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
    • thompy
    • By thompy 16th Oct 16, 5:31 PM
    • 19Posts
    • 4Thanks
    thompy
    Dampness and having to move out for 3 months
    • #1
    • 16th Oct 16, 5:31 PM
    Dampness and having to move out for 3 months 16th Oct 16 at 5:31 PM
    Hi Guys im looking some advice.

    I moved into my new home on the 2nd sept and within 48 hours noticed bad dampness on the lower half of some walls, as it is a private landlord i contacted the letting agent about it who sent their "repairs" guy out. he came to the conclusion it was a leaking pipe under the ground and it would be a big job which he could not do.

    to cut a long story short the landlord got a specialist team out to access the dampness and once they finished their survey i asked what was wrong.
    it seems there is a leaking pipe under the ground within the concrete and they would need to bring someone in to dig into the ground to fix the pipe and pressure test the pipe to see if there are any more leaks.
    Once that is completed they will need to lift all the hall flooring tiles, All the kitchen flooring tiles and kitchen units plus the living room wooden floor along with the 2 downstairs bedrooms wooden floors (i live in a bungalow) and bring in industrial dehumidifiers to dry out the concrete. (all the wooden floors were in the property when i moved in along with the tiled floors).

    also 1 small wall which was the worst would need to be taken down and replaced, Then after this they will be coming in and painting/decorating and putting new floors/tiles down and re-fitting the kitchen units.

    I asked total timescale and was told it would take around 8-12 weeks. I asked would i be able to stay in the property and he said NO.

    The letting agents have come back to me with another property to move into for 8-12 weeks while the work is being done and they informed me i will not be paying rent for the house im leaving, I will only pay for the short term property (nice of them !).

    This has been going on since i moved in and i asked for 50% of my rent back for the last 2 months due to the house being filled with damp and it could lead to health problems for both myself and 2 children ( 10 and 14).

    I also asked for payment for the time i am away to cover my BT phone/internet charges @ £28.99 per month as i will not be able to use them.

    I have also asked for them to pay the removal costs both ways and i also asked for £500 in compensation because of the situation i am left in with Christmas etc only around the corner.

    Do you think i am asking for too much or should i be asking for more as this dampness problem should have been picked up on before i moved in... The landlord is putting it through his insurance as it is going to be a costly job, I really do feel for him as he only bought the place a few months ago with the view of letting it out, but on the other hand why should i have the inconvenience of moving in, moving out then moving back in again, along with the fact i have been living here for the last 2 months with lots of dampness and a large hole in the wall which was cut out to source the leak....

    Any thoughts on what i should ask for or what i should not ask for with regards to the above.
Page 1
    • G_M
    • By G_M 16th Oct 16, 6:08 PM
    • 37,076 Posts
    • 41,020 Thanks
    G_M
    • #2
    • 16th Oct 16, 6:08 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Oct 16, 6:08 PM
    There are options

    1) your contract may be 'frustrated'. That means the landlord is unable, for reasons beyond his control, to keep his end of the contract and provide you with the property you rented.

    The contract is therefore null and void. It ends. There is no liability on either side.

    If the LL (or agent) offers you another property, that will be an entirely new contract, on whatever terms are agreed.

    Note: as the original tenancy ends, your deposit should be returned and a new one taken for the new contract.

    2) The contract and tenancy continues (on the assumption that the property ca be fixed before the end of the contract - so no 'frustration').

    You therefore have to continue to pay rent (for the damp property as per your contract)
    The LL has to continue to provide a (broadly similar) property.
    You will have to pay the same bills (utilities etc) as you would have done at the old house.
    If there are additional costs (removals? setting up BB? etc) I would expect the LL to cover these.

    You will NOT have a new contract for the new property. You will be temporarily living there under your original contract.

    In most cases the LL will be claiming under his insurance.
    Last edited by G_M; 16-10-2016 at 6:14 PM.
    • anselld
    • By anselld 16th Oct 16, 6:09 PM
    • 4,869 Posts
    • 4,319 Thanks
    anselld
    • #3
    • 16th Oct 16, 6:09 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Oct 16, 6:09 PM
    Do you think i am asking for too much
    Originally posted by thompy
    Yes, you are!

