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AIBU re Estate agent and 'condensation'

(89 Posts)
StudentMumArghh Mon 06-Nov-17 08:39:18

Morning all,

I had an inspection carried out the other day in the house I'm currently renting.
The EA noticed the damp/'condensation' on the bathroom ceiling, particularly in the corners. I pointed out that the specks of mould were there upon moving into the property and have been recorded on the inventory by an inspector.
EA agent said to me that I need to keep my bathroom window open at all times and to get some bleach and clean the ceiling.
I pointed out that keeping the bathroom window open all the time isn't an options a) it's too bloody cold b) it's a security issue. I also said I wouldn't be scrubbing any ceiling and if they want it cleaned they need to get someone else to do it as a) it was a problem that should have been dealt with prior to me moving in and b) at 5"2 there's no way I could reach the ceiling anyway!


19lottie82 Mon 06-Nov-17 08:45:58

Hi - Just to avoid confusion I take it you mean letting agent, and you are renting?
If so mould is generally caused by lifestyle issues (although building issues can be the cause, it is rarer) so although as you have stated it’s not practical to keep your window open 247 you need to take steps to prevent it.
These can include, using your heating, ideally on low whenever possible (and economical), definitely opening the bathroom window after a shower / bath, until all condensation has cleared, not drying washing indoors and wiping condensation from windows then disposing if it by wringing out cloth down sink ect (using a disposable cloth then putting them in an inside bin will just allow the damp to escape again).

araiwa Mon 06-Nov-17 08:50:38

extractor fan?

recklessgran Mon 06-Nov-17 09:36:50

Try buying an electric dehumidifier and running it on the landing. You'll be amazed at the difference it will make. The house will feel warmer too.

SaucyJack Mon 06-Nov-17 09:43:03

Yeah, you do sound U.

Although as a fellow shortarse I'm loving the idea that it's someone else's responsibility to clean my home for me (!)

LaurieFairyCake Mon 06-Nov-17 09:43:55

Being told to leave your window open is ridiculous, it’s frosty here today

StudentMumArghh Mon 06-Nov-17 09:55:16

@SaucyJack My house is very clean and I do not believe it's someone else's responsibility to clean my home.

I do think however, it isn't my responsibility to clean the unreachable mould that was already there prior to me moving in.

Whirliegigspider Mon 06-Nov-17 09:55:16

You can get damp collector things from 79p from home bargains type shops. Lasts about 6 weeks. I have one in my bathroom and car. Kids often spill water bottles in car or have wet feet so can make damp. Then at this time of year that makes inside windows icy. When i pop a box in it stops that. Amazing how much water it collects!

kinkajoukid Mon 06-Nov-17 09:59:09

It is madness these days for a property not to have an extractor fan in a bathroom/ kitchen. So if you have one then you need to be using it. If not then keep asking for one to be fitted. After all, it is in the LL's interest to make it easy for tenants to keep the property damp-free.

YABU in that is not unreasonable for you to have a wipe of the ceiling using bleach or vinegar to stop the mould getting worse. Once it has taken hold it can spread really easily so the best thing to do is stop it ASAP. I know it is crap to rent a home that is not given to you in a clean state, but ultimately you still are the one who will have to clean it so you might as well just do it!

But I don't think you should have to pay for a dehumidifier or the cost of running one - not cheap! If you need one that badly, there is a bigger problem; lack of heat/ lack of ventilation/ drying washing indoors/or a damp problem within the building (leak or water getting on somehow) which need to be addressed.

StepAwayFromGoogle Mon 06-Nov-17 10:04:27

I'd just get some mould and mildew remover, a sponge and a step ladder. Problem is with mould that it tends to get worse over time so best to keep on top of it.

fucksakefay Mon 06-Nov-17 10:06:11

Well I'd have refused to move in until they cleaned it
But now you're there just do it, stand on a chair or whatever

GabsAlot Mon 06-Nov-17 10:11:44

tll thm u wont b doing it as per the inventory it was there when u moved in

PinkHeart5914 Mon 06-Nov-17 10:13:56

Windows should always be opened even for just an hour or so a day. Doesn’t everyone do this anyway? To air the place out

A wash with some dulited bleach, will do it good too. Many people can’t reach the celling without standing on a chair or ladder so I don’t think your mould is “unreachable”

Thing is if you don’t bother cleaning it, mould does get worse over time

mindutopia Mon 06-Nov-17 10:15:50

You need to clean up damp. If there is an ongoing issue, like damp in a bedroom or something from a structural issue in the house, yes, they should address the structural issue. But the damp growing inside is your responsibility to clean. Every house has damp in the UK. I've never lived in one that doesn't. But bathrooms especially are naturally prone to damp because of baths and showers. It's not a structural problem per se. It's just you have to bathe. So there will be condensation (nothing letting agent can do about it) and you need to clean it. I've never had a house we didn't bleach the bathroom. You can re-paint it with mould proof paint (we've done that a few times to save the cleaning hassle), but it only works so well. Otherwise, yes, you need to bleach it about once a month. It's not the letting agent's job to clean for you. Get some mould spray or bleach in a spray bottle and spray it. If you get it well enough, it goes away without too much scrubbing. Otherwise, get a ladder.

