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Not to pay rent this month

(25 Posts)
rosanna1974 Mon 17-Dec-12 12:00:31

We moved into a house in a rented house in September. When we first looked around everything seemed to be ok.When we moved in the place was filthy-it took 3days just to clean the kitchen. After weeks of cleaning- cat shit even under furniture-got it clean. Then the washing machine broke which I replaced(it is a furnished house). Now the whe house is black with damp. My dd1 room has had to be completely bleached. All her books, bedding, etc is ruined with damp. All the sheets, towels in my bedroom cupboard the same. Downstairs toilet is broke.not to mention it took 12 van loads to remove all tha crap the owners left behind . Am I wrong to withhold this months rent to replace everything? I live in spain so not same laws here .

sooperdooper Mon 17-Dec-12 13:00:28

Did you tell the landlord itwas so dirty? I've asked for them to send cleaners in before when I've moved into somewhere which was filthy - and they should've removed all the crap left, did you report all this or not?

Why did you replace the washing machine? It was their responsibilty, unless you've reported all these things you can't withhold rent as they aren't aware of the issues

NannyEggn0gg Mon 17-Dec-12 13:05:53

Did they not come in and do an inventory with you? I know some things don't become apparent until you live somewhere, but filth should have been obvious.

What reaction have you had from the landlord regarding your problems?

ErikNorseman Mon 17-Dec-12 13:13:26

I can't possibly comment as I don't know rental law there. You couldn't get away with letting out a property in that state in the uk so I can't really imagine.

rosanna1974 Mon 17-Dec-12 13:20:43

I informed them about the filth and was told sorry we should have cleaned it before you moved in.was told the washing machine worked perfectly well while they lived here- it's on the roof and due to rain the top caved in and exposed wires. They didn't do an inventory. Apparently damp is normal to them and I should leave the windows open and put on the heaters( have done and last months bill was 196€ for 1 month electric

rosanna1974 Mon 17-Dec-12 13:37:52

The filth didnt become obvious until i started moving furniture and empting cupboards.If i had noticed before i would not have moved in.

sooperdooper Mon 17-Dec-12 13:39:56

When they said they should've cleaned before you moved in you should've pushed back and said well clean it now instead

It's irrelevant as to whether the washing machine worked before you moved in, it's broken now so they should've replaced it, if it's included with the rental agreement

Sorry but I don't quite understand about the rain and top caved in and electric wires exposed but that sounds dangerous - are they fixing that??

Paiviaso Mon 17-Dec-12 13:40:12

Can you get some legal advice there? Or is there a CAB equivalent?

No one on mumsnet can help you unless they know Spanish rental law!

If you were in the UK, I would say it is always wrong to withhold rent. You have to fight in other (legal) ways.

rosanna1974 Mon 17-Dec-12 13:48:22

I didnt push about the cleaning although i know i should have because landlady husband is dying of cancer and she was in a state and rushing to return to uk. the washing machine is on the roof in a concrete alcove and when it rained the top of washing machine soaked up so much water it collapsed so thats when the wires became exposed.Thats why i bought a new one,I have looked at spanish rental law but they dont have cab etc. here.

mijas99 Mon 17-Dec-12 13:57:24

We rent in Spain. As long as you have signed a proper legal rental contract - in Spanish, then you would be able to notify the landlord of the problems, but they would be the ones who would have to fix them or give you permission to fix/replace whatever went wrong.

You can't just with withhold rent without an agreement. If you can't come to an agreement them you can take them to court (denounce), but again, you can't withhold the rent

Given that the landlord is British, and you are British, I'd be very surprised if you've signed a legal contract, but hopefully you have! Otherwise, you may be best getting our of there, finding a better property and doing everything legally this time

rosanna1974 Mon 17-Dec-12 14:03:39

we have signed a legal contract for 6 months which doesnt end until march. I do understand i cant just withhold the rent but its cost me hundreds to replace and repair everything and i know i will not get the money back any other way.

