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Bad damp in rented house

Synax_Injector

Prominent Member
Hi all,

Bit of a story so let me explain, I moved in to the property last october (2014), was shown around the house before hand, was a bit smell but the letting agent said that the previous tennants wrecked the floor so they had to replace the carpets, once aired out it should be fine.

It was a musty church smell mixed with cat pee, when i moved in, it was worse, turns out they didnt seal the cat flap and the strays were coming in and peeing, yuck.

But that was it, seemed a nice house, nothing really wrong.

A month later I moved in, but straight away noticed a BIG wet patch on the wall in the first (dining, now play room) wall, it wasn't there, or i didnt notice it before. See pics 1 and 2.

I went and let the letting agent know, as they live about 5 second walk, they didn't believe me, saying that £12k of work had just been completed, thats why they gave me 1 month rent free, (£500) to decorate as there was some cosmetic touching up that needed doing.
So I asked them to come see, they didn't want to.

A few days later, out of the blue, I received a call from environmental health asking me if i was living at said property and i said yes, he was shocked and asked to come round straight away.
He explained that the property has serious damp, rising damp, subsidance etc etc, the list went on, he said no one should be living here.
He gave the letting agent a few days to respond, the did straight away, they came with the health visitor again to view the property and agree'd that the repair work done previously had not worked, even brought the insurance paper work to show it had been done.

They said they would either move me out temp, for about six months or i stay here when the work is being done, i said neither option is good as I live with a 4yo daughter, and work needs to be done in every room.

ANyway to not make this too long, they done test after test, the insureres wouldnt pay out saying the work has been done, the landlord also agee'd, despite envioromental health and the letting agent telling the landlord otherwise and showing pics.

Finally, after six months (despite being told to sort or rehome me in 10 days), they tested the drains to see if they had collapsed, causing subsidence, they were fine.
Then the insurance guy, who had to travel 130 miles to get here apparently came out and looked around and asked for glass rods to be installed on the side of the house, dont think that ever happened.

I've been here 13 months now, and nothing has really been done, not heard a thing since 3 months ago, but it's getting worse, the insurance guy said you have a leaky roof, they said it had been fixed and they are old patches, however last night water was dripping down, so I don't know lol.

Have attached pics, the ones with the curtains is my daughters room and play room.
The one with the picture frame is front room.
The soaking wet wall and ceiling and video, is my room.




Video that shows how wet my bedroom wall is
 

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gibbsy

Moderator
Can't get your links although your pics looks bad. Those images look like water from the roof, check in the attic for missing tiles. Your landlord is taking your money, it's thier duty to sort it out, but honestly I'd be looking for a different property with a different landlord.
 

Synax_Injector

Prominent Member
Can't get your links although your pics looks bad. Those images look like water from the roof, check in the attic for missing tiles. Your landlord is taking your money, it's thier duty to sort it out, but honestly I'd be looking for a different property with a different landlord.

Got some more pics up, as i say its in every room, the thing is, i dont have the money to move out, my argument with the agent was i should never have been moved in as the problems were discovered withing a day of moving in, are part of an older problem that had already trieed to be sorted.
I was going to go to small claims court as ask them for costs of moving, such as deposit, rent in advance, money back ive spent on the house etc, i think it's reasonable, i think they should rehome me at their cost. I'm going down there tomorrow, so need to know what i'm asking for lol, I like the house and i've decorated almost every room, replaced lights etc, so a pain to move, but can't live like this, embaresing when people come round and you have to explain lol
 

MC77

Prominent Member
You know you can withhold rent money if something like this occurs don't you? There are templates available from Shelter website and I assume the procedure is designed to give landlords a kick up the arse for things like this. That damp is not acceptable though.
 

MC77

Prominent Member
If I'm not mistaken, the actual procedure is to withhold the rent money in order to get repairs done, or similar, however I wouldn't want to be living with that.
 

Synax_Injector

Prominent Member
Upload a random selection, took these tonight too.
 