    It sounds like the Agent/Landlord are doing all they can to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

    They have been fair on finding a new place for you. Asking for removal costs is probably fair if we are talking unfurnished accommodations, otherwise just pack some suitcases.

    The rest is taking the 'P' in my view. Talk to your ISP; they should probably be able to move your account there and then back for the duration.
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 16th Oct 16, 6:10 PM
    • 4,328 Posts
    • 6,023 Thanks
    deannatrois
    • #4
    • 16th Oct 16, 6:10 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Oct 16, 6:10 PM
    I'm sorry but yes, I do think you are asking way way too much.

    The LL/LA are offering you temporary accommodation, have offered you presumably cheaper rent.., and you want compensation for 'possible' health problems (have you had any clearly identifiable as caused by the damp)?

    The rest of the compensation items, sorry I'm just not going to list them lol.

    It sounds like you have a responsible LL/LA.., nice for once to hear that.., I know you won't see this but I'd be grateful rather than looking for a long list of compensations. Sorry, we hear too many horror stories on here. Yours doesn't seem to be one of them.
    • thompy
    • By thompy 16th Oct 16, 7:28 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    thompy
    • #5
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:28 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:28 PM
    deannatrois the landlord is not giving me any kind of discount on my rent. rent prices for my area range from £550 - £600 pcm, i am paying £675 per month for this house and rent will be charged at the same rate for the temp accommodation.
    The temp accommodation does not belong to my current LL, It is actually another property the letting agents have on their books "for sale" which they are letting me use until the work is completed and i can move back. This temp house is in no where near as good a condition as my current house and it is unfurnished, so yes i will need removals firm.
    Having spoken to my isp and phone provider tonight it seems there will be little if any charge, so i will be withdrawing this payment.

    But to be living in a house full of dampness for 2 months, paying a very high price for the area, i do expect the 50% returned along with compensation..(These were both quoted to me by Housing Rights here in Northern Ireland). Why should i not expect it?

    I do know and have seen on tv some of the housing horror storys in the mainland (both Scotland and England), but the landlord situation over here is quite good compared to there..


    This is just 2 bits of the dampness, there is dampness like this in the other rooms also.
    • thompy
    • By thompy 16th Oct 16, 7:42 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    thompy
    • #6
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:42 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Oct 16, 7:42 PM
    There are options

    2) The contract and tenancy continues (on the assumption that the property ca be fixed before the end of the contract - so no 'frustration').

    The contract is continuing as it was only signed on the 2nd sept for 1 year plus.

    You therefore have to continue to pay rent (for the damp property as per your contract)
    The LL has to continue to provide a (broadly similar) property.
    The letting agent has offered me a property they have for sale with the condition i let potential purchasers in to view it when required, This property does not belong to the LL.

    You will have to pay the same bills (utilities etc) as you would have done at the old house.
    Agreed and i expect to pay these.

    If there are additional costs (removals? setting up BB? etc) I would expect the LL to cover these.
    Thank you as i also am expecting this.

    You will NOT have a new contract for the new property. You will be temporarily living there under your original contract.
    This is correct.

    In most cases the LL will be claiming under his insurance.
    The landlord purchased the property then put it up for rent all through the same company (my letting agency), there is currently an ongoing argument as to who is to blame, the letting agent for selling a property in this condition, or the landlord for owning the property. both Insurance companies are blaming each other.
    Originally posted by G_M
    So you can see how it is complicated and unfortunately i am stuck in the middle through no fault of my own.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 16th Oct 16, 8:03 PM
    • 37,076 Posts
    • 41,020 Thanks
    G_M
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 16, 8:03 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Oct 16, 8:03 PM
    From what you've said, the landlord does not appear to be claiming 'frustration' (my option 1).

    Therefore your original contract continues, and you pay the same rent. There is no 'discount' - you signed a contract to pay £X per month.

    As suggested, a claim for unavoidable removal expenses etc is reasonable.

