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To ask my landlady to contribute to mould-related expenses?

(11 Posts)
Mcmcmcmc Fri 07-Aug-15 11:57:45

I've been living in a rented flat for 4 years. It is a basement flat in Central London, and the landlady lives in the upper floors. She is lovely and we never had any problems. She has offered to fix broken appliances and has bought a new oven when it broke a couple of years ago. The flat was fully furnished when we moved in.
Since my partner and I moved in, we noticed a problem with damp and mould. The landlady is aware of the problem and I think it is a hard problem to fix. The leaks come from upstairs (where she lives) and fixing it might require some pretty big work to be done. My partner and I painted the walls a few months ago but the mould is coming back again this summer, mostly because the heating is off and there is a lot of damp.

He went away on holiday for a week in July, and came back to find all my wool and cashmere sweaters grey with mould. I was not expecting that, since I moved all sweaters to some Ikea mesh drawers which let a lot of air come through. I now have a dry cleaning bill of £150, and have decided that it will be best to turn the heating on for a couple of hours a day to avoid further damage from mould and damp. I haven't spoken to my landlady about this yet (this has just happened a week ago) but AIBU to ask her to deduct at least part of the dry-cleaning and heating costs from our rent? I don't want to seem unreasonable or greedy, but the damp is a chronic, possibly "unfixeable" problem in the flat, so I think this may be justified...

specialsubject Fri 07-Aug-15 12:02:57

Your possessions are not the responsibility of your landlady and are covered by your tenant's insurance. Which you do have, of course?

Basement flats tend to have condensation problems, but if there are actual leaks then she needs to fix them at her cost. If she won't, report to environmental health; that will also mean she can't evict you.

assuming you want to live in a damp basement, of course.

msrisotto Fri 07-Aug-15 12:05:23

Err gross. Can't you move? I think it's actually dangerous to live in a mouldy dwelling isn't it? Do you have windows you can open? Have you asked her before to fix the cause of the mould problem? I think it is her responsibility but if she hasn't done anything about it in 4 years....

LeafyLafae Fri 07-Aug-15 13:10:46

The damaged caused was a result of her not getting the problem, which you have no control over, fixed in a timely manner.
If it were mould as a result of condensation (say you dried your clothes on the radiators & didn't ventilate the property properly) then that would be your fault for not looking after the property in a tenant-like manner (I.e. Looking after the basics as though it were your own house).
She is liable & needs to get it sorted

HelenaDove Fri 07-Aug-15 15:47:58

Under the Housing Act 2004 the landlord is responsible.

hairtoday1 Fri 07-Aug-15 16:36:54

I wouldn't rush to move

Having recently looked for a new place to live, all but one had mould and/or damp

We're moving into the one that didn't

cranberryx Fri 07-Aug-15 16:41:54

I had a similar problem in an old flat due to single pain glass and condensation on the windows causing mould on the wooden frames and anything within a 2 metre radius of any window.

The landlord provides a de-humidifier, and deducted £10 a month from the rent on the condition that it was always kept on. I think they legally have to provide means to combat damp to make the property liveable. The problem with damp and mould is that it can cause a whole host of problems in people with breathing difficulties and also other health concerns that can be quite serious.

I would definitely contact her about it, and also send some photos. However, asking her to pay for the sweaters is BU (unless you had already spoken about the damp to her and she had done nothing) I would suggest that you claim on household contents insurance for them, and perhaps get some airtight garment bags in the mean time to protect any higher valued items of clothing.

vaticancameos Fri 07-Aug-15 16:44:47

Actually When Environmental Health got involved with problems in my flat they said the work was enforceable and they could make the landlord sort out the problems. But that if he wanted to do a revenge eviction there was nothing they could do to stop that. Get some proper advice before taking action. I have a solicitor suing my landlord for a variety of things including possessions damaged due to water coming in through the roof.

onlyif Fri 07-Aug-15 16:48:36

Ask LL to buy a dehumidifier firstly, she should be provided accommodation that is of livable standard. If something is leaking from above it needs fixing, I believe the local council can help you with this as the mould makes it unfit to live in..why are you putting up with this?

BabyGanoush Fri 07-Aug-15 16:48:40

Could she provide you with a few dehumidifiers?

You don't have a dryer perchance, do you?

A friend of mine had terrible damp due to dryer in house (it was not a condense dryer! ).

specialsubject Fri 07-Aug-15 17:49:32

vatican the point is that the new deregulation bill includes measures to STOP revenge evictions. So if you live in a damp dump you don't have to leave. The idea is that the landlord can be forced to fix it - that doesn't tend to work quite as well as crooks aren't usually that bothered.

OP said she's been there four years, and on closer reading there are leaks in the building which the landlady isn't fixing.

landlord-hate isn't acceptable, but it is excusable when this happens.

can't afford to provide a decent rental? Sell up.

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