Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • DanceOrDino
    • By DanceOrDino 14th Oct 16, 10:38 AM
    • 13Posts
    • 10Thanks
    DanceOrDino
    Landlady blaming us for mould...
    • #1
    • 14th Oct 16, 10:38 AM
    Landlady blaming us for mould... 14th Oct 16 at 10:38 AM
    Hi everyone,

    I hope I'm ok to post this here?

    We've just completed on our first ever house and we've been living there for a couple of weeks now.

    However, our previous Landlady is now being unreasonable and wanting to withhold our deposit. We rented through an Estate Agents who have said that we 'left rubbish in the flat'. We left a broken hoover in the hallway for our upstairs neighbour to repair as he said he'd like to do it. NOT inside our previous flat and clearly labelled for him. Our LL has moved it back inside the flat and complained that we've left rubbish there and wants us to move it back out.

    Anyway, I digress... After moving the hoover again, she has now complained again about mould in the flat. The flat is a large, very high ceiling-ed old building. I mean very very old. It faces the sea and is quite exposed. It's single glazing and cost us a bomb to heat due to the high ceilings and poorly closing balcony doors in the bedroom. We still adored the flat and loved living there though. There had always been a damp/mould problem in the flat, and the neighbours above us suffer too (so surely a structural problem and therefore not our responsibility?) - it's a listed building so I imagine there would be all sorts of hoops to jump through to fix the many flats in there.

    Anyway, this damp and mould problem was pointed out to us when we viewed the property. We knew about it, but it was in an ideal location and the views are just stunning, and it's next to the beach. So we went for it!

    Now we've moved out our Landlady want's us to pay to clean the mould on the bedroom ceiling. This dumbfounds me as there's black mould crawling all over the walls in the living room, yet she's bothered about mould that hasn't changed on the ceiling in a different room. We've got photo proof it's not changed. We've also got numerous emails to the estate agents complaining about the damp - we were told 'It's an old building so it's just to be expected - open a window'. We've spent money on dehumidifiers and new furniture that's been ruined. We've also got emails complaining that the windows were painted shut last spring so we couldn't open them to vent the property. All this time, we were told no to a tumble dryer when we have no outside space to dry the clothes - just a small balcony, and there are no opening windows or extractor fans in the bathroom.

    Long story short, I fail to see how she can expect us to have the ceiling professionally cleaned? Our Estate Agent contact told us to sponge it with soap and water - an easy task if the ceilings were physically reachable.

    Any words of advice? Sorry for the long post! Thanks!
Page 1
    • fishpond
    • By fishpond 14th Oct 16, 10:52 AM
    • 886 Posts
    • 478 Thanks
    fishpond
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 16, 10:52 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Oct 16, 10:52 AM
    Did you try, using steps or even a cloth on an extendable pole?
    I am a LandLord, so there!
    • DanceOrDino
    • By DanceOrDino 14th Oct 16, 10:55 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    DanceOrDino
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 16, 10:55 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Oct 16, 10:55 AM
    We've bought a ladder, but our car is too small to get it there. We have got steps and we have got mops and things we could try and use, but I don't want to make it any worse. Especially as that's the only bit of mould in the entire flat that hasn't worsened. We were advised before not to touch it by the Estate Agents, but now they seem happy for us to sponge it, which I don't think is our issue to deal with.

    When we moved in, there were white paint marks around the edge of the ceiling, as if she'd started painted, but hadn't finished. OR she could have wiped the mould already there. Comparing photos it's exactly the same, and no new mould anywhere up there.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 14th Oct 16, 11:15 AM
    • 11,985 Posts
    • 11,429 Thanks
    Guest101
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:15 AM
    • #4
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:15 AM
    Just go to the ADR service and request full deposit return, let them deal with it
    • G_M
    • By G_M 14th Oct 16, 11:20 AM
    • 37,065 Posts
    • 40,999 Thanks
    G_M
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:20 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:20 AM
    Gather your evidence. Get a statement from the neighbour, and dispute the claim.

