First off as a qualified building surveyour A: water cant penitrate through a cavity B: Mould is not the result of water penetration especialy on cavity walls. On some very thick solid walls, condensation can result from heat loss as a result of partial water ingress into the structure.
Mould can ONLY grow on clean water
So its condensation related water or a pipe leek
Water penetrating a structure is contaminated with salts from the ground or rainwater (Nitrates / Chlorides) and sulphates from building materials
Mould can not grow on a saline solution so is not the result of prnetrating or rising damp
Mould is caused by poor U values in the walls (often inherent in the property design so no a remedial fault per say but something which requires the building to be modified in order to rectifie.) poor ventilation in relation to the available heating and levels of moisture production in the property.
Peek and trough heating is the big cause of condensation in badly designed buildings. Inadequate ventilation is another
Double glazing just pushes the damp from the windows to the walls in most severe cases
Condensation can often be managed but tenants refuse to do so on the grounds its too expensive to properly heat and ventilate.
It is often necessary to make the buildings "tenant proof" This is VERY expensive
I mange 10 rental properties of my own and do work for agents on 1000s of others. so have some experience in this area
Many tenants use mould as an excuse not to pay rent. We used to install Ferrob digital humidity controlled fans. After some time the tenants would complain the mould was back but what they didn't know was we could download the fan status to a lap top. Often wed find no sooner was the fan fitted than the tenants would switch it off and not switch it on again till our next visit.
Another issue with tenants is there refusal to cleen?
This is a serious mould problem in a rented property, but tell me at what point do you think, OH ill just leave that to form a massive colony that will spread mould throughout the house?
20181108_131034 by markchase8, on Flickr
By the way THIS is water penetrating the wall
This was caused by a down pipe coming off the gutting. The tenant said it had been like it for over a year. But hed never reported it so a simple repair on the down pipe left unnotified, resulted in timber repairs dry rot works and replastering costing the landlord 1000s
20190114_132114 by markchase8, on Flickr
I deel with some bad landlords and some good ones who have been kicked in the balls so many times by bad tenants they have turned bad. However they are in the minority. Most are conscientious and hard working and want to earn a living whilst providing decent housing.
RE plumbing issues etc. Ask for them o be fixed
If they are not fixed within the time specified for nonessential works in you lease agreement, get the works done yourself then deduct the value of the works from your rent payments and provide the landlord with a copy of the report on the defects and a copy of the paid invoice.
Re Noisy neighbors? How that's down to the landlord or agent I have no idea? If its a real issue get Environmental health involved or better still talk to the neighbors yourself.
The agents will only have a duty of care to inform you of the issue if proper notification has been made to EHS the EHS have produced a report on the issue and they did not pass this information on to you.
Last edited by Mark Chase; 10-05-2019 at 02:09 PM.
Here you go;
Procedure that must be followed
If a landlord has clearly breached a repairing obligation, tenants have the right under common law to do the repair themselves and deduct the costs and expenses of doing so from future rent payments. However, the correct procedure must be followed and adequate notice and estimates of costs must be submitted to the landlord in advance of the work being done so that s/he has the opportunity to do the works her/himself.
If the correct procedure is followed, the tenant will have a complete defence to any possession action taken for rent arrears resulting from the deduction of repair costs from rent.The steps to follow are:
1. the tenant should inform the landlord of the repairs needed (preferably in writing) and allow a reasonable time for the necessary works to be completed
2. if the landlord fails to act, the tenant should inform the landlord (preferably in writing) that s/he will do the repair her/himself unless the landlord complies with her/his obligations
3. the tenant should then allow a further reasonable period for the landlord to do the work
4. the tenant should then obtain three estimates and send them to the landlord with an invitation to comment within a reasonable time and a final chance to carry out the work
5. the contractor who supplied the lowest estimate should be employed to carry out the work
6. the tenant must then send the invoice to the landlord and request reimbursement for the cost
7. if the landlord does not pay, then the tenant may deduct the cost of the repair work from future rent.
Mark you have swung from one example (bad landlords) all the way to another (bad tenants). Most landlords and tenants are probly a bit "meh".
I am no ace but I definitely made efforts to ventilate the flat and used sensible levels of heating prior to the mould making an appearance. I. Not asking landlords to "tenant proof" property but I want it maintained so under normal and reasonable use it should be largely problem free. Landlord does their bit, I do mine.
As for the mould, it appears I used the wrong terminology. When I get the chance I will explain more clearly and hopefully it will make more sense then.
Why is it that with everything in life I always find a more difficult way of doing it (and not intentionally)
The fact is that the average tenant is hugely disadvantaged by many factors. Often they lack the confidence to demand their rights. having experienced a few bad landlords they learn very very quickly to keep their mouth shut about everything. then they are the tenant that doesn't report the fault and so the more honest landlords that would do something about it moan that the tenant didn't mention the fault. Both sides only want to see their point of view and it is always the other side that is wrong, even though in reality if often isn't.
What was needed long ago and still is is to scrap the AST and for much more strict regulation of the private rental sector. Those people that wish to invest in that property class would be able to do so and have a long term income stream which can be a good thing if you are using that to fund your life without earned income (for example retirement). The house price inflation that took place over the last 20 odd years gave rise to people who were not interested in the revenue stream but only focussed on capital growth. As a broadbrush statement they are the problem. They see the tenants as nothing more than idiots that pay the mortgage as opposed to customers. A good tenant is a good customer who will give you that long term revenue stream.
Go back and read your list of how to get the repair done. "Reasonable time for the landlord to do the work". How many broken promises is that? The word "reasonable" is the problem of all legal action. Then pay for it themselves - what if it is a couple of grand? Get estimates. So the tenant hasn't got anything better to do and no job to go to and can afford to wait in and have a day off while three contractors come on different days?
This is the problem - seeing it from the other side. Yes technically there is a method of redress but it is bullshit and virtually no one is going to do it. Much easier to say nothing and just move out to somewhere better. The next tenant does the same. Rinse and repeat ad infinitum. From the landlord's view it is a nuisance as s/he is always paying agency fees for new tenants and the faults keep not getting reported (maybe, just maybe the agents are not passing on the complaints too??)
All the good landlords that I know want more regulation to get the bad ones out the game. But the world seems anti-regulation so I don't suppose it will happen and we are where we are and look like staying there.
Both constructive eviction and malicious eviction are illegal under UK law.
Every tenant has to be provided with the latest government guidelines "How to rent guide 2018" which outlines their legal position and the ways they can defend their situation.
Failure to provide the tenant with this information will prevent the landlord using a Section 21 notice for eviction just as surely as failure to supply a gas certificate will.
"reasnoible time" is a variable
So for example a failed boiler would be 48 hours but if the plumber inspects and says you need a new boiler and he cant do the job for another two weeks, The landlord can claim that's reasonable. However he may be required to move the tenant to alternative housing or provide temporary heating and hot water
A damp patch on the wall is not urgent so 3 months could be considered reasonable as long as quotes have been obtained and works booked in.
A land lord will always be at a disadvantage in front of a judge. So when the tenant suggests shes waited six months for a repair and was then told he/she had to vacate the property and it was suspected this was because they were a nuisance tenant, the judge is likely to apply a compulsory works order, slap the landlord with a big fine and reinstate the tenant.
I had a call Easter Friday from a tenant saying his toilet was overflowing and the bath backing up with sewage.
I had no choice but to get a drainage company out on a bank holiday and get it sorted as an emergency call out.
Last edited by Mark Chase; 11-05-2019 at 10:18 AM.