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Property/DIY

Landlord isn't dealing with damp - now my 4mo is getting ill and I'm getting furious. What to do?

10 replies

DeliaDamp · 14/11/2009 09:37

We moved into a 2-bed end-of-Victorian-terrace house in June. When the July rains (and my newborn) arrived we started to notice damp in one of the rooms. The LL said that it had never been a problem for him (he and wife had occupied the property before)

By August there was damp coming through the external wall into DS room also. Ever since, the pattern has been the same; we complain that the damp is getting worse, LL comes round and tries some amateur botch method of fixing it himself (from dabbing with J-Cloths (!), fixing the plaster on the exterior wall and installing a de-humidifier) - nothing has worked.

Now the house is damp, dank, whiffy and loses heat the instant the radiators go off. My arthritis is flaring up and DS has a cold - I'm aware that this might be a co-incidence of course, but I can't help feeling that I'm letting him down

The LL has stopped replying to my emails. I feel angry and fobbed off.

Should I take this further and contact the council? I think that they have a way of forcing the work to be done as the house is borderline unfit for habitation - but I'm scared that they'll make us move out and I just can't face it; the house is perfect for us otherwise.

OP posts:
saramoon · 14/11/2009 10:40

We have had this kind of problem but our landlord is finally getting round to doing something about it. We have been in a 2 bed Victorian semi for 2 years now and it has no central heating and is damp. We love it though as it is in a great area and behind a great primary. After ALOT of persistence from us - and my Mum who got some info about conditions of rented accommodation - he got someone in to take the plaster off the dining room wall, inject some stuff into the walls and re plaster. Was great until the same thing started happening to the lounge wall - and don't get me started on our bedroom - so we got him over here again and i noticed that the wall in the dining room is getting wet again - ie it didn't work!!
You need to contact the council and get something done, the landlord sounds rubbish but you can't live in conditions like that. it sounds worse than ours.

somewhathorrified · 14/11/2009 10:52

This might sound odd, but if the damp is coming through the upstairs it might be something as simple as looking at the guttering...you can do this yourself!

starmucks · 14/11/2009 11:49

We have a damp and a similarly neglectful/crap landlady. Guttering has been re-done, walls injected and replastered. And yet it always comes back and the room is unusuable. At no point has the vile cow offered a reduction in rent or done any work willingly. The result is that we will be moving. I also have a 4 month old so can empathise with hassle factor, but chances are the damp has always been there and is the reason they moved out in the first place.

EldonAve · 14/11/2009 11:52

info here

Maybe call Shelter to ask for advice
Local environmental health may also help you

navyeyelasH · 14/11/2009 12:16

When this happened to me about 4 years ago I called environmental health and they basically forced the landlord to fix it - it did take a while though (think 3 months).

displayuntilbestbefore · 14/11/2009 12:22

Take photographs of the affected areas and contact landlord again to say that unless he does something about it you feel you have no option but to contact the local council with a letter and photographs of the problem, especially as it is affecting your health. He will either do something about it or you will have to reconsider living there.

DeliaDamp · 14/11/2009 12:31

Thanks folks.

somewhatterrified - I wish it was guttering but we've had a look and they're fine. If I could fix it myself I'd be up a ladder like a rat up a drainpipe, so to speak

I suspect that they tried to sell the place, got a survey done and realised that they'd never be able to flog it because of the damp and that tenants looking at the place in the summer wouldn't notice

I also suspect that they can't afford the major work the house no doubt needs.

Eldon - that's really useful info cheers - I think it's going to take an abatement notice

OP posts:
Scottie22 · 14/11/2009 20:23

We lived in a really damp, mouldy cottage for 2 years when ds was a baby. I got soo worried about it we did move out eventually. There wasn't much the LL could do as it wasn't a building that should have been lived in tbh!

I really feel for you in this situation and it drives me mad that LL's can get away with things like this . If I were you and you can't get anywhere with LL I would contact Environmental Health and hopefully something will be done about it.

Please also think about writing to your local MP. We've just done it to complain that tenants have so few rights - perhaps if enough of us do it they might start to take notice!

Hope you get it sorted out soon..

HerHonesty · 15/11/2009 14:04

i know this sounds like a complete shag but its a renters market at the moment. tell him if it isnt sorted you'll hand your notice in. he'd be a fool not to listen and go through another vacant period.

saramoon · 15/11/2009 15:18

Her Honesty is right - our landlord is now going to do something about our lounge wall and is saying oh you are such good tenants because he knows if we leave he won't get someone else in easily - although when he initially advertised the property in the paper he was inundated with people wanting to rent this place just cos of the area. Pisses me off cos i know he has 10 other properties - and is about the same age as me

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