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Brown Mould in Bedroom -Top floor flat

Michy78
Michy78 Posts: 56
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edited 2 February at 9:35AM in House buying, renting & selling
Hello All,

I am hoping to get some advise in regards of an issue i am facing with the Block manager of the agency where i am renting from for over 2 years and half as he doesn't reply to any emails and fails consistently to perform any action. I  rent a flat on the top floor which is one of 7 in the block and the freeholder it is also the owner of my flat as well as other 3 who have been rented . I am currently facing an issue with brown mould scattered on one of the slope wall in the bedroom ( warmest room in the host and next to the boiler room ) which is concerning me health wise. I have been having this issue for the past year and i always took care of it by cleaning the mould and repainting it at my own expenses but i have noticed that the mould is becoming more aggressive as it builds up much quicker so i have reported the agency and after chasing several times , the Block Manager finally came to inspect and said it is due to condensation because the sun doesn't reach that part of the roof in winter and because at night i breath out 10,000 droplets of water in the air ( beyond ridiculous as based on this theory everyone should have mould in their bedroom) When i asked what is was the solution , he said there is none and only advised me to buy a mould cleaner which i did, then i also used an anti stain primer and also an anti mould paint  . After 3 weeks regrettably the mould started to build up again and After trying to get the refund for the expenses , i was told that Mould is not responsibility of the landlord . Researching online, i read in fact the opposite  if it not caused by poor ventilation and negligence of the tenant which i am 100% sure it isn't. I ventilate every day no matter the weather, there are no issues with condensation and the bedroom is the warmest room in the flat . My theory is that it could be a cracked tile on the roof which i causing little leaks through the wall. 
Now 2 months have passed and the mould is spreading fast and it is also staining my white wardrobe however i am getting ignored as usual as i asked to have a written report or email on the block manager visit and to get a professional assessment on the mould. My main concern is my health as i started to get a cough and i believe it might be related to the mould. What i shall i do ? I am bit scared that they will try to give me a revenge notice as i am on an Assured Periodic tenancy but at the same time i don't want to give up . I also never liaise directly with my landlord before so i am not sure i shall complain to the direct report of the building manager or complain to my landlord who obviously will not want to fork out any money.
I can see from the review of the Agency that many other landlords as well as other tenants have left very negative reviews about this building manager which is completely inefficient and unprofessional
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Comments

  • RHemmings
    RHemmings Posts: 3,126
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    It's a very hard position to be in when you risk revenge should you report this to Environmental Health. It's easy for someone like me to say that you should pull out the big guns, but it's not me that has to find somewhere to live if they decide to take revenge. Also, if you're paying under market rent (which many people are due to rent inflation even over years), they can also take money from you by increasing your rent after repairs. 

    But, if it were me, I would contact Environmental Health as this is your health. One possibility is to write to them saying that you really, really, want to solve this informally between you and the building manager and landlord, but if nothing is done that you have to act to protect your health. 

    I would certainly contact the landlord directly and say that you have raised this issue with the building manager and the problem is still not solved. If the building is damp enough for mould, it's possible that it's damaging the structure of the building as well. 

    In the meantime you could use a dehumidifier in your room. It shouldn't be up to you to solve the problem, and the dehumidifier may just be putting a plaster on the problem, but if it doesn't work that would give you evidence that it's not you. 
  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
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    edited 2 February at 3:46PM
    Hi Michy.
    Could you post some photos, please, so we can see the pattern of the mould, and it'll perhaps point to the cause?
    You ventilate the room during the day - good - but do you also do so during the night? It is true that we release surprising amounts of moisture in our sleep, and if the room doesn't have a way of ventilating this away, then it will, almost certainly, find the coldest surface to condense out on, and that could well be that sloping roof (often very hard/impossible to get insulation down behind it).
    But, you say there are no other signs of cond? Your window panes don't have obvious cond on them in the morning?
    Anyway, photos might be helpful - see if it's obvious what the damp source is.
  • Michy78
    Michy78 Posts: 56
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    Thank you so much for both feedback and i have now attached few pictures . My absolute priority is my health and at the same time i love this flat and look after it very well as if it was mine. @RHemmings is right , I am paying rent under market value however there are few " perks " in the flat as it is a loft conversion and it has a massive water tank in the storage space with all the pipes of the other 6 flats below which means when they do maintenance and repairs , they need access to my flat to be able to perform the work.
    I know i do my bit and i have absolutely no fault in regards of the mould . I also never dry clothes in the bedroom and no i don't sleep with a window open at night in full winter @ThisIsWeird as i will get sick but i do ventilate sometimes before going to sleep and windows vents are also open. I do not get condensation on the windows neither but it is specifically only one slope wall of the bedroom ( the warmest side) that it gets mould. I do not even get mould in the bathroom which is very humid and cold so i strongly believe the root cause it is either structural or a small crack somewhere

  • ProDave
    ProDave Posts: 3,606
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    Pictures not showing.

    A close up picture zoomed in of the outside of that bit of roof would be interesting, there might be slipped or broken tiles letting rain in and it might be nothing to do with condensation.  If you were able to identify it as a roof leak that might be easier for the landlord to accept without trying to blame you for causing condensation.
  • RHemmings
    RHemmings Posts: 3,126
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    @Mitchy78 - I'm not saying that you should do this, but I find it comfortable even in winter (perhaps not some nights) sleeping with an electric underblanket and two duvets (one winter rated), and a window slightly open. 
  • Michy78
    Michy78 Posts: 56
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    @RHemmings Sleeping with a window open in winter is out of question and it is not the solution. I just did 2 days ago i have now caught a cold and i am sick .The flat is not humid at all and lived in several much more damped places in the top floor but never  experienced mould even when i opened the windows less than now.
    Sleeping with a window open in winter is not really common behaviour, in my opinion. In any case, mould also built up in summer with the window open every day all day so condensation is out of question. There is no accessibility to view well the roof tiles because the windows are partially blocked and cannot be opened fully and it is an difficult place to reach so a cherry picker is required or else . It should not be up to me to find the root cause of the mould and investigate but i would really appreciate what do you recommend i shall do towards this incompetent building manager and all outstanding action he didn't take for over a year 


  • Michy78
    Michy78 Posts: 56
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    With the assured periodic contract what can i do if they try to evict me giving me the notice?
  • RHemmings
    RHemmings Posts: 3,126
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    Michy78 said:
    @RHemmings Sleeping with a window open in winter is out of question and it is not the solution. I just did 2 days ago i have now caught a cold and i am sick .The flat is not humid at all and lived in several much more damped places in the top floor but never  experienced mould even when i opened the windows less than now.
    Sleeping with a window open in winter is not really common behaviour, in my opinion. In any case, mould also built up in summer with the window open every day all day so condensation is out of question. There is no accessibility to view well the roof tiles because the windows are partially blocked and cannot be opened fully and it is an difficult place to reach so a cherry picker is required or else . It should not be up to me to find the root cause of the mould and investigate but i would really appreciate what do you recommend i shall do towards this incompetent building manager and all outstanding action he didn't take for over a year 


    I'm sorry you became sick. I've had a window open a bit and it hasn't affected me the same way. 
  • sevenhills
    sevenhills Posts: 5,788
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    I have similar mould, but it's only a very small amount and it doesn't affect my health.
    I am putting the damp down to our recent severe rain. My building will need some work, I am waiting for warmer weather. I did open the vents in the wall and it hasn't got any worse.
  • penners324
    penners324 Posts: 2,575
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    Have you tried a dehumidifier in that room?
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