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Synax_Injector

Prominent Member
My rent goes straight to them and i top up about £50, they sent me a letter threatening court action when I was £115 behinde, I wasn't behinde at all i was actually £50 credit!
I have said to them though, it's funny you get the hump when i'm a bit late with my top up (Once! in a year!) but you dont do what needs to be done.

I did actually write a letter a few months back witholding my top up, so they would still get £450, i just wouldnt give the additional £50, but as I was already in court with the x regarding my daughter i didnt need the stress.

I think withholding £50 for all this is reasonable?

Envioremental health described 2 rooms as uninhabital, well that's half the property then, so can i not pay half lol
 

MC77

Prominent Member
Ah, didn't realise you were claiming HB to pay the rent. In which case that method of doing it isn't really an option. I'd suggest you got in contact with either the CAB or Shelter UK and discuss your options, but really empathise the fact it's been decided it's inhabitable and of course mention your daughter over and over again. Good luck.
 

Synax_Injector

Prominent Member
Just note, i've always been a good tennant with the agent, been with them in 3 peoperties now.

Been behinde with rent once, and paid the next day, always kept the properties to high standards, i have credit meters for gas and electric which are both in credit! the water is so much in credit they also sent me a cheque back as well as keeping the account in credit.
Council tax is paid untill april,

It's not like i've not paid rent and trashed the property so they have a right not to help, well, they have helped, they are nice there, really good with my daughter, which is why it makes it kinda akward that i need to go in there and put my foot down again.
Last time i did, ended in an argument becuase i threatened them with court action lol, when they sent me the letter saying im behinde with rent and they can take me to court, i was so angry (because i was actually in credit and the damp) that I said i'll counter sue, they didn;t like that lol
 

MC77

Prominent Member
Unfortunately putting your foot down might be the only option, damp like that gives off spores in the air that will affect your lungs and even more so a child's, don't worry about upsetting people and get it done. If you are in credit and have a contract they can't chuck you out so just do it. Worst case scenario is they don't renew your contract and you look for a new place, which I'd be doing anyway to be honest. Your health is more important than preserving the relationship between you and a poxy estate agent or landlord.
 

jassco

Distinguished Member
Shelter give free advice - definitely give them a call and speak to someone. I'd also be contacting environmental health again
 

Synax_Injector

Prominent Member
Thanks for advice guys, I know health etc is most importance for my daughter, but it's not as straight forward as just moving, I'd need £500 rent advance, £500 deposit, moving costs, application fee's, guarantor fee's, i'd need about £2000...Again!
I've got maybe about £500 total in bank and christmas coming up, plus Ive just finished a few months back a lengthy court battle of which left me a few K in debt.

I went to the letting agent monday morning, asked to speak to the owner (I happen to know them all now quite well so was in straight away), he was brilliant, really was, I just said that he said to come back if it gets worse, showed him some pics and he explained;

Said, The insurers are dragging their heels, it's out of his hands in that respect as untill they come to a decision and pay out, that's that, the house can't be repaired,

He said,, it's not on and asked what do I want to do, I said, I can't live there like that, it's been long enough, it's worse than ever, i've been ill for the past 2 weeks also which doesn't help.

He agree'd, just said right, your moving out, I don't want a customer of mine living like that, he said the insurers could take another 6 months to decide, then 6 months of work and he said he likes high standards and this isn't it.

Went and got available properties list, he had one of his own properties coming up in 3 weeks time and said he's happy to keep it for me, it's currently being completly gutted and re-done so it's going to be nice.

Great!

But, again, I don't really want to move, it's so much hassel, and right before christmas and i literally have no money to do so, but it's not fair i was allowed to move in to a house that had existing problems.

I said to him, so your agreeing it isn't fair i have to live like this with a young child, you agree it's not going to be resolved any time soon due to no fault of mine, and you recommend moving out, as does enviromental health, i said as akward as it is, where do I go for costs, because IMO i shouldn't have been allowed to move in, and if these serious structual problems wernt here, I wouldn't even consider moving.

