Landlords: how to counter tenants’ complaints about damp

by Robert Desbruslais

14:00 PM, 6th June 2013
About 8 years ago

Landlords: how to counter tenants’ complaints about damp

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Landlords: how to counter tenants’ complaints about damp

Complaint about dampHow often have you had a tenant complain about damp patches or mould? You may even have had builders or specialists in to fix the problem, only to find that the come back again.

Unless you have worked out exactly what is causing the dampness and mould  in the first place, than all a builder can really do is mask the problem for a few weeks or months – it will come back. Yet damp problems can often be resolved completely by taking very simple steps, without the need to pay for major works –often just opening a window will suffice, if you’ve been able to trace the problem to condensation.

While there are many reputable firms, you may be very surprised to find that some so-called damp specialists might have gone on a course that lasted only a day and cost them as little as £50. These courses are usually sponsored by the people who make the materials that often actually trap moisture in your walls. I generally advise my clients to avoid these treatments at all costs.

Of course, one of the biggest causes of damp in let property is quite simply condensation, and no one can fix that unless the tenant can be persuaded to ensure that the premises are well ventilated. However, they may not accept that until you can prove the point, and sending a surveyor out on a site visit may be rather expensive.  So do consider online alternatives like AskASurveyor.co.uk.

By Guest Columnist Robert Desbruslais of AskASurveyor.co.uk

Comments

Mick Roberts

15:29 PM, 11th June 2013
About 8 years ago

Teach u another story, shall I, u can all suss out the facts for yourselves but it works all the time on my tenants when they ask for the minute-ist hole to be sealed up.
1970's Barbados, all the kids were healthy, living in huts. 1980's 1990's loads of tourism coming to the island, Govt loads of income bought lovely nice insulated warm sealed houses for the families & kids to live in. what happened 1990 onwards? Lots of kids started getting asthma 'cause not a lot of fresh air coming into the houses any more. Moral is, your kids will be healthier with that gap & a bit of fresh air coming into the house than if I seal it up & no fresh air at all.
I have a gap on my back door for past ten years, can see daylight through it. I leave it 'cause fresh air never hurt anyone. And my tenants know not many people fitter than me, cycle 100miles a week up hills, flat out mile swim a week, mile run uphills, gym weights etc etc.-All because the lady loves fresh air.

David Lawrenson

11:27 AM, 11th July 2014
About 7 years ago

The damp proofing industry seems to us to be rather full of charlatans.
But recently we came across the maverick Heritage House, who have now become the arch enemies of the damp industry.
Solicitors letters have flown to them because they have stood alone and challenged a lot of the nonsense & unnecessary damp course proofing treatment often recommended by the damp proofers.
They have also highlighted dangers of cavity wall insulation (CWI) - and certainly made me row back on my plans for CWI
Please read what they have to say about damp issues here and generally at their site or google "damp + Heritage House:
http://www.heritage-house.org/managing-damp-in-old-buildings.html
David Lawrenson

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