Let property issues, what are my rights(44 Posts)
We moved from the US almost 1 year ago into a managed property by MG. We have had several leaks (radiator and outside pipe). It took several weeks for anyone to fix them and have mold issues as a result. I understand mold is a common occurrence living here and also after you have had a leak. But the damage from the leaks are not being repaired and the mold is getting worse. The letting agent has said the landlord feels it is a decorating issue and does not have to fix. Is this true? Are damp/mold stains only considered a decorating fix? The mold is now on my ceiling and it's black - it isn't bad but it's mold! What are my rights? I've called the Council in who said, yes it's mold but that MG is busy and will get to me eventually? They also said I'm reacting like an American because mold isn't dangerous? Umm yes it is, it is not healthy to breathe mold on a daily basis. I don't know what to do.
You could call Shelter for advice. A ll has to deal with repairs in a reasonable time period. In the meantime take photos and you could treat the superficial mould with a bleach or anti fungal solution. Do you ventilate the property well especially damp areas like bathrooms and kitchen as condensation will allow it to regrow.
There isn't a fan in the bathroom where the mold is growing from the outside leak. But I leave the door open and toilet closed. What is Shelter? Thanks!
You should have been given a booklet or email link at the start of your tenancy to the government publication 'how to rent' which explains all your rights.
Who are mg?
Mould is not standard in the UK, but will happen in a place with water leaks.
Mood isn't just a decorative issue, you're quite right that it's health related as well.
Ring the local council's housing officers. Follow up with emails. Give dates, etc. They can push for repairs and even, say, a fan installed and issue enforcement orders if the landlord doesn't come. Your property managers are trying it in. Don't listen to them. Become the squeaky wheel and let the council squeak for you too.
Shelter is a housing charity which advocates tenants' rights and assist the homeless and vulnerable. There may be an office near you or you can look online at their advice pages.
Shelter is a charity (I think called non profit in US). They give advice and have lots of info on their website. I think it has draft letters you can use. There is a helpline as well.
I've called the local council who told me I'm reacting like an American in that mold is common here. They told me to keep the door of the bathroom open due to there not being a fan. And to keep the window open with the heat on in the other room with the damp stain. They also told me that MG is busy and will get to me when they can. The bathroom mold is black and is now on the ceiling but according to the Council it isn't bad?!?
MG is the managing agent. I've emailed the landlord who said they know we are not happy, that neither are they and thinking about how to deal. ( I'm not sure what she meant, but they clearly don't want to fix anything)
The council are correct in that mould is common in bathrooms without good ventilation. You need to formally advise your ll that you have been advised that a fan should be installed (check the Shelter site for a template letter) and set a date for a response, meanwhile follow their heating and ventilation advice. Do you dry clothes indoors too?
You're right in that mould is a common problem. But there are things you can do to alleviate it. Make sure the room is as ventilated as if can be - leaving a window open, don't have the heating on in there etc Wipe the mould off with mould spray or bicarb and ask for it to be repainted with an anti mould sealant under the paint and then an anti mould paint. And the landlord should consider putting a fan in. I let several older properties and despite the bathroom having a fan in (and all of the above) one of them always has a mouldy ceiling every few years but never did when I lived there. I can't quite work out what the tenants are doing to create it but I always clean it up. Firstly though the leak needs fixing and the outside thoroughly checking over to make sure there isn't a simple answer. And you can ask for a condensation expert to come out and review it (yes there are people who do that) to make sure it's the house and not you not ventilating properly, which should give you a bit of a backup.
Hope this helps and good luck. In my experience good tenants get crap landlords and good landlords get crap tenants! Xx
Guessing that mg are a housing association. They provide an awful lot of shitholes and seem immune to the laws that govern private landlords.
Who is the actual landlord? Did you get that booklet?
Sounds as though the LL thinks the agent is useless. Why not suggest to the LL that an extractor fan is fitted in the bathroom?
The landlord is backing up MG (the managing agent) Martyn Gerrard. The landlord does not want to fix anything - we have been dealing with this since January and the bathroom is just getting worse.
What have you done to remove the mould?
Buy a £1 spray bottle of mould and mildew remover and clean it up.
You can do that and battle with the landlord. What is MG?
So mold and damp stains are the tenant's responsibility?
Can you just move into another rented place? How much notice do you have to give?
At the moment this is your problem. The landlord doesn't care so long as your rent is coming in every month.
If you move then you leave behind the leaks and the mould (be very diligent in checking over your new rental) and it magically becomes the landlord's problem again.
You should mitigate the damage. If the leak is fixed the spread will be down to the moist environment. You need to formally report it and give them a chance to do something about it, otherwise you may find the ll tries to deduct remedial work from your deposit on departure. If you clean it up (take date stamped pic) and it returns despite your best efforts you can call council again, although as it isn't in a living/sleeping room they may not pursue it further.
Does the bathroom have a window? If not, doesn't it have to have a fan? (Or is that just new builds?)
Has the repair to the outside pipe held up? If not, it could be contributing to the problem and in that case just increasing the ventilation won't be enough.
I would take photos and keep a note of dates and in the meantime remove as much of the mould as you can with a suitable cleaning product.
Dettol mould and mildew is brilliant for getting rid of it. Stinks though!
In the meantime treat the mould with HG mould remover. It's much better than Dettol.
Keep the window open.
ah, I see. Not a housing association., my mistake.
Crap landlord and crap letting agency. Although the buck stops with the landlord who won't repair the property - the agent may be ripping them off but that's not your problem. I am staggered that the council is defending the agent by saying they are too busy to get to you!
what can you do?
- give notice and leave. Don't rent dumps from bad landlords. (if this is a repair issue rather than a lifestyle one, and it sounds like it)
- raise an environmental health notice with the council. As it sounds like you have some work-avoiders there (common in councils) you will need to get informed about how to do this. It all starts with how to rent which tells you your rights. This notice means you can't be evicted under section 21. The idea is to enforce repairs but that is easier said than done.
- the agency are a member of ARLA but they are a fairly toothless organisation.
to be honest, option 1 is the best with your useless council and bad landlord.
Mould will grow wherever there is condensation - we have part of our bathroom wall that is less well insulated than the rest of the walls so moisture condenses there and it gets mouldy.
Yes dealing with the mould is the tenant's responsibility. Structural issues causing the environment that is making it easy for mould to grow would be the landlord's responsibility (installing a fan. Ensuring adequate insulation) but most landlords would prefer to find a less fussy tenant rather than spend money on that sort of thing.
Wiping down the affected areas with an anti-mould spray once a month should be sufficient.
Decent landlords maintain their property, so the generalisation that all would just like to find a tenant who doesn't mind mould is pushing it.
And doesnt work outside London.
Op says that there is unrepaired damage. And all rental properties should have bathroom fans. Give the tenant a chance.
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