Condensation compensation

by Readers Question

22:38 PM, 6th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Condensation compensation

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Condensation compensation

Am I liable if my tenants property gets damaged by condensation? Condensation compensation

The flat has had a history of condensation, although obviously I didn’t tell him that.

I cleaned and decorated before he moved him.

I have paid him £500 in compensation although he is not satisfied as he paid over £1,500 for his new furniture when he moved in.

The flat is now sold and he’s moved out.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Just to add it was a ground floor flat and windows could not be left open.

Tony King



Comments

Mark Alexander

22:56 PM, 6th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Hi Tony

I too had a condensation problem in one of my ground floor flats. When I eventually realised that it wasn't caused by my tenants lifestyles I knew I had to do something about it. By that time I had had three tenants move in and out in just two years! Re-letting costs and decorating costs were killing my profits. My choice was to fix the problem or sell. There was no way that I was going to throw good money after bad and repeat the process over and over again. It was hurting my pocket and after realising it wasn't my tenants fault I couldn't put yet another set of tenants through the grief. I couldn't have slept at night. If one of my tenants had tried to claim compensation maybe it would have focussed my mind sooner. However, I was convnced at the time it was my tenants fault. After three sets of tenants had the same problem that was just too much of a coincidence as none of them had condensation problems in their former rental properties. I know because I had visited them all. see my strategy for finding perfect tenants and minimising risk >>> http://www.property118.com/landlords-buy-to-let-property-investment-strategy/finding-perfect-tenants-and-minimising-risk/

I didn't want to sell the property so I got the problem fixed by doing a lot of research and having an Envirovent system fitted. The problem was sorted immediately. It wasn't cheap but it was definitely worth doing. I have no affiliation or commission arrangement with Envirovent by the way.

So my questions back to you are:-

1) How do you feel about knowingly renting your property with these condensation problems to this tenant?

I suspect that, at heart, you are a decent bloke and you feel guilty, otherwise why would you have offered £500 in compensation?

2) If you were the tenant how would you feel about being offered £500 compensation and what action would you be taking?

3) How do you think your tenant would feel if he was to read your readers question?

My advice is that you follow your conscience. If you don't come to an amicable settlement with this tenant this issue is going to continue to poison your mind and take up your time until a judge finally makes a decision. Is that what you really want?
.

Vanessa Warwick

11:02 AM, 7th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Condensation and mould should be taken VERY seriously by landlords.

They are damaging to tenant's health, and tenants could legitimately call in the Environmental Health Officer from the council if the problem is not addressed.

The first thing to do is to educate the tenant about how to avoid mould and condensation through proper ventilation of the property.

On Property Tribes we have an educational leaflet to give to tenants on move in.

Secondly, mid term property inspections would reveal if damp and mould are developing and give you a chance to either

i) Check the tenants lifestyle and educate them if necessary.

ii) Fit a solution such as Envirovent on Nuaire as Mark mentions above.

As to the original post, you are now reaping the rewards of renting a property with a mould and damp problem to a tenant.

If the tenants furniture is damaged because of your failure to provide safe accommodation, then I would regard you as liable.

How the tenant can force you to pay up is another matter. As Mark says, your conscience should dictate the answer.

Mary Latham

11:13 AM, 9th September 2013
About 5 years ago

From your post it would seem that the tenants furniture has been damaged by mold? If this is the case and you knew that the property was damp and that you covered this up before he moved in it seems reasonable that you would compensate him for the damage.

I am assuming that you also covered up the mold when you sold the property so that it did not reduce the price? Perhaps you could share a little of that profit with this tenant?

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My book, where I warn about the storm clouds that are gathering for landlords is here >>> http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1484855337

A Jenkins

20:36 PM, 9th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mary Latham" at "09/09/2013 - 11:13":

I had noticed that my tenants were having mold issues on the walls and on the window panes. So I took theu proactive approach of educating them at check in with tips to control condensation-opening windows, cooking with lids on, keeping shower/bath doors shut, using the dryer inside of hang drying clothes on radiators, etc.... I even supplied them with dehumidifiers and still there was condensation in our 17th century stone and cob house. I removed cement renders on the outside walls and replaced it with lime and sand rendering and a little less damp, but still condensation.
Finally, I invited Envirovent over, they worked with me, giving me a discount for being a member of a landlord association and fitted in a piv system. I also had them put in a kitchen extractor. What a huge difference! The tenants say its warmer, more comfortable and less redecorating for me as my tenants are staying longer.
Now if I could only come up with a way to introduce a central heating system and get double glazed windows, I would be set. It was definite worth the investment.

Mark Alexander

21:27 PM, 9th September 2013
About 5 years ago

It's worth joining the NLA just to get the discount from Envirovent which is greater than the NLA membership fees.
.

Ian Pye

21:28 PM, 9th September 2013
About 5 years ago

I had the same problem last year and following a comment by Mark last yr about Envirovent, I had this system installed, in a ground floor flat.
Problem solved.
Not cheap but very effective.I had ' educated' the tenants how to avoid this problem , because it is caused by lack of ventilation (they kept closing the window vents).
Apparently this problem only occurs in ground floor flats.
There is a discount if the landlord is a member of NLA which is more than 1 yrs membership fee.

Joe Bloggs

7:35 AM, 10th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "A Jenkins" at "09/09/2013 - 20:36":

double glazing will make the condensation problem worse as it will divert the condensate from panes to walls. the condensation problem may well be aggravated/caused by the lack of space heating.

Joe Bloggs

7:41 AM, 10th September 2013
About 5 years ago

i dont understand the relevance of GF flats. it is the tenants responsibility to properly ventilate, not the landlords. if there are opening windows then the landlord has done no wrong. the fact that the flat is on the GF was surely evident when the tenant viewed. the LL is under no legal obligation to improve eg by fitting fans etc (and there are other positive ventilation units besides envirovent!!!!!!). furthermore, trickle vent locks can be fitted to window openers so windows can be left ajar securely.

Industry Observer

9:12 AM, 10th September 2013
About 5 years ago

No time to read entire thread so apologies if what follows has already been said, but I agree (as usual apart from one one or two old chestnut issues!!) with Mary.

You have a clear liability because you knew the property suffered from the problem. Plus the windows could not be opened - come on!!

Envirovent sounds interesting, in my opinion the ultimate solution if all else fails including existing ventilation, is to install a top end of range heat recovery extractor unit. Google Vent Axia HR25 to see an example, that one costs about £250 + installation. Then silent, runs 24/7, cheap and extremely efficient.

S Daye

11:49 AM, 10th September 2013
About 5 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "A Jenkins" at "09/09/2013 - 20:36":

If your tennants are on benefit they can get central heating put in almost free, and there is help for double glazing if you apply under the green deals that are avilable..

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