    * Deposits: payment, protection and return
    • DanceOrDino
    • By DanceOrDino 14th Oct 16, 11:20 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    DanceOrDino
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:20 AM
    • #6
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:20 AM
    Hi Guest101,

    That's our next step. Once the Estate Agents have passed on our comments/refusal we'll see what she says.

    I forgot to mention she also entered the flat on a couple of occassions without written notice - so in breach of contract. Quite happy to dig it all up to be rid of her!
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 14th Oct 16, 11:24 AM
    • 8,864 Posts
    • 11,883 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    • #7
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:24 AM
    • #7
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:24 AM
    The time to deal with her entering the property without notice was during your tenancy. Just focus on the deposit now rather than entering into a bun fight about this, that and the other. Use the deposit scheme it's why they were introduced. When submitting your evidence to the scheme stick to the relevant facts, don't go mud slinging.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • DanceOrDino
    • By DanceOrDino 14th Oct 16, 11:33 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    DanceOrDino
    • #8
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:33 AM
    • #8
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:33 AM
    We attempted to deal with it during the tenancy, but our middle man - the Estate Agents weren't interested. I've not bought up anything I don't need to, I'm just saying we've got plenty in our artillery if she decides to be nasty about it. We've provided her with evidence of the mould from day one, as well as copies of complaints etc etc. So we'll sort it with the deposit scheme if her answer isn't what we want.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 14th Oct 16, 11:43 AM
    • 14,339 Posts
    • 36,493 Thanks
    FBaby
    • #9
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:43 AM
    • #9
    • 14th Oct 16, 11:43 AM
    Evidence that you raised the issue of the mould doesn't mean that it was hers to deal with though. What matters is 1/ whether the mould was there when you moved in, pictures are showing this to be the case, the inventory is referring to it, and check out pictures will not show a significant deterioration, and that 2/ the landlord cannot evidence that it was most likely exacerbated by your lifestyle choices.

    Are the painted shut windows in the bedroom? If so, that is definitely going to go in your favour.
    • DanceOrDino
    • By DanceOrDino 14th Oct 16, 11:53 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    DanceOrDino
    FBaby, The mould has been there way before we moved in. We took pictures of everything because of the condition, and we've taken pictures on leaving the flat too.

    Windows were only painted shut in the living room (4 weeks to get them fixed for us!) - we only have huge balcony doors for windows in the bedroom. We opened them as much as we could but it obviously made the room much colder than just cracking a window! That being said, the balcony was repaired but theres a gaping hole in it that was never fixed, so we couldn't open the doors properly for last 9 months anyway. Something we raised and have proof of.

    We've got countless emails of us asking for the damp to be looked at and we've only ever been told to buy a dehumidifier or crack a window. So we've done all we could from our end to alleviate the damp.

    I can only assume she knows is structural as whilst doing a leaving inspection said 'I'll redo those walls, the damp has ruined them all'. She didn't mention the bedroom ceiling which now seems to be the only bit shes bothered about! We'll just have to wait and see what she says.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 14th Oct 16, 12:02 PM
    • 8,864 Posts
    • 11,883 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    We attempted to deal with it during the tenancy, but our middle man - the Estate Agents weren't interested. I've not bought up anything I don't need to, I'm just saying we've got plenty in our artillery if she decides to be nasty about it. We've provided her with evidence of the mould from day one, as well as copies of complaints etc etc. So we'll sort it with the deposit scheme if her answer isn't what we want.
    Originally posted by DanceOrDino
    The letting agent was never your middle man. The letting agent works for the landlord, you have no contract with the letting agent.

    Disputing deductions is about what can be proved in relation to what the deductions are being made for, not whatever it is you think you have in your artillery that has absolutely nothing to do with the deductions.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • fierystormcloud
    • By fierystormcloud 14th Oct 16, 12:05 PM
    • 1,205 Posts
    • 3,667 Thanks
    fierystormcloud
    We attempted to deal with it during the tenancy, but our middle man - the Estate Agents weren't interested. I've not bought up anything I don't need to, I'm just saying we've got plenty in our artillery if she decides to be nasty about it. We've provided her with evidence of the mould from day one, as well as copies of complaints etc etc. So we'll sort it with the deposit scheme if her answer isn't what we want.
    Originally posted by DanceOrDino
    No, the estate agent wouldn't want to know. All estate agents/property agents are interested in is the £££ they can make from you in admin fees and setting up the tenancy fees. They don't give a stuff if you get your deposit back. And as Pixie said above ^ they work for the landlord, not you.