    Since you continue to be bound by the original tenancy agreement, you are not required to accomodate viewings - you're paying rent to live somewhere without undue interferance (quiet enjoyment).

    however it would probobly be diplomatic to agree to viewings provided they are not too intrusive (ie at times to suit you).
    • franklee
    • By franklee 16th Oct 16, 8:09 PM
    • 3,508 Posts
    • 3,702 Thanks
    franklee
    • #8
    • 16th Oct 16, 8:09 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Oct 16, 8:09 PM
    i am paying £675 per month for this house and rent will be charged at the same rate for the temp accommodation. The temp accommodation does not belong to my current LL, It is actually another property the letting agents have on their books "for sale" which they are letting me use until the work is completed and i can move back. This temp house is in no where near as good a condition as my current house
    I don't see why you should have to pay the same rent for an inferior property on top of all the hassle of moving twice.

    The letting agent has offered me a property they have for sale with the condition i let potential purchasers in to view it when required, This property does not belong to the LL.
    Would not be happy with this. Would not want the hassle viewings and what if it sells before the old place is ready? Will they move you on again?

    The landlord purchased the property then put it up for rent all through the same company (my letting agency), there is currently an ongoing argument as to who is to blame, the letting agent for selling a property in this condition, or the landlord for owning the property. both Insurance companies are blaming each other.
    Could take ages to get the work started then.

    In your shoes I'd be finding a new long term let for myself and pushing for the existing tenancy to be ended. It'd be down to negotiation but your landlord may welcome the clean break. Would still want moving costs paid by him but you could point out this will only be one move instead of moving out and then back in.
    • anselld
    • By anselld 16th Oct 16, 9:32 PM
    • 4,869 Posts
    • 4,319 Thanks
    anselld
    • #9
    • 16th Oct 16, 9:32 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Oct 16, 9:32 PM
    But to be living in a house full of dampness for 2 months, paying a very high price for the area, i do expect the 50% returned along with compensation..(These were both quoted to me by Housing Rights here in Northern Ireland). Why should i not expect it?
    Originally posted by thompy
    Well you have thrown in the NI card late in the game, the law may indeed be different there, but in "the mainland" any claim would need to be for actual loss. Compo for inconvenience etc just doesn't cut it.

    "Housing Rights" will obviously be more familiar with the local law, but personally I still think you are pushing your luck.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 17th Oct 16, 7:06 AM
    • 14,344 Posts
    • 36,505 Thanks
    FBaby
    I think you are being unreasonable in that you think you should be compensated for something that is out of everyone's control. It's not the landlord's fault nor the agency that this has happened, they haven't done anything neglectful, so your attitude to it all is not really co-operative. What would you do if you happened to own the place? Who would you seek compensation from for the fact that you couldn't be spending Christmas in the property?

    I think you should accept the new place and pay rent the same. I do think that asking for the cost of moving SOME furniture (for 2 months, you don't need to move everything) if indeed you do need to pay for a van to do so is reasonable. Asking for your internet bill to be paid is reasonable, but in my view petty.

    Asking for half the rent because you've experience a bit of dump and throwing in the 'health' card is pathetic and only comes across as you trying to get something out of the misfortune of your landlord, same with the £500 'Christmas bonus'.

    Ultimately, you can ask for everything you want, and if I was the landlord, I would probably agree with it all, but I would also give your an S21 at the end of the fixed term because I having a tenant with an entitlement attitude would make me anxious.
    • Vectis
    • By Vectis 17th Oct 16, 7:29 AM
    • 361 Posts
    • 452 Thanks
    Vectis
    So, you're paying £675 per month when, you say, average rents are £550 - £600 pcm? And the property is seriously damp causing you inconvenience and possible health issues?

    Why did you rent this property? Wouldn't it be sensible to be talking to the LL about cancelling the contract, given the current circumstances, and looking for someplace new and cheaper?

    Besides, given your list of compensation demands, I think you'll be moving at the end of your current contract anyway when your LL issues an s21.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 17th Oct 16, 12:36 PM
    • 37,076 Posts
    • 41,020 Thanks
    G_M
    The landlord could always use the 'contract is frustrated' card. Throw you out and pay you nothing.

    or, ineded, you could do this yourself. Reject the LL's offer, claim Frustration, stop paying rent, and sort out new accomodation for yourself.

