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To be utterly fed up with the landlords?

(24 Posts)
annabanana84 Thu 27-Sep-12 05:31:32

We private rent. There is a serious damp problem - dark dense patches of mould on the ceiling on bedrooms, wallpaper peeling off, and mushrooms growing on the wall in the spare room. Since it's happened since we moved in they're trying to blame it on us. They've sent us a letter saying it's happening because we don't open the windows (the windows and back door is constantly open when I'm home) and they're saying we dont have the contractor fan on the oven when we're cooking (we do!). It's really getting to me now that they blame us, especially since we're doing everything we can to maintain the property.

Also, they expect us to top up the boiler which is in the loft! Is this our responsibility?

BlueSuedeStiletto Thu 27-Sep-12 06:07:34

YANBU.

When I showed my LL the damp patch and the condensation on the windows he told me it is caused by breath hmm. He's a nice bloke, but what a div.

What you need are a couple of dehumidifiers. We got them and they're bloody brilliant. The flat is much warmer and feels much les clammy IYSWIM?

MummyPig24 Thu 27-Sep-12 06:54:14

YANBU. Had exactly the same problem. Just moved out a few days ago but damp was rife in the old house. Landlord also. said its caused by not having Windows open, although I have them open for periods every day. I've tried to clean the worst of it off in the bedroom but its gross. Feel sorry for the new tenant :-(. Dehumidifiers are a good idea but expensive.

HissyByName Thu 27-Sep-12 07:18:17

Call environmental health, see what they say?

swallowedAfly Thu 27-Sep-12 07:22:55

a property shouldn't need windows open all the time to not be rotten with damp. that's nonsense imo.

i very rarely open windows in winter and have never had any damp anywhere in this house.

is it a house that has been converted into flats or a whole house or what?

i'd say you were going to report to environmental health as you were unsatisfied with their response and suspected it could present a health hazard however if they were willing to provide dehumidifiers you would be willing to try that approach before reporting.

sookiesookie Thu 27-Sep-12 07:28:16

Yanbu regarding the damp.
The topping up of the boiler, I think yabu. Unless it has a problem and needs topping up everyday. Topping a boiler up is a general things all occupiers would be expected to do.

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 27-Sep-12 07:29:36

You can be done for not airing the place, but you having windows and doors open so often sounds like enough and more! That's absurd.

Do get in touch with environmental health (and CAB might be good too?). Make sure you're keeping communication with him in writing saying you do ventilate the place appropriately.

I don't see why the boiler wouldn't be your responsibility if it's on your contract and the loft is accessible?

I hope you get it sorted, that sounds like really bad damp and I think they're trying it on hugely by making out mushrooms could be growing because you didn't open a window. hmm Unlikely, isn't it?!

INeedALieIn Thu 27-Sep-12 07:33:03

Is it a new property? They are built to be air tight, which doesn't allow the property to breath, so condensation can easily form. If it us old, it should have sufficient gaps around windows, doors and chimneys to stop thus being a problem.

Re boiler. A pressurised system should not need topping up at all unless it has a leak. If this is the case it would need fixing.

StrawberrytallCAKE Thu 27-Sep-12 07:35:08

We've had this problem recently. It's actually the housing department at your local council who deal with this, they have a section for private renters. You need to call them and explain the situation, they will come and assess the building an mould damage, mould can be quite harmful to health so be careful!! They will then speak to the landlord and make sure the landlord remedies the situation.

Saltycopporn Thu 27-Sep-12 07:39:43

Just so you know a boiler will only require topping up if the central heating system has a leak? Is it possible the two issues are related? People do top up boilers but anymore than once a year is too much. If a boiler is installed in a loft it must have boarding around the boiler to stand on and boarding to walk on from the hatch to the boiler location. If you need to know more just ask

sookiesookie Thu 27-Sep-12 08:08:47

Boilers don't only need topping up if there is a leak. Bleeding the radiators, for example will require the boiler to be topped up.

whois Thu 27-Sep-12 08:14:03

That level of mould is not caused by lack of window opening. Although make sure you aren't drying clothes inside with the window closed as this causes a lot of condensation.

as a short term measure you need a couple of dehumidifies on 24-7. Landlord should rent and possibly pay for the additional electricity.

Get onto environmental health as described above to get the LL involved in a longer term solution.

NapaCab Thu 27-Sep-12 08:27:53

Damp is one of the problems that a landlord can be obliged to fix by a repair order from the local council and that can be expensive so most landlords try to fob tenants off by saying it's lack of ventilation rather than a structural issue.

You can report it to the council if you want but it'll probably just mean your lease isn't extended (if you care, you might not want to stay there anyway if the damp is that bad). The best bet might be to get the landlords to buy dehumidifiers to temporarily ease the problem. They sound pretty stupid if they're denying the problem as it'll only get worse. Any proper landlord would want to know if damp was a serious problem as it could have a major impact on your property and lead to all kinds of issues long term.

plonko Thu 27-Sep-12 08:36:02

IME damp is usually more to do with a structural problem and is the landlord's responsibility to fix. For the life of me I can't see why someone would buy a property then take no interest in its maintenance. Sloppy or no handiwork to resolve simple problems = no tenants. Not opening a window (even though you clearly do have your windows and doors open!) won't cause mushrooms to grow! Don't underestimate the effect a damp property will have on your health, especially going into the winter. my dp used to live in a property with similar problems and he had a permanent cough until he moved out.

