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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hello, I have 2 main questions: 1. Based on the information

Customer Question

Hello, I have 2 main questions:
1. Based on the information below, is the landlord responsible to reimburse us for mould removal, and if so, what should we do now?
2. Our tenancy agreement expires this 25th September. We don't necessarily want to commit to another year as we may be moving for a new job so what are our options? Can we let it lapse automatically into periodic rolling tenancy? If the landlord wants us to move out, what advance notice are they required to give us? Is it 2 months? How much advance notice must we give them?
In March we discovered a large amount of mould growing in the 2 master bedroom closets. We notified the leasing agent right away (I also mentioned the mould to the landlord in an email, but that was the last direct contact with her).The leasing agent suggested I contact a contractor they use, Preservation Specialists. I emailed the contractor and explained the situation. He replied via email that his company is not qualified to remove mould and suggested I contact a mould removal specialist. I forwarded his response to the leasing agent and informed him that we want the mould removed by someone who is qualified to do so safely and effectively so as not to jeopardize our health or spread mould spores throughout the flat and to assure that the roots of the mould are eradicated, which only a mould specialist can do. Bleach and DIY cleaners do not kill the roots of the mould, which remain in the wood/plaster and continue to damage it. We provided him with a local company, ICE Renovations, which is qualified in this regard and guarantees their work. The leasing agent agreed for ICE to do an inspection/assessment on 12th March. I made the arrangements and forwarded the results which I've copied below as follows:
We paid £50 for the survey and have not yet been reimbursed
ICE Renovations Inspection Notes:
"No trickles in any of the timber windows - lack of air ventilation and circulation in flat - all windows suffering some form of mould contamination
Evidence of water ingress at window cill - could have been the driving rain recently - or could mean a problem by the window
Frames and cills in poor condition outside, rotting, internally they require maintenance
Wardrobes where client photos sent initially to ICE with mould contamination on, are still suffering from mould and damp problems on the flank wall.
No vents on the wardrobes
Have been told that mould was on clothing, items and shoes
Water damage from above neighbours flat roof area or that vicinity - not inspected. Suggest freeholder checks flashings on the small flat roof areas
Bathroom doesn't have a fan which would expel moisture"
Upon receiving these survey results on 4 April, I forwarded them to the leasing agent. The leasing agent assured me that he was working on resolving this issue and that he was "liaising" with the landlord. He said that I could expect to be contacted by a contractor and a building inspector, but that never happened. He finally stopped by the property himself along with an electrician to see about a vent fan for the bathroom. Nothing came of that. I stayed in regular contact with the leasing agent via email but with no concrete results from him, only vague assurances that he was aware of the matter and working on it, either with ICE, the landlord, and other contractors. Finally, since 4 months had gone by, I contacted ICE directly and asked them to remove the mould, which they did on 16th July. I think that having to live with that amount of mould for that length of time is unacceptable. I informed the leasing agent that the mould had been safely and professionally removed and forwarded the invoice which was in the amount of £390 (this does not include the £50 survey fee for ICE,. He assured me he would contact the landlord regarding payment but I heard nothing back from him. Eventually ICE threatened to send the bill to collections. The leasing agent said he called the landlord but she was "unavailable". We've heard nothing more on this matter, only that the landlord wants to renew the lease for another year but with an increase in rent from£1600 to £1700/month.
Your advice regarding our above-mentioned questions is appreciated. Thank you!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Have you complained to the Council at all please?

Customer:

Hello Alex,

Customer:

I haven't complained to the Council, as stated previously. I am not familiar with that process. Do you have an answer to my questions? Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you further.

Alex Watts : What I can say that is if you do not renew when the original tenancy expires it goes automaitically into a period tenancy, you do not need to do anything.
Alex Watts : If the landlord wants to give you notice then he must give you 2 months before your normal rent due date.
Alex Watts : In terms of notice which you have to give you need to check your tenancy agreement, but it would usually be one month.
Alex Watts : As for the invoice for the mould specialist the landlord is responsible as this is a structural problem.
Alex Watts : Also as for increasing the rent if you are in a fixed term tenancy the landlord can not do this.
Alex Watts : If you are in a periodic tenancy and the landlord wants to increase it, he must provide you with a section 10 notice to increase the rent
Alex Watts : You can challenge this increase by taking it to a rent valuation tribunal who will decide what market rent is.
Alex Watts : As for the refund of mould survey and fees You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
Alex Watts : If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.
Alex Watts : The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
Alex Watts : If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer:

Hello Alex,

Customer:

I have not received any answer to my questions as of yet. The only reply I have from you was your query as to whether I'd complained to my counsel. This is not an answer to my question. Also please refrain from sending me any more requests to rate your answer. I am aware of how Just Answer works and will be happy to give you a high rating if I receive a full answer from you. Thank you

Alex Watts : Can you not see my answer above?
Customer:

Hello Alex,

Alex Watts :

Hello

Alex Watts :

You have rated bad service twice?

Customer:

My sincere apologies,,...No, for some reason your very thorough answer was not visible to me...not sure why. I do see it now of course and thank you for a helpful response. Is an email which the leasing agent responded to acceptable documentation of my request for reimbursement regarding the mould cleanup or must it have been a formal letter sent via mail?

Customer:

Thanks again and sorry for the misunderstanding.

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
I always prefer a formal letter.

Alex

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