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View Full Version : condensation, is it disrepair ????



charles10
20-11-2005, 17:49 PM
we have a serious condensation problem at our Home. last yr we contacted an enviromental officer who visited and made a report. while he said the property was not in a serious state of disrepair, he did state that our home suffered from a severe condensation problem at the dwelling. basically he said the reason for the this problem was the propery is very poorly insulated and loses heat to the outside air because of 3 external walls and a flat roof, also fitted with single glazed metal framed windows, added to this, the property has no central heating, only having electric fires which he says are incapable of heating the fabric of the building.
he says that all this would be allleviated by adding central heating and secondary glazing, this he says would remove all the health risks associated with mould spores and damp.
l am confused as he said he could only request the landlord carry out these improvements. l thought this was a matter that he could inforce the improvements under the current law. am l wrong ??? thankyou.

Editor
20-11-2005, 19:58 PM
Condensation is a complex topic and can have many causes. Sometimes it can be the occupant's fault rather than the landlord's - see the article on condesation here (article 28 Mould and Condensation): http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/articles.htm
In this case it would appear that the heating is inadequate and the construction of the building is also such that insulation is inadequate. These are very likely causes of the problem, and the fact that this situation has probably existed for some time means that the problem has become interstitial - i.e, the fabrick of the building has become thoroughly cold and damp.
There's a difference between a repair and an improvement. The landlord can be made to repair if defects are detrimental to basic amenities, but not improve.
It could be argued here I think that the landlord should provide an adequate system of heating, but its obvious that the tenant must provide the actual heat - ie, pay for the fuel - this could take quite a bit to dry out this building. With poor insulation, single glazing and a flat roof it is also obvious that applying heat will help, but a lot of it will escape straight outside.
Here lies the problem. Although it may be relatively easy to provide better heaters, it certaily is not to provide double galzing and insulation to a required standard. These could be argued would be improvements to the property.
You could of course request that the landlord do this, but as you accepted the building in its present condition when you signed your agreement, you may not be able to make him do it.
However, if the landlord looks at this sensibly it's in his own interests to bring the property up to modern standards if he is to continue letting it as condensation poses health risks.

dazalock
20-11-2005, 21:16 PM
The LL should be able to get a grant to have the walls cavity filled and roof space insulated, when i did this on a masionette, it cost me just £200! The LL would also be able to claim this against his SA Tax return.

PaulF
20-11-2005, 21:29 PM
The Editor is right! The landlord under the Defective Premises Act 1972 has no obligation to put into order anything that he could not reasonably have known about beforehand, and there is nothing to suggest that construciton defects of the property is his fault so to speak!

Dazalock says the landlord should be able to claim expenditure on his Self-Assessemnt Tax Return, but it's capital expenditure so probably won't be available until he sells or is disposed of upon death.

dazalock
20-11-2005, 21:37 PM
The Editor is right! The landlord under the Defective Premises Act 1972 has no obligation to put into order anything that he could not reasonably have known about beforehand, and there is nothing to suggest that construciton defects of the property is his fault so to speak!

Dazalock says the landlord should be able to claim expenditure on his Self-Assessemnt Tax Return, but it's capital expenditure so probably won't be available until he sells or is disposed of upon death.
Paul needs to get his SA form filled in and he may notice a section to claim back Energy Savings Allowance. Ill refer you to http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2005/revbn37.htm , Paul, please consult a qualified accountant if you have any problems. :p

PaulF
20-11-2005, 21:57 PM
I said "probably" not "definitely" so it was open to correction, about which of course you seem to feel quite smug! Smartarse!

charles10
21-11-2005, 15:57 PM
there is black mould which appears every yr now on the walls in all the rooms especially badly upstairs. you really have to be in the house to believe and see the amount of water that drips down the walls. we do vent the flat and use only convex heaters which in no way heat any part of the flat at all. we have become so used to wearing our winter coats all the time in the flat. surely the landlord must have to do something on health grounds ??? our solicitor says this week they will instruct an independant surveyor after our landlords solicitors have repeatdly lied and ignored receiving letters and phone calls by not only us but our solicitors also. our solicitor has had to resort to sending all letters by fax email and recorded delievery on every occasion the past month. he tells us this is unusual behaviour from a managing agents solicitors. can anyone advise what will happen next after this stage? our solicitor also mentioned getting enviromental health in, l would of thought he would of called them in before he instructed the independent suryeyor. it seems he has not. is this correct procedure ???

lawstudent
21-11-2005, 17:44 PM
I said "probably" not "definitely" so it was open to correction, about which of course you seem to feel quite smug! Smartarse!Far be it from me to be a smug smartarse, and since you love being corrected, you are wrong about double glazing being capital expenditure too. The IR counts it as a repair (current expenditure). So there, you silly clot. :p

charles10
23-11-2005, 00:42 AM
our new landlord bought our building only a few months ago and conducted a very lengthy survey on it. to have not seen the condition of the dampness and condensation even then would of been very hard to miss.
as for us knowing about this dampness before we signed our tenancy agreement, well going back 30 yrs as l remember the place was in rather better nick.
we rarely ever kick up a fuss about any problems which many would scream about. Living in a place that has got worse and worse over the yrs there just comes a point when the straw breaks the camels back.