Environmental Health – May I need to find alternative accommodation for my tenant?

by Readers Question

13:56 PM, 2nd May 2017
About A year ago

Environmental Health – May I need to find alternative accommodation for my tenant?

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Environmental Health – May I need to find alternative accommodation for my tenant?

My relationship with a tenant seems to have broken down. They have called Environmental Health to inspect the property. I anticipate the buckling laminate floor in the lounge to be snagged.

It had been previously agreed with the tenant (last week on apparently good terms) that this would be fixed in the Summer when it is was dry weather and easier to cope with the disruption of having no usable living room, furniture (large sofas etc) being emptied and stored somewhere and flooring completely redone. I suspect that the damage is due to damp making the laminate swell – either from rising damp in which case the concrete floor will have to be dug out and relaid or, it’s from an accumulation of dog pee – either their dogs or those belonging to the previous tenants.

However, the tenants then called Environmental Health after I left the house, apparently feeling they had been fobbed off.

I don’t have a problem with repairing the floor – never have. My concern is that we will not know the cause until the room is clear and current laminate floor lifted. At that point, all may look ok, new laminate could be laid in a day, furniture back in and everyone is happy. Alternatively, the concrete floor may have to be dug out and new concrete laid, left to dry, leveling compound laid and left to dry and then laminate laid, new skirting boards, painting and making good – I’m sure everyone is familiar with just how dusty and dirty a job that is and just how disruptive for the tenants for a number of days.

Is there an obligation on the landlord to pay for alternative accommodation for the tenants while the work is ongoing or will they just have to put up with the inconvenience as the work is being done to comply with a Env Health Notice? Also what about the storage of their furniture? Blocking the hall / kitchen with the sofas etc will cause a H&S issue in itself – who pays for the storage of it? (hence why doing the work in the summer was preferred if they could be left under a tarp in the back garden during a spell of dry summer weather).

Any advice much appreciated.



Comments

JohnCaversham

17:22 PM, 2nd May 2017
About A year ago

If it was me I would remove the laminate determine whether the concrete screed is indeed at fault, if the issue is with dogs pee then the screed may show to be damp but not from rising damp...A poorly fitted laminate will swell just with general humidity from washing/cooking/drying in the first instance....Plus if the dog is an issue as you suspect plus a few spilt drinks then your laminate floor will suffer in the first instance.
Cure-Remove laminate first, if screed is suspect place a concrete flooring plastic membrane over entire floor then lay underlay and carpet. You'll do all that in a day with a bit of luck, no need to ask them to move out..If the screed is indeed damp you can replace it at the next change of tenancy otherwise yes its a long job, plus remember a screed will take weeks maybe months to fully dry so you'll have the same issue again anyway. So I would put down a insulated (celotex or similar) floating 22mm timber floor when the time comes...Cheaper than a screed too plus you have the bonus of insulation..

JohnCaversham

17:30 PM, 2nd May 2017
About A year ago

Ps, if the dog does indeed turn out to be the source of the problem then don't forget to pass the bill on to the tenant...!

Anne Nixon

8:44 AM, 3rd May 2017
About A year ago

Just wondering if the tenant has been wetting the floor to clean it, as that might be the cause of the 'damp'?

You could possibly pass on to them a 'care and cleaning of laminate floors' leaflet downloaded off the internet (specially if it mentioned that mopping a floor using excess water would damage it).

Pete Judd

16:44 PM, 12th May 2017
About A year ago

Putting plastic membrane under laminate just reminded me of a story that happened to me. We did just that when laying a new floor in a shop we had. Unfortunately it caused static to build up in anyone walking on it with the result that no one could get out of the shop without getting an electric shock on the door handle. One way to keep your customers! (It can be solved by driving a copper spike through floor and plastic into the concrete to ground it).


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