When condensation and mould is caused by the tenant?

When condensation and mould is caused by the tenant?

9:32 AM, 24th January 2024, About a month ago 65

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Hello, We are currently dealing with a tenant who has complained to environmental health about the damp in their property. We have been instructed to re-decorate the whole property which we do not mind, but every time we go to the property, all the windows are shut, there is no central heating on, clothes are being dried, etc.

I bought a brand new 16l Dehumidifier for the tenant, when I went back to the property the dehumidifier was in the box without a fuse and fuse cover and unused.

We have told the tenant about what can cause condensation in the property and supplied him with a condensation fact sheet. A couple of months down the line we are back in the property and once again, all the above was still taking place, and considering the cold weather we have had the past couple of weeks there was no heating on as the tenant was not there.

I put his heating on in the end as the way he is living is simply damaging our property. The tenant then complained that all his heating had been used up.

I believe this tenant is in breach of contract as he is not keeping the property in a good condition, I have told the council about this. I have even recorded all the furniture right up against the walls and clothes being dried inside, but the council still indicate it is down to us to manage the problem.

Does anyone have advice on this or had a similar experience?

Thank you,

Harry


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Comments

Paul Fletcher

10:21 AM, 24th January 2024, About a month ago

Fit a Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) ventilation systems are the most effective method of curing and preventing condensation dampness.
Really good bits of kit roughly £500 on 24-7 fitted into attic space very cheap running cost

Reluctant Landlord

10:26 AM, 24th January 2024, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Charles Holt at 24/01/2024 - 09:46
I'm looking into this now - thanks.

Chris @ Possession Friend

10:27 AM, 24th January 2024, About a month ago

@ Harry
Don't do anything before speaking with us.
The Housing Dept need appropriate, robust challenge.

Dennis Leverett

10:34 AM, 24th January 2024, About a month ago

My wife uses a Lakeland Dry:Soon heated drying rack thingy with a mini dehumidifier which works very well and economical to use. It's used regularly with towels etc. in my office which is slightly annoying but no mould appearing anywhere and its fairly small office about 4mtrs by 3 mtrs. Anyone wants a link let me know and I'll send. Wasn't sure if the link on here would be acceptable and don't think I can ad an image. One of my tenants dries bath towels on the bedroom rad which has now started rusting, 10 years old, and wants it replaced. Have had mould problems with them in the en suite but after a "gentle" conversation no longer a problem. They were switching off the humidistat fan as it was to "noisy" at night and the window vent was closed.

Reluctant Landlord

10:35 AM, 24th January 2024, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Fletcher at 24/01/2024 - 10:21
does it work equally across all the rooms in a property?
I have a situation where due to lack of ventilation, air flow and inadequate levels of heating (not above 15 degrees and lack of regularity of use even if over 15 degrees) the are signs of condensation/damp in a number of rooms not just the higher humidity rooms (kitchen and bathroom).

Would this be the answer or as I am suspecting, it still needs T to keep up the basics (which they are not doing) in order for this installation to produce positive results?

Paul Fletcher

10:56 AM, 24th January 2024, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Reluctant Landlord at 24/01/2024 - 10:35
I have used several of these (nuaire) in older style houses, where damp a really problem, fitted all of them into the landing ceilings and works really well and you dont even notice it, the only time not effective is if tenant closes the door say to the bathroom so that it is not allowed to work.

Darren Burrows

10:59 AM, 24th January 2024, About a month ago

Obviously just decorating the property won't make any difference at all - whoever instructed that as the solution doesn't have a clue.

You probably know most of this already and have already actioned some of it already but here's my stock response to anyone that has a mould problem;

"Black-spot mould will grow where moisture is attracted to and sits on the coldest surfaces.

Basically that is where you get condensation. It can be referred to as thermal (or cold) bridging.

Moisture in the air (there’s always lots of it caused by cooking, washing/showering, drying clothes and just breathing - we generate 1/2 pint each per night just while asleep) will be attracted to the coldest surface in the room - normally uninsulated external walls, ceilings or window panes.

Firstly, get the mould cleaned off properly using a decent, professional treatment (carefully using mask, goggles, gloves etc).

Get yourself some hygrometers to get a baseline reading on humidity & room temperatures - they are pretty inexpensive on Amazon or eBay.

Look at increasing ventilation through the house with either passive or mechanical vents. Look into at least leaving windows open slightly or adding trickle vents to create airflow. Possibly consider a dehumidifier and/or perhaps fitting a PIV system if you need to. Then raise the room temperatures to a sensible level and then consider insulating the walls and ceilings.

Depending on a number of factors, there are a few different options open to you to insulate walls or ceilings - one is traditional wall insulation which will will add a significant thickness to the wall (50-100mm for something decent), can be big aggro to fit as skirting/architraves need to be removed and refitted and sockets/switches repositioned etc plus is not breathable.

Alternatively take a look at a product called SprayCork that is a sprayed-on, thin (8mm), internal wall insulation (TIWI) and is both a thermal and an acoustic insulator, is a natural, sustainable and BREATHABLE solution. Alternatively it can be sprayed externally as a render coating giving the same benefits. In real-life tests on houses, it can save 30% on heat loss through solid walls."

We are approved applicators for the SprayCork but this isn't a pitch and we will always look at the property and recommend the best solution for budget and circumstances but I would definitely suggest insulating those walls somehow as it will mitigate some of the risk to the building envelope in the long run 👍

Reluctant Landlord

11:05 AM, 24th January 2024, About a month ago

Can anyone recommend an in window mounted extractor for a bathroom?

I need something a tenant cannot turn off, that runs constantly and auto boosts itself when humidity increases. Thanks

Reluctant Landlord

11:15 AM, 24th January 2024, About a month ago

Harry - I read you post again. Seems to me the council are not wanting to get involved at this stage and it is clear that you have evidence you are doing what you can and engaging with T to resolve the issue.

I think I would be inclined to issue a S21 asap and then follow up with T that you will retract this if they take on board your advice and start looking after the property.

If the council have not responded by giving you any further advice or even formal notice etc, I would take that as they do not think the problem is purely down to the landlord and so this is your cue to now use this time to get a S21 in.

In fact it could be interpreted, that you are taking the council at their word and managing the problem as best you see fit - by actually seeking possession.

Des Taylor & Phil Turtle, Landlord Licensing & Defence

11:56 AM, 24th January 2024, About a month ago

DEAR ALL LANDLORDS

The government has decided that damp and mould are YOUR problem regardless of what the tenants do or don't do.

Please read your new responsibilities here. DO NOT IGNORE - the penalty fines will be astronomic.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/damp-and-mould-understanding-and-addressing-the-health-risks-for-rented-housing-providers/understanding-and-addressing-the-health-risks-of-damp-and-mould-in-the-home--2

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