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A question to landlords

(28 Posts)
TinyDiamond Fri 25-Jan-13 16:31:39

We have been in our house for 3 years this month and are just about to sign for another year (would sign longer-we are not going anywhere).

The house is ok but not great and we pay the going rate for the size of house in the area.

I have painted all the rooms but the hall with very expensive, neutral paint at my own expense over our time here, cleared the yard and generally keep the place really nice.

There are some problems with the house, we have a damp problem which the landlord knows about but is reluctant to do anything about, every time I phone to say could you come and have a look at this mould he always says he turns up when we are not there and then doesn't rearrange. Before Christmas I had to throw away a whole bookshelf that was in my kitchen as the back of it had completely moulded (is that a word?) and rotted from behind and wall was covered in black mould and paint and plaster flaked off. I have had to clean this up myself but it still looks ghastly. I think this needs sorting and the kitchen needs re-painting.

There is also a patch of mould in our bedroom and the lining paper is hanging down at ceiling from where our roof leaked badly before it was repaired.

The bathroom is really mouldy, I use an expensive spray really often which is fine on the tiles but does nothing for the walls as all the mould is even under the lining paper that is there and it's peeling off.

I would like the landlord to:

Replaster kitchen wall and paint

Remove lining paper from bathroom, clean off mould and freshen up with anti mould paint.

I would really like our bedroom sorting too so I can make it nice again, not too bothered about him painting this as I can do myself but if he could repaper it so it was smooth that would be good.

If you had tenants who had been in for 3 yrs already, never late on the rent and prepared
To stay on. Would you agree to these repairs/improvements?

Sorry it's long

TinyDiamond Fri 25-Jan-13 16:32:47

The other thing I forgot to add is that I feel we could benefit from a dehumidifier, we can't afford it-should he buy us one to prevent the mould?

fatnfrumpy Fri 25-Jan-13 16:46:00

Yes, as a long term good tenant I would probably be prepared to spend some money redecorating. Esp since LL has had no expenses on the house redecorating in that time.
If you moved out he would have to do the work before reletting.
However I have a similar issue atm with my tenant resigning after a year.
Thread also on this.
They have let for a year and now have mould in the bedroom as they do not open their windows to venitlate. There is no damp or leak issue in the house.
It is a matter of opening windows in the bedroom as condensation will build up with two people breathing all night.
I have advised him to clean with dilute bleach, ventilate, not dry clothes in the house and buy moister traps from lakeland plastics.
Once he agreed to the above we agreed to redecorate the bedroom for him.
Hopefully your LL will want you to stay on and also agree as compromise is good for the tenant LL relationship.

fatnfrumpy Fri 25-Jan-13 18:18:24

Just as an after thought, Why do you think the kitchen needs replastering?
Wall paper hides a multitude of sins! We bought special kitchen wall paper that can take the steamy conditions.
Dehumdifiers can be bought for about £20 in Poundstretchers albit small ones.
Good luck

specialsubject Fri 25-Jan-13 18:24:40

bit off that the landlord can't keep an appointment, and that bit of hanging lining paper certainly needs sorting.

do you have/are you using extractor fans? Is the bathroom being heated? Are you ventilating? Why are you using 'expensive spray'?

your plan for the bathroom seems reasonable, but not clear why the kitchen needs replastering.

anyway, your first job is to see if your landlord will actually meet you. If not, time to write down what you want done and agree it with him. Never being late on the rent is your legal obligation, so not relevant, but after three years some work must need doing and he needs to take this on board.

nocake Fri 25-Jan-13 18:25:53

If the damp is due to moisture in the air condesing on walls then it's your responsibility to air the property and keep the humidity level down by opening windows, using extractor fans and not drying washing inside. If the damp is coming from outside then your landlord should fix it.

TinyDiamond Fri 25-Jan-13 18:30:36

not whole kitchen needs replastering just one wall where from about half way down it is all damp covered in black mould and fungus and the wall is basically crumbling away from about hip height down. I would imagine wallpapering it wouldn't fix it and the wall is uneven because of this so wallpaper wouldn't even stick.

we are very conscientious in terms of ventilation and do everything on our part to keep it at bay but unfortunately the damp problem is quite bad. we have no choice but to dry wet washing inside in the winter but now we use a heated airer in the bathroom with window very open overnight even in this weather. other windows are on vent permanently. there is an extractor in the kitchen above hob that gets used when cooking

TinyDiamond Fri 25-Jan-13 18:32:44

and all windows are opened at some point every day, even in the bloody snow. heating been on for ages as its been so cold

fatnfrumpy Fri 25-Jan-13 19:40:33

Crumbling from hip height down sounds like rising damp to me!
Agree your LL defo needs to look at this.
May be tell him you will not be renewing contract if he does not agree to the
matter being sorted?
It is calling his bluff but if you sign he has no rela NEED to sort it does he?
I would be only to happy to keep a long term tenant.
Better the devil you know and all that!!
NOCAKE absolutly agree with you. pity you didn't see my mould thread which got very heated with a certain tenant!

Sunnyshores Sat 26-Jan-13 17:47:42

you need to write to your landlord and record all this. Also make sure your deposit is protected, or you could get charged if/when you leave.

