Tenants and bathrooms

by Readers Question

4 years ago

Tenants and bathrooms

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Tenants and bathrooms

I wonder if anyone has had a similar experience and/or can advise on the issue of who is responsible when the tenant has not adequately ventilated the bathroom so now the bathroom has to be overhauled to make it presentable again. Tenants and bathrooms

There is mould growing everywhere!

The tenants were informed at the beginning of the tenancy to always open the window after use in addition to the ventilation.

Is this down to ‘wear and tear’ and therefore the landlord’s responsibility or should the tenant be the one who makes good.

The rest of the house is fine but the bathroom is not.

I would really appreciate your opinion – thanks.

Tina

Comments

Mark Alexander

4 years ago

Hi Tina

This is a very common problem and it will be interesting to read what other landlords think about the responsibility.

I used to get this problem a lot but didn't want to upset tenants mid tenancy for fear of losing them and having to deal with all the hassle and cost associated with re-letting.

That's when I discovered hard-wired humidistat fans which only run when required and cannot be turned off by tenants. They are also incredibly energy efficient.

I suppose there is an argument that the tenant is responsible but can they really be expected to leave a window open whilst having a bath when it's minus 4 outside. Other tenants have hay-fever and other allergies in the summer so I decided the most cost effective way to deal with the problem is to make my properties as "tenant proof" as possible.

It worked 🙂
.

Sally T

4 years ago

I think a landlord has to provide an extractor fan that does the job right. If the tenant refuses to use it or blocks it up then I would say it's the tenants fault, but if the extractor isn't man enough for the job then I would say it's the landlords. What if they have a shower than leave for work, they may not wish to leave a window open for security reasons (If the property was broken into and trashed, you'd be quick to blame the tenant for leaving the window open).
You knew before renting the property there was a problem because you asked them to open window so I'm guessing this has happened before.

Ollie Cornes

4 years ago

The tenant should have opened the window, but we all know people don't always do what they should, and in the winter who wants to shower with the window open when there's snow outside - would you?

I'd install a trickle-fan like Mark suggests, one that runs all the time very very slowly, and when it senses humid air it speeds up. I suggest avoiding Envirovent like the plague though - I had a very poor experience with them. There are plenty of other companies who supply this type of fan.

Better to pay for a fan than to gamble on whether you will have to refurbish the bathroom frequently, plus mould spores are a serious health risk, especially to kids, asthmatics, the sick and elderly.

FWIW the mould remover spray I've found works best is HG Mould Remover. I found bleach a waste of time.

Mark Alexander

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ollie Cornes" at "12/06/2014 - 14:08":

Hi Ollie

My experience of Envirovent has been the polar opposite to yours.

I swear by them for curing damp and mould problems.

Their humidistat fans are well over priced so I don't use them but I have used the bigger Envirovent units in other properties with damp problems and the problem have never reoccurred. The rep in Norwich is also a great chap. If he thinks his units (which come with a guarantee to solve the problem) will not work he always says so.
.

Nick Faulkner

4 years ago

Constant problem....never found a good answer.We use a PIR switch on the fan so that as soon as somebody enters the shower room the fan starts and continues to run for the maximum setting on the delay.
I am not sure why it happens....well I am not completely stupid I know why it happens but I have a shower at home with a 4 inch in line fan conducting moisture away from the shower room and in fifteen years with the same fan I have never had a problem. But with student houses the fans do not last, they clog up with dust or talcum powder and they never seem to move enough air.
Where I can I now fit six inch fans which seem to move a vast amount more air than their smaller cousins.
This brings us back to who pays? Well, as it is a problem with all our rented houses and all our tenants wether they be clean and careful or just normal students, I accept it as an immutable part of life and deal with it at the end of each tenancy or if the problem is really bad in mid-tenancy.So we pay.
I am with Mark we make the houses as tenant -proof as possible. The shower-room walls are ceramic tiled and the ceilings flat(not artexed) and coated with silk not matt emulsion... it is not the complete answer but it helps.

Neil Woodhead

4 years ago

I agree with Mark we have found Envrirovent very good and solved long standing Tenant lifestyle problems in a number of properties

Tony Atkins

4 years ago

An extractor fan with a humidistat is the solution. Make sure the switch for the fused spur (if you have a switch) is well out of reach, otherwise guess what, the tenants turn it off, "to save electricity".

Be careful with HG Mould Remover, as it is toxic stuff. Do not spray it upwards with you underneath, otherwise you will get droplets on your face and clothes . . .

The best solution of all is a whole-house/flat mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery, which has humidistats and removes warm moist air in a controlled manner, and replaces it with fresh air throughout the building. See Regavent and several other firms who advertise widely in the self-build press like Homebuilding and Renovating. It will cost between £1000 and £2000 and is best done when the property is empty during planned maintenance.

Peter & Di Cole

4 years ago

In one of our properties the wooden frame of the ensuite bathroom's velux window has gone rotten, we believe due to the tenants not opening it when showering in there. We bought it as a new build in 2007 so rang Velux to see if it was insured by them but apparently it isn't. So it looks like we have to fork out a few hundred quid for installing a new one. It's a difficult one really - don't see how we could force the tenants to pay? Di

Alex Williams

4 years ago

Yup. Take this one on the chin and install fans. Also educate tenant and inspect regularly.

John Daley

4 years ago

Hi Tina,

I completely agree with Mark and Tony.

As a savvy landlord you need to find ways to 'out think' your residents. What I mean is that the average tenant has very little engagement with the property. Human nature is what it is, so plan to reduce it's effects.

So in any situation where you need the tenant to do something to protect your interests is a losing battle. This is particularly obvious in HMO where tenants who dislike each other won't do anything for each other or you.

So a sensible landlord designs out the parts of the letting relationship where there is any reliance on the goodwill or concience of the tenant.

As a result it makes sense to fit humidity controlled fans in kitchens and bathrooms, to meter utilities and pass on costs directly, to set upper limits on TRV and thermostats.

From a regulatory view point condensation is usually seem as a tenants responsibility and you should not be called to account unless it is really bad or there is another cause arising from construction or repair.

As a final point I think the usual condensation is the tenants resposibility and I would advise them dealing with it by washing down with hot water / bleach. It's not the only solution but is the 'standard' response. If there is damage at the end of occupation then it's cheargeable against deposits ( take pictures for evidence )

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