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Ending a lease due to damp/mould
04-01-2012, 12:48 PM
Post: #1
Ending a lease due to damp/mould
Upon entering my new flat I smelled the cleaners used on the carpets and walls. A few days later the mould came back and the flat stinks. I want out of the lease but the landlord just keeps saying he is going to sort it. I cannot afford to get a solicitor. Any advice?

1) I am a single person in a two bedroom flat - I have a less than expected impact on the environment. I do not boil water or cook on the hob. I have tried windows open and closed.
2) My EBAC Smart Dehumidifier (stops at a normal level of humidity) takes 3 litres of water out of the environment of the flat per day. I had to purchase this due to the problem.
3) The Council's Environmental Health and Safety came, stated that they had been there before for the same issue, and gave the Landlord 70 days to get a certified damp engineer in.
4) I have Asthma and Chronic Sinisitus - this is actively affecting my health. I have a letter from my GP confirming I have asthma. The GP had to change my Asthma medicine for the first time in six years.
5) I have taken photographs of all the mould and damp, logged what the dehumidifier removes, and I have written several detailed letters to the landlord most asking for him to end the lease. He either ignores them or simply says he is sorting it. He refuses to communicate in writing and insists on speaking on the phone.
6) When viewing the flat, I asked the ("meet-and-greet") agent what the machine in the lounge was for, he said, "I do not know." The machinie it turns out was put in by the Landlord the last time the Council was in to take care of the problem. It simply pulls outside air into the lounge only (most issues are in the carpeted bedrooms). It has no affect. It was not disclosed what it was for, that this issue existed, and that I would be expected to pay electricity to run this machine.
7) This is affecting my health (I feel run down and ill all the time), my happiness, my stress, my work, and I just found mould on my clothes and shoes.

Why should I have to live with this whilst he sorts it? Why should my health be disregarded? In my opinion the Landlord has already broken the lease through his non-disclosure, inaction, and through the conditions of the flat.

Many tell me to stop paying rent and leave - but then there are so many sites that say not to. I don't care about eviction. I don't care about references. I want out. I do care about CCJ and getting sued.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Scott

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04-01-2012, 02:53 PM
Post: #2
RE: Ending a lease due to damp/mould
You will need to tell us exact dates of your lease, have you got an inventory?

I do not advise you to just walk out either, that is a certain route to a bad credit report.

Condensation is almost always caused by lack of ventilation, have you got trickle vents on your windows? are they open?

Replies made by this user are opinions only, this user does not have legal qualifications to answer tenancy questions.

Fair minded landlord. These are my opinions, if you want legal advice pay a lawyer
04-01-2012, 02:56 PM
Post: #3
RE: Ending a lease due to damp/mould
The Lease is from October 2011 - October 2012.

There is no inventory. I took a photographic one when I moved in for my own safety. The place wasn't cleaned well at all.

There are loads of vents all over the place and they are open.

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04-01-2012, 03:28 PM
Post: #4
RE: Ending a lease due to damp/mould
(04-01-2012 02:56 PM)sciamo Wrote:  The Lease is from October 2011 - October 2012.

That's not exact is it, what are the dates?

There is no inventory. I took a photographic one when I moved in for my own safety. The place wasn't cleaned well at all.

Then there is no inventory at all, the landlord will not be able to charge you for any damages.

There are loads of vents all over the place and they are open.


What about the deposit? has that been placed into a Deposit Protection Scheme and have you had the prescribed information sent to you?

It does sound as if there may be structural defects in the property, things like leaking gutters or even a leaking pipe within the walls.

Replies made by this user are opinions only, this user does not have legal qualifications to answer tenancy questions.

Fair minded landlord. These are my opinions, if you want legal advice pay a lawyer
04-01-2012, 05:47 PM
Post: #5
RE: Ending a lease due to damp/mould
8 October 2011 - 7 October 2012 are the exact dates.

There was definately no inventory.

The deposit is with the DPS - the lease states this. I do not understand "prescribed information." I have had nothing sent to me.

The vents are in the walls, not the windows. The windows can be locked in a position allowing air circulation as well.

Thanks!!!

