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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69374
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi,I would like to ask about the property we are renting

Customer Question

Hi, I would like to ask about the property we are renting from a private landlord. Our problem is, that we have mould coming all over the outside walls, inside the house, and this mould is smelling and you can feel it when you enter the house. I have a 3 months old baby and I heard it is not healthy for him at all. I have contacted our agency and they contacted our landlord months ago but nothing has been done. The landlord suggested to us to use the heating more, which is not a solution as we keep the right temperature for us and for our baby, around 20degrees. I heard from many people, there something could be done to the walls as it is not a little mould, it is really a lot and really smelly. After months of waiting they have sent someone from a special company to have a look at this problem, they wrote what could be done, but then again after weeks and weeks waiting nothing happened. We are paying quite a lots of rent and this was a hidden problem I think, the flat was painted new before we moved in, but after a short time the mould was appearing everywhere. I would like to call the agency again but I just get answers that they are waiting for the landlord to agree for the work done. They say he doesnt want to agree to do the work because of the cost. We are paying lots of rent and my baby is still sleeping in a mouldy room and I heard he could get asthma for example because of this. Is there anything what can be done? In two of our wardrobes, in the bottom draw, was mould with baby and my clothes as well. I have sent photos of the mould to our agency but i just keep waiting for something to happen.  Thanks.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

What type of contract is this?

Also how long have you lived there?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi,


 


we live here since Sept 2012. And we started emailing with them towards the end of the year..around oct or nov or so.


 


Contract is assured shorthold tenancy agreement.


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
So is this something that developed during your tenancy or was it there when you moved in?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

When we moved in, the whole flat was painted nicely ( i guess to hide these problems, as now you can see them even if wiped away), and it only started to come after some time, during our tenancy.


 


I dont think the landlords advice about using more heating is acceptable as we heat as it is comfortable for us, we kept around 20 21 degrees most of times, as they say it is perfect for baby.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
So is this damp that can be wiped off?

Is it below waist height or above?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It is damp or mould, it can be wiped off but every 2 or 3 weeks it is back again and it is so bad that even if we wipe it, you can still see it. The worst thing is that it smells, especially our bedroom but you can feel a little bit everywhere. It smells like mould. Especially when we wake up every morning. Our doors and windows are perfect, there is no air coming in n out, probably that is also the reason, but they still say there is a solution for this, to do something with the walls. For this amount of rent we just dont want to live in mould., especially with baby. Our landlord lived here before us for 5 years, so he must have known it. And probably now in summertime it will get better, but if we stay after Sept for another year, we dont want to have all this problem again. Also we were opening our windows for hours n hours in wintertime, but that also didnt help.


 


It is usually under waist height, but next the entrance door it is up until my chest. And on this corridor the heating is always on so it is not about the heating.


 


 

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I'm sorry for the delay. I did respond to this. I don't know why it didn't come out.

The truth about this situation is that you need to get to the bottom of the cause of the damp. Damp can be caused in a number of ways and some are down to the tenant and some to the landlord. Rising damp is down to the landlord but condensation could well be down to the landlord.

Its difficult to tell which applies here. There is evidence of both. If the damp can be wiped off then generally thats condensation and since it developed during your tenancy thats likely to be to do with the manner of occupation. Equally though if its a brown colour and never gets beyond waist height then thats rising damp.

Either way you can complain to environmental health and they will issue an improvement notice or do the work at reasonable cost but there may be a dispute over liability afterwards.

Sorry if thats bad news.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69374
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks, XXXXX XXXXX contact environmental health helpline.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem.

All the best.

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