Damp issues

Claudia Nguyen on June 03, 2016, 10:47:16 PM
I have moved in with my brother into a flat for less than a year now  and we have had reoccurring problems with the agency.  There are so many things I don't even know where to start with...  First of all we had our last property check with the agency 2 weeks ago and they have been harassing me ever since due to the untidy state of my brother's room (to be honest, he's an 18 year old student and you can probably guess what his room is like.) However I don't thing this would be an issue that would concern the agency since I've kept the property otherwise clean and well organized.  I don't think it's right that they keep forcing us to let them revisit our place just so see my brother's room has been tidied.  It makes both of use extremely uncomfortable living in a place which is supposed to be ours while we are renting it.  Not to mention the agent guy was verbally rude and offensive as well...

Secondly when winter arrived our flat has become extremely damp because both bathrooms don't have windows. I have cleaned and cleaned and kept the fan on for half an hour after we take a shower but it doesn't seem to have improved. This has been happening for 4 months now and yet the worst I have experienced the damp becomes a health issue when  I removed all my stuff in the built-in wardrobe I realized mould was growing on the floor. I was in such a state of shock that I started picking up everything in the room: any furniture which has a surface on the floor has mould underneath. Both rooms now smell really badly and although I have tried to contact them about the issue they kept blaming it back on our untidiness and lack of care of the property. 

Now a member of the NRA has recommended me to contact the Health department at the council but wouldn't that require too much work and pressure? 
I'd be really grateful for any help or guidance on this.  This has been really stressful and I just want this whole thing to be over. 


NRA_ceb_2016_577 on June 10, 2016, 11:37:01 AM
Hi Claudia,

I would definitely contact the Environmental Health Department at the council.  Damp is a serious housing issue and it is the duty of your landlord or the letting agent to fix it.  Sometimes however the tenant can be the cause, if you are using the shower without opening the window or using the extractor fan properly.  However, this usually only causes slight condensation and not the severe damp you are reporting.  Please get in touch with us.  It sounds as though there are serious problems with the property and extra 3rd party evidence you have from an inspection from your council's environmental health inspector would strengthen your position if you decide to take further action against the landlord or letting agent. 

In terms of your brother's room, if he is not damaging the property the bedroom is his private space and it is pretty poor form for a letting manager to enter his private space.  If he hasn't damaged the property and any mess can be cleaned easily then there is no problem. 

The main issue is maintenance and the damp which should be resolved urgently. 

Best wishes,

catulus on June 11, 2016, 04:40:34 PM
I might be having similar issues but my landlord has said that if I report the damp to the council he won't give me a reference when I move out.  I might be moving out in the next couple of months because the place is an absolute sh*thole and my contract is up.  I was thinking of looking for some sort of compensation but if I leave complaining until after I move out won't it be difficult to prove later if I want to take it further?

Sara West on June 12, 2016, 10:09:41 PM
Hi Claudia

I've had damp problems recently and my bathroom doesn't have an outside window either.  I've lived in the same place now for over a year and when we had our inspection at the end of the first year the workman sent by the agency said that the extractor fan and vent was full of mold and needed to be sorted.  I've been asking the agent for agent now to fix this because it steams up all the windows and is slowly rotting my clothes.  I'm thinking of paying for it myself then charging the agency. How should I go about it? 

NRA_ceb_2016_577 on June 13, 2016, 10:58:52 AM
Dear Claudia,

The issue you have highlighted does indeed sound like it warrants investigation by your local authority's environmental health department. Damp is a serious public health issue and should be documented officially.  This will further assist you should your dispute escalate.  The council will make three copies of their report, one which will be given to you, the one will be retained by the council for their official records and the other will be sent to the letting agent or landlords with a summary of their findings. 

We have found that agencies and landlords take these letters seriously.  They may phone you though to ask why you contacted the council and not use them but considering your complaint about their unresponsiveness any pressure put on them is probably deserved. 

We can help with this process if you feel insecure about proceeding alone.  If you would like further information please contact us by phone or email us at contact@nralliance.co.uk

Kind regards,