Samnella Sat 26-Jan-13 18:53:10

I am a LL and have had issues with damp. The mould you describe is most likely condensation caused by you not adequately ventilating the property. We fitted extractor fans in the bathroom and kitchen to prevent this so therefore feel we have done all we can. If it happens now I pass the cost onto tenants as I class it as damage. However, I would balance the total cost against any routine costs for decorating. I learnt the hard way on this one. A newly decorated flat was mould ridden within 6 months of new tenants moving in and cost £2000 to treat the mould and redecorate. At the time we didn't ask the tenants to pay but I would now.

Depending on how bad the mould is you really do need to treat properly. As in remove lining paper and apply chemicals before decorating otherwise it comes back. So therefore is there any chance this mould was already there and has just got worse? A lot of people just spray something on the top to remove the mould but that doesn't remove the spores. What you have in your favour is a history of reporting this to your LL. His lack of response means he couldn't really hold you liable for the full costs.

If a tenant were to call me about this again I would go round and take photos, explain its caused by their actions and get a quote for the work if its needed. This invariably involves decorating the whole room as its difficult to just paint one wall as it looks odd. If that room was due a painting anyway I would only charge them for the work relating to the actual damp. If not I would perhaps go halves as I would have decorated at some point. It really would depend and I like to think I am reasonable.

I would get the work done straight away as once the mould is there it will spread pretty quickly.

TBH I am not sure why you are signing for another year. Those mould spores are really not good for your health and your LL should be taking it a lot more seriously.

Samnella Sat 26-Jan-13 18:56:03

Just read all you do to ventilate. Sounds to me as though the damp spores were there when you moved in and inaction by your LL has meant they are growing. I really would reconsider your decision to resign. Your LL is rubbish.

PureQuintessence Sat 26-Jan-13 18:58:36

Personally, as a landlord I would have made these repairs long ago.

To be honest, if I were you, I would look at moving rather than renewing the lease. You know that your LL is a bit crap, and have 0 interest in the property.

All this mould could pose a health hazard, and if you were to bring the council health and safety in, they might deem the house unfit to live in, in its current condition.

Do you have children? Mold can cause respiratory illnesses.

Also, a damp house is expensive to heat.

kilmuir Sat 26-Jan-13 19:02:35

wow as a landlady I would be concerned at that amount of mould/damp. ventilation can only do so much

TinyDiamond Sat 26-Jan-13 21:35:32

Yes we have an 18 month old. The mould is in the 3 coldest rooms in the house so it makes sense. We really do try and do what we can to combat this but it's getting worse. I had to throw my own bookshelf out as it was completely ruined by this mould. We have now discovered that the entire area behind the washing machine is also all mouldy sad
I will be putting it in writing to the agent early next week so we have plenty of time to decide what to do.

TinyDiamond Sat 26-Jan-13 21:36:32

Oh and our heating bills are sky high yes, crippling. But that is because the boiler doesn't work as it should either. Sigh. I hate renting

PureQuintessence Sat 26-Jan-13 22:05:02

Does the flat have a valid gas safety certificate if the boiler does not work?

I would start looking for somewhere else to live!

TinyDiamond Sun 27-Jan-13 01:20:06

yes we have certificate its perfectly safe just not energy efficient. so basically we should be able to put it on timer, set when it comes on and off but instead due to how its broken we can only have on, or off, ever. and it needs to be on for a really long time for any hot water or radiators to get hot. basically really old and shit

SolomanDaisy Sun 27-Jan-13 13:21:07

I also think it sounds like rising damp in the kitchen, which will be affecting moisture levels in the whole house. Not all damp problems are just condensation. The landlord is crazy not to get it treated.

PureQuintessence Sun 27-Jan-13 19:40:44

Why do you not want to move?

TinyDiamond Sun 27-Jan-13 21:15:06

We don't want to move because despite having a toddler and it being a massive stress anyway. 1) we do not have enough to raise a deposit and fees and first months rent from nowhere as wouldn't get our dep back until we'd secured another property.
2) where we live is all terrace housing and is a nightmare to park, we live in the only bit where it is a one way system so people don't often park here so we can always get relatively close. 3) we are trying to improve credit rating so another housemove wouldn't be ideal. 4) it is largely a student area so houses only really come up between June-august. It's slim pickins right now

TinyDiamond Sun 27-Jan-13 21:15:50

5) we like our neighbours

fatnfrumpy Mon 28-Jan-13 00:30:42

Catch 22 then OP?
Can you not get a surveyor or damp specialist to have a look for you, prehaps give a quote and send it to the LL?
I know I wouldn't want my tenant to do this but then we go around within three days whenever there is a problem.
Our tenant has a condensation problem that we hope will be sorted by a change in lifestly but yours sounds much more serious!
we had a rising damp problem in our recent purchase(pics on my profile)
It was on the party wall in kitchen and dining room. Quotes came in at 5k.
If we don't sort it we will never sell the property on and nor will your LL!!

hatgirl Mon 28-Jan-13 00:40:30

ooh fatnfrumpy not heard it called lakeland plastics for years!

PureQuintessence Mon 28-Jan-13 10:22:05

When our first tenant had a damp and condensation problem, it turned out to be a burst pipe under the ground floor kitchen floor.....

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