I'm currently renting a property in London and am having real problems with my landlord. It is a basement flat which has a really bad damp problem with water seeping through the walls and patches of mould. (This was covered up with fresh piant when I viewed the flat prior to moving in)
My landlord is ignoring the problem despite me sending weekly emails through the estate agent. This has been going on for 7 months during which time I have been payig full rent and I have signed a years contract which doesn't expire until November 2009.
Does anyone know my rights as a tenant? I'm unhappy paying full rent whilst living in a damp and mouldy flat, but can't get any response from my landlord. ( I don't have his phone number, i have to go through the estate agent who are just as bad at replying to me)
Any advice very welcome! Thanks.
Hi Vicky, Poor you - landlords can be so tricky and the annoying thing is that tenants seem to have very little legal rights - but check out the Government tenant rights and best of luck with the damp - you could always re-paint it but it's annoying if they won't pay you!
You should contact your local authority (to whom you pay your council tax) and speak to their environmental health department. They should send someone out to inspect the damp problem.
Depending on the severity (and cause) of the damp problem, they have the power to make your landlord do the remedial work within a time scale they dictate. If your landlord does not do the work within that time scale, they will get the work done, and then take him to court to get recompense.
It may help your case (and put your mind at rest) if you get an independent report/survey done by a local damp proofing company (which they may charge you for) - which will also tell you the cause of the damp (there can be many causes) and if any 'growths/moulds' etc are harmful to your health. If the mould is harmful, it will expedite matters considerably.
A tip when looking for your next property - buy an inexpensive damp meter and take it with you on viewings and test the walls yourself!
All good advice from Show Home Style for first three paras - local councils will assist, and it may even result in reduced rent / recompense.
But there isn't a cat in hell's chance that a letting agent or landlord will allow you to put protimeter holes in a rental flat when viewing, and protimeters are a waste of time anyway, they measure electricity not damp xx
I agree that if the landlord/letting agent knew that you were poking (albeit,tiny) holes in the base of their walls they might not be too happy!! Answer is, don't let them see you do it!
Damp meters only measure electrical 'conductivity' - not actual electricity - and the metal pins can only 'conduct' electricity to each other when there is sufficient damp present in the walls to do so.
Although they are of little use in accurate diagnosis of cause and extent of damp, they do indicate that a problem is present, and I would recommend any potential tenant to run a mile from that property. Basically, it's not the tenant's problem and they shouldn't be expected to either live with it, or have to deal with it.
I am a landlord (have been for about 30 years now) and I would have no objection to someone using a damp meter on the walls in any of my properties to check for dampness. In fact, any good landlord/letting agent should be doing this for you anyway!