    If you can't prove the mould and suchlike was already there, you may struggle to get your deposit back.

    And whilst there are some good landlords who will do their best to help you, and will be honest and decent, there are some who are either dodgy, or who are reluctant landlords, and will try and retain the deposit of every tenant they have, even if the tenants leave the property in a good condition.

    I would fight it to the death and not let this landlord get away with taking your deposit. Dispute it.
    Only 3 and a bit weeks til Christmas! :
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 14th Oct 16, 12:14 PM
    • 4,852 Posts
    • 6,366 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    claim your deposit from the scheme it is with. If she tries to dispute the return of the deposit then provide the photos of the mold when you moved in and when you moved out, and copies of the various letters /. emails raising the issue of damp and mold as cobncers duringthe tenancy.
    If she raises the hoover issue include a letter from your neighbor confirming the arangments with the hoover (if she is saying that she wants that moved, then move it, and leave it on the upstiars landing outside your neighbour's flat, if he isn't in to give it to)
    • DanceOrDino
    • By DanceOrDino 14th Oct 16, 12:26 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    DanceOrDino
    We've already moved the 'rubbish'. We've given the hoover directly to the neighbour - it was waiting outside his door with his name on when she decided to bring it back down the stairs to her flat... She also asked to remove 'the wood we left', which is actually spare shelves belonging to her built in shelving unit that she left behind... She's a funny one.

    I can definitely prove the mould and damp was pre existing. We've taken photos of everything before and after our tenancy.

    When I said 'middle-man', I merely meant the person we communicate through. We have no direct contact with the landlady ourselves. I know they only want our money, but our contract is drawn up with them not the landlady. They did an end of tenancy inspection to let us know what needed to be done prior to handing the keys back and again, mould wasn't even mentioned due to the fact it was there to begin with.

    I feel fairly confident she will either understand our point of view (hoping she just likes to show she's in charge as she has done previously), OR the deposit protection people will be in our favour should it come to that.

    I guess by posting here I just wanted some reassurance that we didn't need to worry!
    Last edited by DanceOrDino; 14-10-2016 at 12:29 PM.
    • DanceOrDino
    • By DanceOrDino 14th Oct 16, 12:29 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    DanceOrDino
    Pixie5740, we realise that the other complaints we had won't be work in reference to having our deposit returned. But we have other complaints we can make against her as a landlady should she choose to be difficult. It's more about using them against her directly through the letting agent, than against her with the deposit protection people.

    We've not brought up anything other than the issue she's raised, I'm only saying I'm quite happy to remind her of the other things that were never fixed during our tenancy which she had a right to sort for us if it helps her change her mind so we don't need to take it any further. I hope that makes sense?
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 14th Oct 16, 12:55 PM
    • 8,864 Posts
    • 11,883 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    Nope, it still doesn't make sense. You can't do anything now about those things you think you have up your sleeve so it's pointless to try bringing them up in relation to getting your deposit back. They won't change anything.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • always_sunny
    • By always_sunny 14th Oct 16, 2:18 PM
    • 1,733 Posts
    • 2,039 Thanks
    always_sunny
    If you have already left the premise there's no more cleaning you can do.
    Assuming you have a condition report at the beginning of the tenancy detailing such problem it should be fine if you have left the property in the same condition. If you signed in the beginning of the tenancy saying it wall dandy then it's up to you really.

    Anything else that is not reasonable tear and wear is going to be a problem whether or not you think it's insignificant.

    Mould in the UK is very common and there're very little excuses not clean it up at the end of the tenancy. Unless you lived in a cathedral, reaching the ceiling is a fairly easy task to do, just using commercial spray would prevent reoccurring mould to resurface.
    here on an EU passport.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

611Posts Today

3,658Users online

Martin's Twitter