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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We have just left a rented property where there was terrible

Customer Question

We have just left a rented property where there was terrible mould going on for the whole 2 years we rented for the landlord did nothing to make the problem go away, I got a doctors letter and advise from my gp to leave the property because the mould was affecting my health. The landlord is now trying to take out deposit for the mould on the bathroom ceiling that he was made aware of and said he would repair the ceiling this was not done. They have said that we caused the mould problem even though the bathroom window was constantly left open. My bedroom always had ventilation via a huge vent in the main wall plus the small window was left open, even through the winter. When there was men sent to look at the mould the companies who I spoke to on there visit said the property needed dehumidifiers or a vent fitted in the loft. This never happened. None of the double glaze windows were any good through cracks and and old windows so ventilation was never a problem. What can we do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Did you complain to Environmental Health?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No we did not as we did not know what to do about the situation. I suffer with asthma and this deteriorated while being in the property and I was so bad a few months ago the doctor told me to leave the property he also wrote a letter but I have never opened it as we decided to leave.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
I presume your deposit is in a scheme?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do not understand, everyone has to leave a deposit when renting. What do you mean by scheme????

The agents for the landlord have said that if we do not complete the works requested to there or the landlords satisfaction we will not get our deposit back which is £1000. They wrote " once the above has been completed and the property has been re-inspected, in agreement with the landlord, we can make arrangements for the return of the deposit.

The mould issue in the bathroom was to be treated and repaired by the landlord while we were living there it has remained that way for months on end. So we are surely not liable for the treatment and redecoration of a problem they were supposed to fix.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
So you haven't been given details of a scheme?
What type of contract were you on?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We were on a 6 month tenancy contract and we stayed there for 2 years.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Did you sign a fresh AST?
Or did it just roll over into a periodic?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

We signed every 6 months or we would have to find another property.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Then this is an AST and your deposit should have been in a Government backed scheme.
Are you saying this didn't happen?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Know it did happen, we have cleaned all carpets and curtains to our cost of £350 total cleaning carpets and curtains £440. We are now in a dispute with the letting agent the carpet cleaning company have suggested a meeting between themselves and the letting agents and us to discuss the situation. I personally feel the letting agents are upset because we did not use there cleaning company. We have yet to arrange the meeting but as it stands our deposit is still in the government backed scheme. Our cleaning company has said they think the letting agents are being ridiculous. We are still to resolve the situation I just wish it was over and the letting agents just stop with there harassment. We have been in our new property for over a month when will it end.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
All you need to do is complain to the scheme that your deposit is in of unlawful deductions. They will then adjudicate upon the issue.
Mould can be caused by the manner of occupation or it can be caused by disrepair. It is quite easy for an adjudicator to tell the difference.
If they will not agree though then you must act about this. There is no point in negotiating with a party that wil not be negotiated with.
I wouldn't worry about the view of the agents. Just get on with making a complaint and their decision will be binding.
Can I clarify anything for you?