    Though NI might be different of course. I've no idea.
    • parkrunner
    • By parkrunner 17th Oct 16, 12:52 PM
    • 249 Posts
    • 358 Thanks
    parkrunner
    Out of pocket expense, definitely, compo........the world's gone mad.
    • SnooksNJ
    • By SnooksNJ 17th Oct 16, 6:04 PM
    • 602 Posts
    • 1,007 Thanks
    SnooksNJ
    Your compensation is not losing your mind and having your blood pressure skyrocket arguing with a landlord for the rest of your tenancy about dampness problems. In 2 months you will be stress free in a nice new decorated home.
    • t0rt0ise
    • By t0rt0ise 17th Oct 16, 6:45 PM
    • 2,822 Posts
    • 1,693 Thanks
    t0rt0ise
    Housing Association gave us £500 to move out plus removals arranged and all expenses returned, and would have given another £500 to move back but we decided not to and stayed put. So a disturbance allowance is not so far fetched.
    • mrkjd
    • By mrkjd 18th Oct 16, 9:39 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    mrkjd
    F Baby, how do you know it is nobody's fault? Did the landlord have a full structural survey done before buying the property that would have revealed the leaking pipe? Did the agent know anything about the other dampness in the property and review the property's suitability for rental before taking it on their books? Are the landlord / agent not insured to cover such eventualities? Does the tenant not have a reasonable expectation on signing a 12 monthly rental agreement that the property will be suitable for that period? The property was clearly unsuitable for renting and somebody needs to shoulder responsibility for that. "Beyond a Landlord's control" should mean if the place (for example) was struck by lightening or a third parties negligence impacts the property. Buying a property with a longstanding damp problem and slapping a "To Let" sign on it doesn't look like "unforeseeable" to me.

    I agree that "compo" has to be for actual losses but I don't think it is fair, as others have said / implied that the losses are necessarily petty - losses mount up in these sort of circumstances. I am also not convinced that "inconvenience" cannot be claimed for. The tenant has a statutory right to Quiet Enjoyment and being turfed out into an inferior home does not seem enjoyable or quiet. And let me translate your last statement re serving an S21 "having a tenant who fights for her rights would make me nervous".
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 18th Oct 16, 10:22 AM
    • 4,702 Posts
    • 6,715 Thanks
    Kynthia
    Not everything is someone's fault. Surveyors can't spot hidden problems and insurance doesn't pay out for a problem that should have been spotted before purchasing. So which is it, should it have been spotted or is it something the insurance is paying for, or it could be neither and the landlord is massively out of pocket?

    Yes you shouldn't be out of pocket but renting a property doesn't guarantee you will never be inconvenienced so you can't argue that or demand compensation fir it. Quiet enjoyment means living in the property without interference from the landlord or their agents. You want interference if you want repairs to take place. So that's not an argument you can use. If you are paying normal rent then you should be moved somewhere you can live without interference in the mean time, so no viewings. If you are paying reduced rent then it's down to negotiation. It would be reasonable to ask for reasonable moving costs and out of pocket expenses. I don't believe you are entitled to any other monies.

    I personally would go for the tenancy being frustrated with works needing 3 months. Unless the property is fantastic it's a big disruption with two moves and what if the works overun? Surely it's better to get your deposit back and find somewhere new to settle.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 18th Oct 16, 11:46 AM
    • 14,344 Posts
    • 36,505 Thanks
    FBaby
    Well yes there is a possibity that the landlord failed to get a survey done which otherwise would have picked up the fault but if that was the case OP might not he had the property at all. Since they grèvent asked advice on breaking the lease it sounds like they are happy with it despite this issue.

    The high likelihood though is that a survey was carried out and didn't pick up the problem or it happened afterwards. It also sounds like they do have insurance since the work is going to take place it juste doesn't extend to paying compensation to the tenant who is being rehoused elsewhere.
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

552Posts Today

3,585Users online

Martin's Twitter