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Help!! Mould And Damp In Property Im Renting Whats My Rights???
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# 1
carlyjadex
Old 17-10-2008, 2:43 PM
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Default Help!! Mould And Damp In Property Im Renting Whats My Rights???

hi can any one help?
i am renting a three bed house i have only been there for three months and in this time my son has been ill with a bad chest asthma ect
well after 8 weeks we thought it may be something making him ill, so we toke a look in the loft to see if its damp and we were shocked to find not only damp but the whole of the roof the beams the floor covered completely in mold, huge amounts of mould!!
we thought it could be wet rot so we reported it to our letting agent sraight away! after several calls later they finally sent some one to look at it!
turns out there was a bad leak from pipes up there (before we moved in) which has caused rot mould ect....
there is also damp down stairs from crack in wall. so natrally i have asked for it to all be fix and sorted as it is a health risk and my son is no better also my baby is due in 12 weeks i really cant bring a new born home knowing whats above there rooms!!
also they were aware of the situation with the loft before we moved in.

the letting agentgs have told us its down to the land lord to pay but its going to cost alot so we will have to be pateint!!

is this right why do we have to pay so much rent each month for something that is not acceotiable we are in a years contract! what do we do???
if we have to move i need to know asap but they just keep telling us to wait to hear from the lanlord!!

also there is no partition in our loft so we share with the naighbour is this legal? surly they cant get that insured.

any avise will be a great help
thanks carly x:confused:
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# 2
brightonman123
Old 17-10-2008, 2:56 PM
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shocked that e/a didnt check the place out properly, when taking it on..

do you still have the original ad, was anything like this mentioned?

check with CAB etc..

may have grounds to withhold rent (but dont quote me!), until fixed.
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# 3
Meatballs
Old 17-10-2008, 3:47 PM
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Also check with shelter and council's private rental person.

I would have thought the landlord would have to pay out for somewhere for you to live somewhere if the place is a health hazard and un-inhabitable.
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# 4
tbs624
Old 17-10-2008, 8:08 PM
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Ring your local council - you need to speak to the EHO(environmental health officer) and a tenancy relations officer from the Private Sector Rentals Team. They deal only with private tenancies and can liaise with your LL and even order him to complete certain work on the property.

Don't withhold your rent without taking qualified advice.

Take photos & your tenancy papers: ring and ask for an urgent appt or go and sit in their offices until you get seen.

You have a right to a home that is free from mould and damp, and if the conditions are this poor and extensive work is required then you need alternative accommodation, particularly with a baby on the way. That means either an end to this contract and a new place or the LL pays for alternative accommodation of a similar sort until the work is completed.

Don't let LAs fob you off .

Make sure that your Health Visitor & GP know so that they can back you up if necessary.

Let us know what response you get from the Council - it helps others who may have similar problems.

As someone else has said you could also talk to Shelter - their lines are open 7 days 8-8,so you can talk to someone this weekend and talk to the Council on Monday with a clear idea of what your rights are. 0808 800 4444
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# 5
carlyjadex
Old 21-10-2008, 6:16 AM
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HI
thanks to everyone that replied very helpful indeed unfortunately its still not resolved!
i got advice and was told the environmental health will give the land lord 28 working days to fix the problem otherwise court action will be taken.

but its not quite quick enough its now affecting my health and my son is no better doctors have confirmed the conditions have made his asthma worse and thats why he is have trouble breathing.

i will go to the council today to see if anything else can be done.

i contacted the letting agent and they said yet again its out of there hands nothing they can do ect...
i have told them they need to do somthing as they manage the property they then called me back to say " sorry carly but there is nothing we can do the land lord has been taken in to hospital and is very ill"
apparently there is no one in the family to deal with it and the la will not pay for it as is very expensive!!

what am i suppose to do now??
i fear that the just keep fobbing me off as i'm only young i guess they think i don't know what i'm talking about, my partner may have to go in and speak to them but that means time off work which costs!!!

help!!!
carly x
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# 6
carlyjadex
Old 21-10-2008, 6:20 AM
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oh also i found out from neighbor that they knew of condition before they moved us in!!!
surly this is miss selling

carly x
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# 7
poppysarah
Old 21-10-2008, 8:09 AM
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So has the Env health actually given the landlord 28 days? You've got to go through that route whilst looking for somewhere healthier to live I think.