MissCellania Mon 17-Dec-12 15:24:18

I would withold the rent, what are they going to do about it if they aren't in the country? They haven't followed the rules, why should you?

pingu2209 Mon 17-Dec-12 16:00:16

Why would you hold back rent this month and not the first month? Whether the house was a filthy wreck or not, it smacks of someone wanting more money for Christmas. Your argument about a dirty house would only hold water in the first, at a stretch the second month.

rosanna1974 Mon 17-Dec-12 16:26:38

i dont want or need more money for xmas. The point of witholding the rent is to either get them to get the problem sorted then i would pay what was owed, and also to replace all the things i have had to throw away due to been covered in damp.If you havent get anything constructive to say dont say f all.

pingu2209 Mon 17-Dec-12 16:57:03

Rosanna, that may well be the case, but due to the timing, that may well be what your landlord thinks is going on. It doesn't give weight to your argument.

rosanna1974 Tue 18-Dec-12 07:24:05

I know I it's to late to do anything about the way it was when I moved it but Its the damp that is now the problem. Every room is covered in it and its ruined hundreds of pounds worth of stuff. The idea not to pay the rent is so they fix it and pay for all my damaged goods. Not to mention the effect damp can have on anyone's health yet alone 3 kids

ladyintheradiator Tue 18-Dec-12 07:28:04

Mould doesn't cover an entire room overnight - why have you not addressed this sooner?

EverythingsDozy Tue 18-Dec-12 07:33:33

Mould and damp is usual in Spain, its the way they make the walls. If you get a patch of it, paint it with a gloss paint then paint over that with paint that matches your wall.
Pingu did say something constructive, she gave you advice of what it looks like is going on, and I agree with her. You were incredibly rude to reply in such a way.

rosanna1974 Tue 18-Dec-12 07:39:46

I have been cleaning it off with bleach every other day and it comes back within that time. The damp does cover the entire room from floor to ceiling and the ceiling. I have been complaining to landlord for a few weeks so I have addressed the problem before now. I have more to worry about than Xmas believe me

Selks Tue 18-Dec-12 07:43:42

Could you buy a dehumidifier? They work.

rosanna1974 Tue 18-Dec-12 07:45:11

Thanks will see if I can get one. Anything is worth a try.

pingu2209 Tue 18-Dec-12 08:12:44

I rented, in England, but our bungalow was in a heavy clay soil area and at the bottom of a deep hill, which meant it was practically sitting in a puddle. It had black mould everywhere and I complained that it was damp. My children would throw off their duvets on the floor in the morning and if I didn't pick them up they would be slightly damp by evening.

Damp is a 'red flag' word to landlords and letting agents alike. It is a nightmare for them to fix; even builders freak about about it. My landlord insisted that it was condensation. He said it was where I wasn't opening any windows or not for long enough. Then he found out I had bought a condenser dryer and blamed it all on me not ventilating.

There was black spores on all the window ledges. However, he wouldn't back down. What he did do was provide 2 dehumidifiers. They drew out a lot of water from the air but it was still pretty damp.

We tried to argue that the additional electric cost of running the dehumidifiers continuously should be deducted from the rent. They wouldn't and threatened if we deducted rent then they would go to the small claims court.

I would prepare for them to say that it is condensation or lack of ventilation or a mixture of the both. Just because damp is a nightmare to fix if at all. Perhaps you can get an expert in to assess the situation and give you a report before going back to your landlord?

rosanna1974 Tue 18-Dec-12 08:13:11

And it's incredibly rude to make an assumption that I want more money for Xmas when you don't know me. I posted this for advice not to be accused of wanting more money. If I had posted this in march what would it look like then? It's unfortunately bad timing that I am now sick of living in a house with damp.

rosanna1974 Tue 18-Dec-12 08:26:03

Thanks for that pingu. Spoke to them last night and they agree its damp as they lived here for 7 years. Neighbor told me they painted over it just before we viewed it. But still they insist on keeping windows open and heaters on! It is black damp the same and spores all over windows aswel. Think I will get someone in to look or have to move out.

RyleDup Tue 18-Dec-12 09:19:56

I used to live somewhere like that. The landlord painted over the black patches of mould too. It was horrendous and my stuff got ruined. Landlord wouldn't do anything, environmental health couldn't do anything quickly enough, so I withheld the rent and moved out.

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