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Any landlords on MN who could give me some advice?

(4 Posts)
DarkBlueEyes Tue 04-Nov-14 14:58:23

I am having issues in a flat I own with damp. It's in a managed building and the managing agent says it's condensation, however, I don't believe it is, and he has organised a surveyor to check it out. Meantime the tenant has had issues with mould on furniture in one room in particular, and is obviously not happy. I'm not either to be honest as I wouldn't have bought the damn place if I'd thought it had damp!

To cut a long story short, these flats are known for condensation, and have two ventilator units in them. This was made clear to her when she took the flat, and it was clearly stated she had to use the units and not dry clothes in the flat. While she has the flaps open, I don't believe she's switching them on. I also put a portable dehumidifier in there for her to use. She's out all day and is cranking up the heating when she gets home. On the advice of the managing agent, until we have the surveyor's report, I've asked her to use the ventilator units all the time, and to have the dehumidifier on. I'm organising a room set thermometer so she can have her heating on low all the time to avoid heating/cooling. I've also ordered a second dehumidifier and bought her a tablet based one so she can have it in her bedroom overnight.

Also asked her to keep the bathroom door closed when showering etc. Now she said she's happy to do all this but wants me to pay her money to cover the increase in her utility bills. I'm a bit gobsmacked by this! I've just shelled out about £300 plus electricians costs to help her manage the humidity. She moved in in May and has had no winter bills yet so on a practical level it would be difficult to tell how much her bills would have increased now that she's having the heating on.

Can anyone advise me? I obviously want the issue fixed (which I believe to be water ingress through some dodgy looking pointing) but don't really think I have to pay her power bills too.... However would love some advice or experience in dealing with this kind of issue. So far I have bent over backwards to do what she wanted (eg moved the internet point so it was more convenient for her).

Thank you Mumsnetters.

DarkBlueEyes Tue 04-Nov-14 14:59:26

Oh and today she says she has a blinding headache, possibly due to dry air....I can't win!

wowfudge Tue 04-Nov-14 16:27:26

Hmm - things that were pointed out to her before she signed the tenancy agreement and the associated ventilator costs should be hers imo.

It's a difficult one, but you can't accuse her of lying so you will need to meet her halfway.

In the past I worked for a commercial LL and some residential tenants had problems with damp (it was bad due to the floor tanking having been breached) and were given an industrial dehumidifier for about six weeks. We made a substantial contribution to their next electricity bill.

If the heating in the flat is gas then the extra electricity costs will obviously be down to the extra equipment. Buy a monitor to find out how expensive they are to run.

Don't forget, whatever your costs, she is living there.

specialsubject Tue 04-Nov-14 17:40:36

no, you don't pay her power bills. You continue to do what you are doing and fix the damp problem.

headaches are not caused by dry air. That is ringing the idiot alarm with me.

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