Don't deal with them - do it through the env health/tenancy support now.
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# 8
tbs624
Old 21-10-2008, 10:49 AM
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Carly -

It' s helpful that you have the support of your doc, and good that you sought some advice. I'm not sure whether you have actually contacted the Env Health Office yet, or whether whoever gave you the advice is doing that on your behalf?
If the EHO dept *haven't* been contacted you really need to get that moving..

.s there a law centre anywhere near you? If the LL/LA definitely knew of the problem prior to your taking up the tenancy it would be useful for you to have some qualified legal advice.

If you are on a limited income you can get help with costs - you could also contact Legal Services Direct on 0845 345 4 345.

A local CAB may also be able to help,but do ask for someone with specific experience of housing issues/LL&T law.

Also look at contacting your local councillors to lean on the EHO - they do have to give the LL a set period unfortunately, but your case should be prioritised because you are heavily pregnant and have a small child.

If you don't know who your local councillor is you can find out by putting your postcode in here. Your councillor can come to your home to see the problem for themselves and help support you with all of this as you clearly don't need unnecessary stress and/or health problems whilst pregnant.

Make a list of names , dates, who spoken to etc going back to the start of the tenancy and keep it updated in a file with photos etc.

Last edited by tbs624; 21-10-2008 at 10:55 AM.
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# 9
boggie40
Old 21-10-2008, 12:57 PM
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they have to have time to put this right. i am sure if you provide medical evidence that this is causing ill health among your family they will let you walk away from the tenency with no penalties....
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# 10
guppy
Old 21-10-2008, 3:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boggie40 View Post
they have to have time to put this right. i am sure if you provide medical evidence that this is causing ill health among your family they will let you walk away from the tenency with no penalties....
And then try and let it to someone else in the same state
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# 11
candy210212000
Old 21-10-2008, 10:43 PM
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Default In the same situation

I am also in the same situation, i have been in my rented house for about 3 years now and it is covered in mold. In fact its that bad that its all over the clothes in the drawers! i also have athsma i have a 9 year old daughter that is allergic to mold i am allergic to mold and i am also 6 months pregnant. I am on the housing list and have been for the last year and a half but the chances of getting anywere with that are very slim. I would move to another private rented house but cannot afford the deposit and months rent in advance and am frankly at my wits end! So i know exactly what you are going through I cant see the landlord being able to do anything about it because part of the problem is there is no double glazing on the front of the house and i simply cannot afford to put the heating on. Lets hope there is hope out there for people in desperate times of need!
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# 12
olly300
Old 21-10-2008, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guppy View Post
And then try and let it to someone else in the same state
That's why the council needs to be involved.

Councils can and some do take action against landlords for renting out substandard properties however due to the legal process taking a long time even if they are proactive it will take time.
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# 13
olly300
Old 21-10-2008, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlyjadex View Post

also there is no partition in our loft so we share with the naighbour is this legal? surly they cant get that insured.
The loft is legal.

Some old houses where built with shared roof spaces.

Out of interest if there is mould in your part of the loft it can easily spread to the neighbour's part. I suggest you give your neighbour's your landlord's not your letting agents address and suggest they write to the landlord asking him to sort the maintenance out or they will take legal action.

Basically the more pressure you can get different people to apply to the landlord the more likely s/he will want to get rid of you asap.

One thing you have to bare in mind is that the legal process takes a long time so even if your council is on the ball they have to legally give your landlord weeks to sort things out.