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04-01-2012, 06:31 PM
Post: #6
RE: Ending a lease due to damp/mould
I take there is no break clause in your agreement, if there is a clause you are at the right time to exercise it.

If there was no inventory then the landlord has no evidence of the condition at the start of the tenancy and therefore would struggle to prove any damages.

Prescribed information must be sent to you by the landlord when he protects your deposit, failure to do this means that if he served a S21 notice to you then that notice would be invalid. A S21 is not a notice to quit, it merely enables a landlord to start court proceedings after it expires.

I don't understand what you are say about the dehumidifier, it should not be pulling air into the place but recycling what's there and removing the moisture from it, if it's taking outside air then it's just pulling more moisture in.

Have you got an adequate amount of heat in the place, are you using curtains to cut down the heat loss?

Replies made by this user are opinions only, this user does not have legal qualifications to answer tenancy questions.

Fair minded landlord. These are my opinions, if you want legal advice pay a lawyer
04-01-2012, 07:16 PM
Post: #7
RE: Ending a lease due to damp/mould
No there is no break clause for me. Just for his convenience.

No inventory at all.

I never received a notice regarding my deposit. Should I be worried?

Dehumidifier is in the rom processing the air within the room.

The place is heated well. I have blinds in all windows.

I am wondering if this matters: the agent was a meet-and-greet and isn't managing the property. However the lease document states:

"These promises will be legally binding once the agreement has been signed by both parties and then dated."

It then has a place for the name and address of the letting agency who arranged this tenancy. This has been left blank.

4.6 States the deposit is with the DPS.

7 is the signature are where the agent has signed but the landlord has not.

Is the fact that they left the front blank something in my favour?

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07-01-2012, 11:15 AM
Post: #8
RE: Ending a lease due to damp/mould
(04-01-2012 07:16 PM)sciamo Wrote:  No there is no break clause for me. Just for his convenience.

That is unfair, but legal.

No inventory at all.

In which case your landlord would struggle to claim anything at all regarding damages.

I never received a notice regarding my deposit. Should I be worried?

Dehumidifier is in the rom processing the air within the room.

Probably structural defects causing the damp then.

The place is heated well. I have blinds in all windows.

I am wondering if this matters: the agent was a meet-and-greet and isn't managing the property. However the lease document states:

"These promises will be legally binding once the agreement has been signed by both parties and then dated."

It then has a place for the name and address of the letting agency who arranged this tenancy. This has been left blank.

4.6 States the deposit is with the DPS.

Have you checked with the DPS that the deposit is protected, they only need the address to check it.

7 is the signature are where the agent has signed but the landlord has not.

An agent's signature is just as binding as the landlord's

Is the fact that they left the front blank something in my favour?

No, your contract is with the landlord.

If the landlord has not sent you the 'prescribed information as required by law ( see the DPS help section) then any S21 he serves you will be invalid.

Replies made by this user are opinions only, this user does not have legal qualifications to answer tenancy questions.

Fair minded landlord. These are my opinions, if you want legal advice pay a lawyer
11-01-2012, 10:17 AM
Post: #9
RE: Ending a lease due to damp/mould
Called DPS. Even though my lease SPECIFIES that mummy deposit is held with them it isn't.

Surely that must be breach of contract?

Regardless he is letting me leave.

The estate agent isn't signed up with the Ombudsman. How can I complain about their services?

Replies made by this user are opinions only, this user does not have legal qualifications to answer tenancy questions.

11-01-2012, 12:23 PM
Post: #10
RE: Ending a lease due to damp/mould
Yes it's a breach of contract, however I would not advise you to take it to court because it is very easy for the landlord to defeat your claim and it could prove to be expensive for you because you would then be exposed to his court expenses. If you do not get treated fairly with your deposit after you leave then you should sue for it with almost no risk of losing the case.

Signing up to the Ombudsman service is not compulsory, the best place might be to 'Trading Standards' but don't hold your breath about getting any sense from them either.

Replies made by this user are opinions only, this user does not have legal qualifications to answer tenancy questions.

Fair minded landlord. These are my opinions, if you want legal advice pay a lawyer
 




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