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Anthony Chendo
Anthony Chendo,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 498
Experience:  Solicitor at BLM
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We have recently moved into a rented property. Within two

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Hi, we have recently moved into a rented property. Within two weeks of living in the property we reported a damp/mould issue.
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: We have spoken to enviro health - they have been to the property and Say the property is Habitable but Those improvements to be made as it’s caused by lack of ventilation
Assistant: Where is the property located?
Customer: located in Southampton
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: We really want to get out of the tenancy, we cannot get out of the tenancy currently.the landlord says that we have to pay the reletting fees and wait for a new tenant however he won’t consider doing that until the property has the improvements made.we have a three month old baby really don’t want her in the property at all but we are continuing to pay rent and bills as we cannot do anything to get out of doing so apart from just not paying the rent

Hello

Welcome to Just answer.

I am reviewing your question and will return to you shortly.

Hello

Before you moved into the property did you notice this issue and if so where you informed it will be resolved before you moved in?

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
No. I did notice the smell of damp the day we moved in. We noticed the mould Growing and reported it two weeks into the tenancy

Given you have reported the matter has the landlord undertaken any steps to rectify the issue

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
A damp/mould company visited the property and said that the relative humidity was 100pervent and it was spreading around the house. We then decided to move out as we did not want our newborn baby in these conditions. We then involved enviroment health - they came and said that the problem wasn’t structural but was lacking ventilation and needed vents etc. and the mould was likely caused by the previous tenants lifestyle. Throughout the whole thing the landlord has insisted it is our ‘lifestyle’ I.e washing clothes which has caused the problem. The Enviromental health agreed this was no the case as we haven’t been living there long enough when we reported it. The landlord has now had a damp course specialist come to make sure it is not damp course - we are awaiting this report but sounds like they said that it is not a significant problem with the damp course. We are now waiting for this report and his recommendations and the letting agency hopes the landlord will do the work advised by the specialist. In the mean time we are stuck paying full rent and bills for the property whilst not living there because legally the house is ‘habitable’
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
We understand the legality of this however I don’t want our baby living in the house in the condition it is in and we really want to just be let out of the contract. We don’t know how much longer it will take for the landlord to do any work required etc and in the mean time we are paying rent for a property we do not live in
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
The landlord will not let us out of the contract because the property any re lettable in its current state... I find this mad as surely if it’s not relettable how is it ok for us to live there! Is there anything we can do!

Hello

Thanks for the further information.

With regards to the rental position, it appears you have good grounds to recover the rent you have paid in the event it is established it was not your lifestyle as suggested by the landlord that caused the issue. Further if you left the tenancy now you will likely be liable for the rent until the end of the tenancy especially where the landlord alleges you caused the issue.

Do you understand what i have stated so far is yes i will suggest some steps to persuade your landlord to release you from the tenancy

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Yes thankyou very much

I suggest you wait for the report to confirm it was not your lifestyle.

Once you receive the same remind the landlord that you have been paying full rent for a property which is not up to scratch. Further your right to peaceful enjoyment of the property has been breached given the issue.

Notify the landlord to release you from the contract and you will consider discontinuing a claim for the rent paid and increased energy bills if an equipment was used the damp at bay for a property that was not up to scratch.

 

Further given this issue was probably there before you moved it appears he may have known about it therefore you can say the landlord has failed to meet his repairing obligations noted within the landlord and tenants act and the defective premises act.

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Thankyou very much for your help... this is very helpful. What might we expect it to cost If this did go to court? Amber

Hi Amber

Court Action could be quite expensive especially if things dont go your way and there is always that risk.

However before you consider court action there are other service that deal with tenant and landlord disputes for free. Do you want the details?

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Yes please

 

The housing ombudsman (housing-ombudsman.org.uk/) can assist you. Further your local council can assist you regarding such disputes too.

 

I hope i have clarified the position, if not please let me know.

If I have clarified the position please rate the answer given by clicking on the 5 stars button at the top of your screen as this will help improve the service given in future.

Thanks
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Thankyou you have been so helpful

Your welcome.

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