Also I suggest you or your OH doesn't bother dealing with the letting agent in person any more. Anything you want to say to them do it in writing preferably with the advice of the CAB.
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# 14
tbs624
Old 22-10-2008, 9:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by candy210212000 View Post
I am also in the same situation, i have been in my rented house for about 3 years now and it is covered in mold. In fact its that bad that its all over the clothes in the drawers! i also have athsma i have a 9 year old daughter that is allergic to mold i am allergic to mold and i am also 6 months pregnant. I am on the housing list and have been for the last year and a half but the chances of getting anywere with that are very slim. I would move to another private rented house but cannot afford the deposit and months rent in advance and am frankly at my wits end! So i know exactly what you are going through I cant see the landlord being able to do anything about it because part of the problem is there is no double glazing on the front of the house and i simply cannot afford to put the heating on. Lets hope there is hope out there for people in desperate times of need!
Don't want to divert the original thread but ,Candy, if you are not heating the property you will be making the mould problem worse- can you get your benefit entitlement checked in case you are due any more help? If you are on a low income then there are schemes for improving insulation etc that won't costs the LL anything. If you want to move to another private rental talk to someone at the Council about the possibility of getting a Bond Guarantee instead of a deposit paid by you
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# 15
candy210212000
Old 26-10-2008, 7:31 PM
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I will look into that, things will b ok when the babys 6 months old i can work again just av to get by till then landlords coming round soon (wont hold my breath)
!!!!!!!!Bingo Mad!!!!!!!!
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# 16
BASFORDLAD
Old 26-10-2008, 8:01 PM
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The landlord proberly isnt ill in hospital at all, and just using it as an excuse to not get the work done
wot i would do is go round to the landlords address and then u can see if they are lieing
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# 17
guppy
Old 28-10-2008, 8:18 AM
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Not directly related to your original query, but since its now been established your landlord doesn't really have much interest in your wellbeing - does the property have working smoke detectors etc.?

If not, get on to that too
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# 18
tbs624
Old 28-10-2008, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guppy View Post
Not directly related to your original query, but since its now been established your landlord doesn't really have much interest in your wellbeing - does the property have working smoke detectors etc.?

If not, get on to that too
Many HAs and decent private LLs will supply them but, if in Eng/Wales, there is no legal requirement for smoke detectors to be provided by a LL except for properties built after 1992 or for HMOs.

Tenants can however buy one themselves for less than a fiver or get them free via the local fire safety officer in some areas.
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# 19
TJ27
Old 28-10-2008, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbs624 View Post
Many HAs and decent private LLs will supply them but, if in Eng/Wales, there is no legal requirement for smoke detectors to be provided by a LL except for properties built after 1992 or for HMOs.

Tenants can however buy one themselves for less than a fiver or get them free via the local fire safety officer in some areas.
I can understand why you say that tbs but it's a little misleading. All accommodation, regardless of whether it's a HMO or comes up to 1992 building regs, is subject to the HHSRS. Fire is one of the hazards and unless smoke detectors are fitted the house is very unlikely to be up to standard. The local authority would almost certainly serve a notice under such circumstances.

One way or another, pretty much all rented accommodation (with very few exceptions) should have mains wired, battery back up, interlinked smoke detectors fitted. If tenants don't have them, you should phone your local authority.

Last edited by TJ27; 28-10-2008 at 11:46 AM.
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# 20
tbs624
Old 28-10-2008, 12:46 PM
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Thanks for your clarification TJ27

I' d agree, on a personal level, with your comment that all properties *should* have hard wired systems in place , but I think to say that this is the case (with very few exceptions) is perhaps an overstatement under the provisions of HHSRS and/or Lacors guidance?

There do seem to be variations from Council to Council on how all of this would be dealt with - under which Category level would your own council list a lack of smoke alarm, and would they always serve a formal notice?

Do you not think that until the issues around retaliatory evictions are fully addressed there will be few tenants (especially on periodics ) who will contact their council only on the provision(or lack ) of a smoke alarm? A hardwired system may be the ideal but as I said before the Fire Service does offer battery ones FOC ( see Tim Deegan's posts elsewhere)

Here's what Shelter's current info says:
If you don't live in an HMO, your landlord doesn't have to comply with any specific laws, but has a general duty to keep your home fit for you to live in.

If you don't think your rented accommodation is fire safe, your first step should always be to try negotiating with your landlord. They may be prepared to provide you with fire safety precautions, such as a smoke alarm, fire extinguisher, or carbon monoxide detector if you request them.
I have never understood the thinking of LLs who *don't* install smoke alarms,regardless of any actual "requirement" not least because apart from the possible safety of their tenant, it protects their own property, but it's perhaps also worth noting that the HHSRS info did state somewhere that over 75% (IIRC) of fires were started due to occupier carelessness/misuse of appliances.(please feel free to correct )

Last edited by tbs624; 28-10-2008 at 12:50 PM.
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