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Damp House.

(21 Posts)
hildajenniJ Sun 05-Oct-14 17:44:48

My DD and her family moved to a ground floor flat in a house conversion during the Summer Holidays. She took the flat knowing that one of the rooms had a damp problem. The room her sons sleep in is particularly damp, the boys pillows grew mould. A coat hanging in an internal room was mouldy. She is letting the flat from a private landlord, through a letting agency. Do you think she has grounds to complain? If so, to whom. She lives in Scotland and I don't know how to advise her. Any ideas would be helpful.

Elegran Sun 05-Oct-14 17:56:05

Hilda I googled damp house private landlord Scotland and this from Netmums was the third on the page. It is a post by someone with a very similar problem, whiose landlord was no help at all. One of the replies was from someone from Scotland, who gave what sounds like very good advice -

"I am a Landlord myself so know the drill!

First things first, I would check he is registered with Landlord Registration Scheme (I have added the Scottish link as i'm up here, dont know where u are)

and make a formal complaint through your council.

Although Ive never experienced anyone doing this through the registration scheme, I have been told its very good and ur local council will then be on his back.

If he is not registered, its illegal (Im sure same in England), and he and his Agent (for not checking) can be in big trouble."

Elegran Sun 05-Oct-14 18:05:13

Here is another link, about the different causes of damp and who is reponsible for fixing them.

Ana Sun 05-Oct-14 18:12:49

I'm wondering why your DD took the flat if she knew there was a damp problem, and whether she discussed it with the Agent before agreeing to rent it.

If she's only dealt with the Agent then I would think he/she's the one to raise the matter with.

Elegran Sun 05-Oct-14 18:18:21

And another about responsibilities in Scotland

And another (from Shelter Scotland) -

hildajenniJ Sun 05-Oct-14 18:18:21

Thanks Elegran. My DD didn't know if she has cause to complain having let the house knowing of the damp problem. I will pass on your links to her and let her take it from there. I was worried because my DGD is asthmatic especially during the winter and I don't want living in a damp house to compromise her health, or the health of her brothers.

hildajenniJ Sun 05-Oct-14 18:28:08

Ana she took the house because they could afford the rent on her DH's salary and it is in a village with a school that can cater for the needs of her DS's who are on the autistic spectrum and need a small school. The school is brilliant and she doesn't want to move away. They would buy a house, but until they can sell their two bed terraced house at something approaching what they paid for it there's no chance.

Nanabelle Sun 05-Oct-14 20:45:38

Maybe she or the landlord could buy a dehumidifier? My son uses one a lot especially when they dry washing indoors in an upstairs bedroom. Being on the ground floor it probably is not easy to leave windows open; good ventilation does help with some damp problems (mainly condensation caused I expect) but obviously not an easy one for her.
It would really be in the best interests of the landlord to sort it out, but it would probably be an expensive option for him.
I do hope she gets some help - if she's using an agent, they are the ones to go to.

Eloethan Mon 06-Oct-14 01:04:39

There are, I think, some types of mould that are particularly injurious to health. I would think the Council's environmental department would be able to inspect, advise and take the appropriate action.

I don't know if the landlord and tenant regulations are the same in Scotland but, as a word of caution, in England tenants who raise legitimate claims re unsafe or sub-standard conditions have sometimes found that when their tenancy agreements come up for renewal, the landlord asks them to leave.

vampirequeen Mon 06-Oct-14 07:22:01

Whilst trying to sort out what is to be done she needs to attack the mould with a strong bleach mixture or even neat bleach. It won't get rid of it but it will make it better for while. My house has several damp patches and that's how I deal with them.

Anya Mon 06-Oct-14 08:25:07

Eloethan is right. Some forms of black mould are toxic. Your DD needs to get an expert opinion. Nothing is worth risking the family's health for.

Agus Mon 06-Oct-14 08:36:45

I would also suggest your DD speak to her MP hilda. The more people helping your DD with this, the better.

I wish her luck in getting this sorted out.

Elizabeth1 Mon 06-Oct-14 08:43:01

Elegran your knowledge of private house lettings is absolutely correct. All private landlords should be registered with the LA and I would reiterate the information given. The weather starting from today (raining, windy and cold) will only make the mould worse therefore the quicker our gransnetter is on the case the quicker it'll get solved. Good luck.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 06-Oct-14 09:23:44

I hate to ask this but how easy is it to be evicted from rented property? Is it furnished or unfurnished? I thnik you get more protection in unfurnished property.

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 06-Oct-14 09:26:20

Couldn't she and her DH sleep in the damp room until this is sorted? And not hang any clothing against a wall. Perhaps get a free standing clothes rail?

jinglbellsfrocks Mon 06-Oct-14 09:28:02

The house probably needs external insulation, and that is very expensive. The landlord will try all sorts of other less expensive - and useless - things before he commits to that.

Just being realistic.

annodomini Mon 06-Oct-14 09:37:11

Has the building had recent renovations? My GD, two years ago, moved into a student flat that had been recently extended - she was in the new room. A damp problem was soon apparent - her shoes went mouldy and he clothes were damp and smelt bad. The problem was tracked down to the plaster not having dried properly. A dehumidifier was supplied and the place dried out eventually.
I'm attaching a link to the CAB's Scottish Advice Guide outlining tenants' rights.

hildajenniJ Mon 06-Oct-14 10:19:03

Thanks for all the advice and suggestions. DD is going to see the letting agent this morning with physical and photographic evidence to show them. She is taking along her OH who, apparently, knows what to do? I have given them all the links offered, so now it's up to themselves, the letting agent and the landlord to sort it out. A dehumidifier which they bought and installed in the boys' bedroom collected one litre of water in four hours. I don't know if that is a lot, but it seemed so to me.

petra Wed 08-Oct-14 14:45:37

Jingl. You ask " how easy is it to be evicted from a rented property"
In our case ( we were the landlords) very easy. You knock on the door and say "pack your things and get out of my property"
We let the flat to 3 people and discovered that 8 people were hot bedding it.
Don't rely on the law to sort these type of problems out. Take action yourself.

MiniMouse Thu 09-Oct-14 10:27:32

Just another thought JenniJ - is the landlord also the freeholder? I don't know if that would make any difference as to who is responsible for remedying the problem.

MiniMouse Thu 09-Oct-14 14:44:21

Oops blush Sorry, should have put HildajenniJ