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To think my Landlady needs to pay for this work to be done?

(13 Posts)
DuchessofNorks Mon 17-Nov-14 19:34:26

Apologies if this turns into an essay. I will try to keep it as brief as possible.

We moved into this property last Christmas. When we signed the contract we were advised that one wall at the top needed repainting due to previous damp problems and a minor repair needed to be completed. Absolutely fine, we said. Lets move in.

Fast forward a couple of months and Letting Agent (LA) surveyed the exterior of the property and noted that the ground around the property had risen above the Damp Proof Course (DPC) and that the roof above the damp wall needed repairing.

The builders came and did what they were allowed to. While they were working they noticed that there were further major issues with the property and advised the LA that the Landlady (LL) needed to pay for further work to be done to prevent further damage being done. According to the builders, LL refused to pay out so the work didn't get done.

Surprise surprise, the situation is now worse. All exterior walls have visible rising damp and recurrent mould problems. There are tide marks on some walls at an inch above the skirting board, cracks in the walls and in one of the rooms its so bad it reaches the ceiling.

A different builder came to survey the situation and advise on exactly what needed to be done. The walls in two rooms would need to come down and be completely rebuilt and have the DPC replaced (one of which has electrics that would need to be rewired etc) and the others need work doing, the specifics of which I cant recall. We would need to be out of the house for this to be completed and the LL would need the money paid by tenants to do it (so she can't just get rid of us and do it between tenancies). So far she is still refusing to pay out for it, despite it being mortgage free.

Now, I love this house and the area and a happy to continue paying to live in the property and even temporarily stay elsewhere while it is being done, however is it unreasonable of me to think that we pay for the terms of our contract to be met, including the LL carrying out any repairs needed that arent our fault (the LA are of the view that it is her responsibility) and that she needs to pay out for the property to be repaired?

BlinkingHeck Mon 17-Nov-14 19:37:57

YANBU to expect LL to pay. Damp can cause health issues.

You aren't thinking of paying for it yourself are you?

WalkingInMemphis Mon 17-Nov-14 19:40:39

YANBU to want the work done, but - So far she is still refusing to pay out for it, despite it being mortgage free - is she actually 'refusing'? Or might it be a case that she can't afford it? Being mortgage free on her rental doesn't automatically mean she has pots of cash.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Mon 17-Nov-14 19:41:14

We had this issue in a rental and called the health department of the local council. The work was done within a month.

pauline6703 Mon 17-Nov-14 19:42:40

As far as I know the owner has a legal responsibility to maintain the property in a habitable condition.
You could ask Shelter for advice or your local council may have an expert to advise you.

ClawHandsIfYouBelieveInFreaks Mon 17-Nov-14 19:46:30

Just call the Health and Safety dept of your council...they will contact your landlady and deal with her.

Phoenixfrights Mon 17-Nov-14 19:46:33

Who cares if she can't afford it? If she can't, she needs to sell the property, not let it to people as it currently is: damp is bad for health and damp in a wall with electrical installations? FFS.

I would give her one last chance to do the remedial work, and then go to environmental health and ask them to do a HHSRS inspection. The council can then compel her to do works. Shelter will be able to advise. However, if the council get involved, be prepared to find a new home.

Honestly, damp is not to be trifled with, especially if you have children. We had it in our last property and didn't really consider the health effects. However, when we moved, our 3 year old's 2 year long nighttime cough miraculously disappeared.

addictedtobass Mon 17-Nov-14 19:50:51

Take photos and call environmental health. The estate agents need to sort it out, they should be telling her to sort it out or you can break the contract.

londonrach Mon 17-Nov-14 19:55:14

Are you living in my previous house. We gave notice after three months of damp (water running down the wall) and photos taken by us to proof it landlord refused to come out. We gave notice (got full deposit back) and got told family was moving in.

specialsubject Mon 17-Nov-14 20:04:39

give notice and leave. It isn't going to improve, she's going to carry on ignoring it and wrecking her property.

more fool her.

letting property is a business and she should have maintenance in her business plan. If she can't afford it she must sell, probably at a loss - but not your problem. And if she can't afford it, the council can't force her to do it because she can't afford it.

DuchessofNorks Wed 19-Nov-14 18:27:38

WalkingInMemphis I'm not going to reveal how I know, but this woman is certainly not short of cash. I discovered more recently she went on an expensive holiday and bought a (very naice) second car! She can more than afford it.

Phoenixfrights Thank you. I think this is the route I will go down. Its been a year and nothing has really been done, however I am willing to give one more chance. I also hadn't considered the health implications but DS has more recently developed a relentless cough and we have a newbie DD to consider.

londonrach Its a common problem by the look of things! The previous tennants were a family. No mention or evidence of issues when they showed us round, although the LA mentioned a few "minor damp issues" when we were moved in!

I think I will give them one last chance this week and in the meantime speak to Shelter. If nothing is done I will call environmental health and save some money in case we have to move, again!

What can Sheltee realistically do for us? I've never contacted them before blush

Redpriestandmozart Wed 19-Nov-14 18:31:06

Why oh why did I read the title as..

To think my Ladygarden needs to pay for this work to be done?

whois Wed 19-Nov-14 18:40:52

is she actually 'refusing'? Or might it be a case that she can't afford it? Being mortgage free on her rental doesn't automatically mean she has pots of cash

Totally pointless post. Doesn't matter if the LL 'can't afford' to pay. She bloody should get the property sorted and take out a loan (secured or unsecured) if she doesn't have the cash.

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