in my mum's asthma got worse and - they have black mould.

they bought a tumble drier mum improved in a week

constantnamechanger Wed 23-Jan-13 13:26:37

and mold gone

Thanks piglet. The landlord cleared out the damp course and replaced the guttering over the summer and it has improved things but I still have to wipe down the walls every so often. I'll check under the carpets.

Sorry for the hijack OP!

fatnfrumpy Wed 23-Jan-13 13:29:04

Expat thats a contradiction then?
You open your windows when cooking and showering but your well-maintained and insulated property doesn't need airing?

Jenski Wed 23-Jan-13 13:32:08

I would say landlord responsiblity!

I moved into a house and within weeks there was black mould under bedroom windows (I ALWAYS sleep with the window open), but the old wall paper was a mess. Contacted LL who did nothing, so ended up stripping whole room, which included taking down rusty curtain rail, repainting. I also ended up doing the 2 other bedrooms in the house! No thanks from LL, or offer to cover cost of paint etc. THere are now other issues that are pressing, and have not been done despite my first request being 18 months ago. I have a lazy arse LL, who just takes the money, but I can't afford to move all the time I am feeding his family!

So, although that is no reflection of you as a LL, I would say that you need to invest in the property to ensure that problems don't get worse. It may need to be dried out and redecorated round the window, and vents put in?

ISeeSmallPeople Wed 23-Jan-13 13:33:27

We don't have mould, either. We don't have extractor fans, either, we just open the windows when cooking or after a shower or bath, vent the dryer, run the heater. No need to air daily at all. According to some professionals, see attached thread, there shouldn't be the need to do so in a well-maintainted and insulated property.

Expat, that's the difference. If you choose not to air, fine. But you ARE heating, & opening windows after cooking and showering what is that if not airing?. You are doing all the things that you need to do in ANY style of type of house, modern, old, hovel. Which is why you don't have mould.

MN044 don't open the windows so long. Open 2 windows at either end of the house, leave doors open, cross flow for 5 minutes will do.

expatinscotland Wed 23-Jan-13 13:38:24

'Expat thats a contradiction then?
You open your windows when cooking and showering but your well-maintained and insulated property doesn't need airing?'

Um, no, because we don't 'air' it daily (thankfully we don't have a landlord who monitors us, either) and we sure as hell don't sleep with the bloody windows open! We're also home, breathing and making condensation, way more than it sounds like your tenants are.

You need to get your property inspected again rather than blame the tenant, who just might wise up and move out.

expatinscotland Wed 23-Jan-13 13:41:07

I'd definitely move out of any place where the bloody LL tried to dictate to me how to sleep! And several people on here and the other thread dry their clothes indoors exclusively and don't have mould.

fatnfrumpy Wed 23-Jan-13 13:49:29

You hasve your opinion EXPAT and I have mine,
I don't see that passing OUR house daily on the way to town is monitoring our tenants.
I don't care if they move out as we let to them £200 pcm under the current going rate as friend of a friend.
What I am glad about EXPAT is that you are not my tenant!!!

ISeeSmallPeople Wed 23-Jan-13 13:53:57

It is precisely two working tenants who have the heating off all day when they are out that find they have this problem. If you're home more of they day you are more likely to have the heating on, even a small amount, avoiding the hot/cold cycle that leads to condensation.

expatinscotland Wed 23-Jan-13 13:54:05

Me, too! So glad to be done with private LLs. Whew! No one to tell me how to sleep, blame me immediately for anything that went wrong and try to get me to pay for it, drive by and monitor whether I was home or not and on and on.

ISeeSmallPeople Wed 23-Jan-13 13:55:41

Expat, you sound like a great tenant smile
You are heating, airing/ventilating when necessary, just strangly denying it

expatinscotland Wed 23-Jan-13 13:56:53

Tenants just can't do right! So many LLs on here prefer working professionals as they are less wear and tear on the house than a family, but then they don't run the heat, sleep with the windows open or just in general live to make the LLs life a doddle.

Jenski Wed 23-Jan-13 14:02:24

LLs ALWAYS ignore my concerns as a tenant.......hmm

We moved into an old rented property last April and asked for some of the windows that were jammed shut (bathrooms, bedrooms and hall) to be freed so we could open them and have fresh air in the house. The LL took 6 weeks to agree to it, after initially saying it wasn't necessary. We do open windows regularly, have the heating on regularly, use a tumble dryer, wipe the condensation etc but the place is riddled with it. I wipe it off as and when and will be very hacked off if, when we leave, we are hassled about it.

Imagine our hollow laughter when just before Christmas a missive came from the letting agents telling us how to avoid condensation and mould - number 1 on the list was make sure the house is well aired, sleep with the windows open to 10mm.......

There have been loads of other issues, including non servicing of oil boiler, non replacement of condemned fire, non fixing of broken loo - all of which have put me off staying here so we'll be off at the first opportunity. When a bit of trellis fell off the wall and we let them know it was fixed within the week - as was the cruddy o/s loo when it broke and leaked, even thought it isn't used.

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 23-Jan-13 14:46:13

Sleep with the windows open. It's cold enough in this house, thanks; the windows haven't been replaced since I was a child, I'd guess.

Also, it is not at all advisable to leave a window open a crack while they are at work, even the vent windows, as that leaves the place open for burglary. My neighbour (not a particularly small man, I thought) demonstrated this for me.

I agree with the poster (though not the phrase "idiot-proofing", I realise LLs seem to assume tenants are all idiots but I promise we're not. So glad we've purchased our own house now) who said to take wallpaper down and get some wipeable paint up.

Washing- it might not rain every day, but putting the washing out here does nothing. Our back garden is dark and dank and gets the sun maybe for two months out of the year, when it's able to peek over the top of the house in the summer. It's why I made a point of finding a house with a sunny garden for our purchase. I don't want to have to run a tumble dryer all the time.

ThermalKaty Sat 26-Jan-13 13:12:00

This advice is helpful. www.woking.gov.uk/planning/envhealthservice/housing/condensation - it sounds like lifestyle rather than structure. Drying clothes in the bathroom & kitchen is better than in the room with mould. Do the windows have trickle vents? Could you fit some?

If you have to redecorate it might be worth adding some of that thin insulating sheet under a layer of wallpaper, but be careful, it may just move to the next coldest surface.

specialsubject Sat 26-Jan-13 14:10:02

some landlords are crooks. Some tenants are idiots. Most of both types are normal, sensible people.

do stop the juvenile whining about 'paying for a landlord's lifestyle'. If you have a mortgage, you pay a banker's salary. If you rent, your landlord may be doing the same. It's money. Get over it.

drying clothes on radiators is not very bright. Buy some airers; won't reduce the damp but gets the heat round much better. Leaving windows open when you are out is also not very bright, but no-one is saying to do that.

Tenants should check a property carefully before signing up. If there's something you don't like/is broken and the landlord won't agree to fix it, don't take the place. If the place is continually no good and the landlord won't fix, give notice and move. If the place is crap and you stay for years, more fool you.

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