Can she claim for leak, mould, light and deposit?

by Readers Question

14:12 PM, 4th May 2019
About 2 months ago

Can she claim for leak, mould, light and deposit?

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Can she claim for leak, mould, light and deposit?

My daughter wants to know can she claim? She was renting a property, first rental, with a group of friends.

Before Christmas her bedroom light was flashing whether it was on or off. Upon investigation by her housemate who is an electrician he found the ceiling rose to be dripping wet. It was reported to the LL. Nothing was done. Over months she and her housemates all noticed mould starting to appear on the walls where they join the ceiling. After her having no light and this issue she contacted the LL again.

He eventually sent someone around to look at the roof (it was a top floor appt and has a flat roof). It was like a swimming pool. He managed to clear away the water, but that was it. The wet weather kept happening and the mould kept reappearing and she was constantly scrubbing the walls with bleach to try to get rid of the mould.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago when the agents asked if they were renewing their tenancy, although the LL hadn’t sent his information to the agents to offer another term, he just blanked them.

Of course they said no due to the conditions.

They found out about the DPS this week and phoned around and realised that their deposit hasn’t been in the scheme all the time they have been renting!

They handed their keys back today.
Two questions
1) Can they make a claim for the LL not using the DPS even if he does return the deposit to them
2) Is there any compensation they can make against the landlord for the conditions they lived in and lack of repairs and the fact that they had water in the electrics with nothing being done. Lots of their belongings were covered in mould and it’s costing a fortune to put everything through the wash to get the smell out.

They had pets (hamsters and budgies) that were young and died within months of them getting them. (3 hamsters and 1 budgie died).

They were first time renters and young too so completely naive to things. They have spoken to a couple of solicitor companies today who have all said they look like they have a claim but they can’t afford that route as they just don’t have the money.

Thanks for any advice.

Kylie



Comments

Mandy Thomson

15:11 PM, 4th May 2019
About 2 months ago

Hi Kylie
Really sorry to hear about your daughter's experience.
The answer to both your questions is yes, but your daughter and her co renters need proper evidence to back up their claims.
Where the deposit is concerned, there are plenty of solicitors doing this on a no win no fee basis as the legislation means claimants will always be awarded SOMETHING plus their legal costs. The serious property disrepair will make the judge less sympathetic to the landlord assuming there were no breaches on the tenants' part.
Where the damage to the property is concerned, including the deaths of the pets, provided there is again good, well presented evidence to back up the claim, this can be done through the small claims court (unless the damage amounts to more than £10k). No solicitor needed and these often go through with no hearing.
They should also report the state of the property to Environmental Health at the local authority, again presenting evidence (though probably not worth doing if the landlord won't be renting it again or is leaving a long void between tenancies to get the work done).

James Nelson

9:10 AM, 7th May 2019
About 2 months ago

Check the contract didn’t specify ‘ no pets ‘ before you proceed down the pet route !

SimonR

10:16 AM, 7th May 2019
About 2 months ago

very unlikely she will get anything for the pets as very hard to prove they died due to conditions in the flat, she can however make a claim against the landlord for not registering the deposit and the judge can award up to 3 x the deposit plus the return of the original deposit.

Mandy Thomson

10:24 AM, 7th May 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by SimonR at 07/05/2019 - 10:16
I'm assuming there's vet's reports?

SimonR

16:38 PM, 7th May 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mandy Thomson at 07/05/2019 - 10:24
Again hard to prove unless they did autopsy which is highly unlikely and even if the judge did award it would be a very small amount. Claim for the breach of deposit registration as this is a given that some form of compo will be awarded.

Mandy Thomson

21:38 PM, 7th May 2019
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by SimonR at 07/05/2019 - 16:38
Witness reports and photos etc are all that should be required to prove balance of probability in a civil matter, there is no need to prove a case beyond reasonable as per a criminal matter.


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