RealBabyFoodBaby Mon 06-Nov-17 10:16:58

I had mould appear on my ceiling after moving in, the shower was also leaking causing damp on one of the walls. The landlord sent a plumber around to clean the mould and sort the leak. When the mould came back regardless of this, she sent the plumber around again to check it’s still due to the damp in the walls, she’s hired a dehumidifier for us to use to try and dry the wall out quicker and got the mould cleaned again.

It wouldn’t occur to me that it’s not their responsibility when it was there prior to moving in and therefore clearly not caused by you.

Hillarious Mon 06-Nov-17 10:17:34

Some ventilation is needed. If you don't have a proper extractor fan in the bathroom, you should ensure you open the window after a bath or shower to let the majority of the moisture in the air escape. If you close the bathroom door, you won't let the cold into the rest of the house. You don't have to leave the window open for too long, but this will make a difference. You can make this work if you want to.

Bluntness100 Mon 06-Nov-17 10:18:52

You don’t really want to live with mould do you? Yes, it should have been cleaned before you moved in, but just give it a quick clean, for your own and your kids benefit. Personally I’d have cleaned it day 1, it can’t be pleasant.

TsunamiOfShit Mon 06-Nov-17 10:22:06

mould is generally caused by lifestyle issues (although building issues can be the cause, it is rarer)

It is not rarer that it is a building issue. The mould is caused by condensation and you only get condensation against a cold surface. A well insulated house complete with adequate ventilation will not get mouldy.

However OP, you do seem to live in a property prone to condensation, so you need to adjust your lifestyle suit (assuming LL has installed an extractor fan already). Keep window slightly ajar and keep heating on low. You will hardly notice it on your bills and it will be a more pleasant place to live in.

And clean the mould yourself. Use a mop with a long handle maybe?

Firesuit Mon 06-Nov-17 10:22:33

I've had mould on my en-suite ceiling. Takes seconds to remove, spray with bleach (Dettol mould and mildew remover) and wipe with cloth. (I stand on the bath to reach ceiling, which is a bit dangerous. You could get a small step-ladder.)

Ventilate: open window wide for half-an-hour during the day, if you have one. Otherwise leave extractor fan on full blast for an hour after every shower.

I also have a dehumidifier, which helps. A combined thermometer and humidity meter off Amazon for under £10 will tell you when you air is damp and you need to open a window or run the fan, and whether you have your dehumidifier setting high enough.

I do think getting mould off the ceiling is an occupant responsibility, it is essentially cleaning. (Obviously you shouldn't have inherited any, but assuming I'm right that it will take seconds to get rid of, I wouldn't argue about it.)

I have learnt the hard way that keeping humidity down in winter is something that an occupier needs to be concerned with on a daily basis.

MrsOverTheRoad Mon 06-Nov-17 10:26:55

Get some steps confused Get someone to hold them if you don't feel safe but unless you're elderly or disabled, you need to clean the black away!

It's the first thing I'd have done on moving in OP!

Yes, they should have done it first...but they didn't. Doesn't mean you now get to leave it.

Open window during day with bathroom door closed...shut at night.

EssentialHummus Mon 06-Nov-17 10:28:21

The Dettol spray doesn't need wiping off, so that sorts out the height issue. I'm sorry OP, this is one of the shit parts of renting and you have my sympathy.

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 06-Nov-17 10:29:44

We have this in our flat. It was rented out before we moved in. The people who lived here before had the heating on for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening and never opened any of the windows. Once it gets a grip it is hard to deal with (it has just come back in our en suite, but the rest of the flat is - finally - much better)> Can you ask them to fit an extractor fan in the bathroom?

Nousernameforme Mon 06-Nov-17 10:31:27

Our house gets terrible damp in winter heating on always bathroom window always open. Yes it gets cold but bathroom door is kept closed. All windows open and no furniture up against the inside of the outside walls no drying clothes inside on radiators plus those little dehumidifiers in every room. All this and we still have to clean off damp but its obv our fault according to the EA

RB68 Mon 06-Nov-17 10:31:49

There are a number of things 1. When in bath or shower crack the window open and leave open for about 30 mins afterwards. IF in the am keep showers short and sweet to avoid too much build up of moisture. 2. If an extractor is fitted use it regularly. I believe rented accom should by law have one linked to the light switch these days. 3. Don't leave damp towels in there. 4. If windows have condensation wipe it up each morning. 5. Don't dry damp towels in bathroom or anything else for that matter as you are just adding yet more moisture 6. Get yourself some of the damp absorbing silicon jobs from the pound shop to help out.

They are not being unreasonable to ask you to clean it I am afraid. Once you have moved in its your problem. What might be worth doing is give good clean and bleach then paint over with antimould white paint.

Also worth checking is that there is nothing above or outside causing a problem - so is it a flat roof and is it insulated (often say in the 70s they weren't insulated and as a result collect moisture as the warm damp air reaches the cold ceiling cold from outside weather as not insulated. A leaky gutter might also cause the issue.

MyKingdomForBrie Mon 06-Nov-17 10:31:56

every house in the UK has damp I’ve lived in one house with damp - out of six in the last ten years!

It’s in your interest to try and minimise the mould op it’s horrible stuff, just get damp traps and bleach it once, it’s worth it.

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