This sort of stuff gives landlords a bad name, and makes me desperate to stop renting!

Woodifer Thu 27-Sep-12 08:56:17

hi - don't rent - it's our house - we dry clothes inside etc - double glazed - when we first moved in got mould patches on walls

we started rigorously opening windows every day (and prob having heating on slightly more than we might have otherwise)

what made biggest difference though was getting cavity wall insulation - previously the walls were just cold - so moisture (breath/clothes) was just condensing on them.

ok this doesn't help you much - but it might be poor insulation meaning water condensing on cold surfaces.

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Thu 27-Sep-12 09:00:22

Chances are, the damp was there before and it was cosmetically sorted before you moved in. In a house when we were students, when we complained about the damp (basically had a whole wall that was green and black with mushrooms) they'd come in and paint over it. how long have you lived there? I find it hard to believe that it only just occured. Even if it did, you've done the right thing by reporting it.

If he refuses to do anything, I would take it further, citizens advice or environmental health. Its not good for anyone to be living in those conditions.

suburbandweller Thu 27-Sep-12 09:27:13

This sort of thing makes me really angry - my DB is in the same situation and when he raised it directly with the landlord he was told "what do you expect for the rent you're paying" angry. If you contact the housing dept of your local council you should get some good advice, including the possibility of getting someone from environmental health to come out and have a look. There is the risk that your LL will give you notice but once EH are involved the problem will have to be fixed so he/she won't be able to get another tenant - it's not in his/her interests to kick you out in those circs. Mould can be harmful to health so you should do everything you can to get this sorted.

Saltycopporn Thu 27-Sep-12 09:32:00

On a sealed system (which you have) the only way you get air in rads is by losing water from the system. (not wanting to out myself in real life as we are a novelty but I'm a heating engineer with 16 years exp)

YANBU!! I am a LL and when my tenants didn't vent the bathroom properly the worse that happened was the ceiling went a bit black and mouldy. You obv have a real problem with damp......get a damp company to come and measure it properly and then go back to your LL with the proper information and insist they sort it out.

If he refuses to sort it then get environmental health involved, it's not good to be living in damp conditions, esp if you are prone to chest infections/coughs etc.

These LL's really piss me off - they give the majority of us nice ones such a bad name.

Hope you get it sorted.

hiviolet Thu 27-Sep-12 09:36:12

Landlords ALWAYS blame mould on condensation. Handy way of deflecting blame and therefore not having to cough up for repairs.

Hi - that's infair..not always - if my property had genine damp problems I would get it sorted as would most decent landlords.

unfair even!

geegee888 Thu 27-Sep-12 10:28:20

Now I have seen tenants "create" horrendous damp and mould in internal bathrooms by dismantling the extractor fan, because they didn't like the noise. And in the kitchen by not opening the window when the tumble dryer was on (actually caused a window frame to rot). But that process took about 9 months and still didn't cause mushrooms to grow.

I assume the mushrooms are at floor level? My guess then would be that the damp is coming from the floor, that the floor ventilation has somehow failed. It may be spreading up the walls, or the damp proof course may also have failed/be non-existent. And obviously any bathrooms and kitchens should have extractor fans. It also takes quite a lot of dampness for wallpaper to peel off, or alternatively, a very moist environment with a lot of condensation and no ventilation.

tbh I would move out. Your deposit will be protected so you can register a dispute in order to be more likely to get it back if the landlords refuse or charge you for this. It would probably also be wise to commission a survey by a qualified surveyor to state why the damp is occuring. You could probably get a survey from a company in the damp proofing business for nothing by pretending to be the owner/acting on behalf of the owner and looking to get work carried out, but I didn't say that.

elizaregina Thu 27-Sep-12 13:00:13

anna

in amercia - when they deal with mould they wear what look like nuclear suits.

people have a very cavalier attitude to damp in this country.

its actually life threatening and extremly serious.

i know this - because after a house fire next door - we started to get damp patches on our party walls - it turned out to be residual water from water putting the fire out next door...

the drying company who came to supply us with dehumidifyers said " this is a health hazzard and i will recomend you are moved out" they said we had
" ineresting" cultures on the walls but certainly not at mush room stage.

my daughter was already coughing her guts up and then came down with a lung infection in one lung and my one lung has been weakened and has never been the same. eventually we were moved out for three months while it was dried out - WITHOUT US THERE LIVING IN IT - and replastered.

mould - and its affects was something never on my radar - it had never been an issue - you google it.

are you prepapred to risk cancer - and worse?

if i were you - google it - print off some stuff and get worked up about this and get onto the council NOW.

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