He agreed too!

Said give him three weeks to sort house, he'll talk to other owner of the company and sort something.


Tbh, and i've discussed this at length with my mum, I think given the damp throughout since day one, and it wasnt visable when i viewed property, and i'm being advised by enviromental health (who done a report, before and after i moved in) to move out, I think I could sue them for moving costs, i dont want to go down that route, but I feel like i have to move (would you live here?) but I wouldn't if these problems didnt arise, enviromental health gave them 10 days last nov to sort something out, its been 12 months now.

So i dont know, I would take them to court over costs because everyone agree's i shouldnt live here and they are pre-existing problems that i wasnt told about.

I'll see what the owner says in a few weeks, it's his own property, and his letting agents, so technically he could easilly waiver all fee's as he owns everything, just the removal van costs then which is a few hundred,
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
From your last post I'm not sure what you are asking for.

It sounds like the landlord has agreed to move you to a different property in three weeks time and that you say that the house will be nice. Clearly it remains to be seen whether it is ready in three weeks and is nice but you seem to be confident of the landlord.

Three weeks is a not long time in the housing market and I doubt you could do anything else quicker.

You have put up with it 13 months, far longer than many of us would have managed so what is the problem with 3 weeks.

If there is something specific you want in addition, be it compensation, being put up in a hotel for the 3 weeks or something else you need to spell it out to the agency/landlord. The key to negotiation is to be calm, unemotional, state the facts and state what you want done about it.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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Miss Mandy

Moderator
I wouldn't worry about taking him to court just yet, it sounds like he's in agreement with you at this stage so try and discuss these concerns with him first. Talk to him about the situation amicably and see if he can help you sort the move out. Don't think about suing or going to court until you've tried resolving this with him and/or the agents directly first as it may burn any good will you had between you and them.
 

Synax_Injector

Prominent Member
Just to point out guys, I have no contact with the "landlord", The new property is with the manager of the letting agent, it's a shop at the top of my road, they manage properties on behalf of landords.

So my landlord has instructed insurers based on what the letting agent has decided, the landlord lives is spain, never met them, but because they are in spain, like i said, originaly they didn't believe me or the letting agent because they knew there was damp in some places and the insurance company spent around 12k to sort it.

When i looked at house, I said I want to pay about £50 less than they were asking per month, they made a counter offer through the agent to give me first month rent free to re-decorate the damp patches.

So the damp was fixed and they gave me the money to do the decorating to get rid of the marks.

However, it's back, way worse, in every room, and the roof is now leaking, it's a shame, imo i think the whole house should come down, it effects every single room, it's going to cost what the house is worth just to fix i recon.


Nigel, I must have come across wrong, i agree with you, for me 3 weeks is no problem, i thought they way going to say 6 months! LIke you say after 13 months, 3 weeks isn't something to worry about, and as i've hid alot of the damp well, the house "appears" nice, not in the pics but i took the pics knowing they making it look bad.

It was the letting agent manager, who has known me and my daughter a while who said he will take us out of this property, and put me in one of his personal ones which is is re-doing, as he guarantee's it's fine.
I think he'd like me as well as like I say he knows I've always looked after properties and paid rent, so he knows he's getting a decent tennant.
I think he was kinda in agreement that me paying full rent, after this length of time with the problems wasn't too fair.

So at the moment, I'll keep paying full rent, and see how it goes, but I have to say, a few times they have said "action within the month" and no contact for months on end, i'll see i guess.

THanks guys
 

SteveCritten

Distinguished Member
If you are claiming housing benefit then contact them and tell them the problems and they may withhold the rent. But for me take up the agents offer and move out the work may take months.
 

DarenD

Prominent Member
If you are claiming housing benefit then contact them and tell them the problems and they may withhold the rent. But for me take up the agents offer and move out the work may take months.

Agree with the above. Sounds like a number of issues so call it a day.
 

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