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View Full Version : Black mould, condensation and landlords/tenants



Matrador
20-01-2009, 23:36 PM
Hi,

Don't know if anyone can help here...

Basically, I'm a landlord and think I have offered my tenants are fantastic service thus far. Boiler breaks - plumber there next day, slight leak under the floorboards, all laminate flooring replaced (n the insurance) but in double quick time. Tile falls off wall, replaced 3 or 4 days later. To be fair, they too have been very good and always paid on time - I would very much see a good LL TT relationship as a key factor in a quiet and easy life...

However, a tricky problem has now reared its head: condensation and the development of small patches of black mould in a cupboard and on a wall.

Now, I know I need to get tis addressed and have already had a damp company and a builder over. They have both sugested an external vent axia ventilation system.v So far, so bad, but so OK - approx £900.

I am also awaiting the freeholders to decide about insulating the loft as the condensation also seems to be a problem in other flats.

I also hired a dehumidifer for the tenants for a week and went down to help tem cart it p the stairs. Have arranged for the company to collect it tomorrow.

The first complaint about the condensation/mould (which got inside the cupboards and onto clothes) came 2 weeks ago. As I said, in that time I have had 2 quotes and am awaiting the report from another co. commissioned by the freeholders.

Tenants are now becoming very agitated, telling me flat is cold - 1st time ever mentioned was today (no insulation in loft). The property was let last year with no problems, and generally becoming slightly abusive on the telephone.

I have asked them to note any suggestions on an e mail and send them to me for my consideration.

I have sent suggested fact sheets that they heat it and open windows as prescribed and I am searching for a permanent solution (the extraction system most likely).

Anyway, just wondered what any experienced landlords thought over the timescale for this type of thing and also the extent of landlord/tenant responsibility for mould growth in these types of situations.

Thanks!

Editor
21-01-2009, 10:49 AM
Suggest you read this:

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/FAQ/index.php?action=artikel&cat=2&id=32&artlang=en

and this:

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/partner-program/positive-ventilation-systems.htm

Ericthelobster
21-01-2009, 11:27 AM
Suggest you read this:

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/FAQ/index.php?action=artikel&cat=2&id=32&artlang=en

and this:

http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/partner-program/positive-ventilation-systems.htm

Ed, you forgot this one!:
http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/pdf/Mould.pdf

I would add that I've successfully cured the dreaded black spores in fitted wardrobes by 'wallpapering" external walls with expanded polysterene on a roll - this isn't a bodge, it reduces the thermal gradient at a cold wall and prevents damp air from condensing on it, thereby causing the mould to occur.

But better ventilation is the key.

munkymush
09-02-2009, 21:17 PM
as said before ventilation and air circulation is the key. i have even fitted extra air bricks in outside walls before and dont fit the sliding map vents that allow the tenants to close em off after you have gone .. the problems i ve had with it all revolve around geting the place redhot and drying clothes on radiators.. and never open windows.. one tenant ran up a £600 gas bill then tried to blame a drippping tap for turning the combi on ha ha but the temperature was tropical 24hours a day ..

Mrs Jones
09-02-2009, 21:24 PM
an external vent axia ventilation system.v So far, so bad, but so OK - approx £900.

£900 - are they having a laugh?? You could get a heat pump installed for not much more than that!!! I have had two automatic ventilators installed in one of my properties which operate when the air humidity reaches a designated level - the guy fitted both of those, AND underfloor ventilation bricks (6) all for £250. You are being robbed!!

redex
09-02-2009, 23:18 PM
You sound like a wonderful LL to me, thus far only having experience of 1.

We had a similiar problem in December 07, LL came and agreed the room was cold and needed some kind of insulation, was quite happy for us to go ahead and do what we wanted to make it warm.
He rang in May 08 about something else and said he assuemed the room was OK now - it was summer!!

December 08 we decided enough was enough, no loft insulation, no wall insulation, he came and opened up closed vents making the room even colder, and yes we do ventilate but with a radiator on the temp can be 11 degrees at the moment.
We havent slept in the room for 4 months and because LL is so blase about it we are moving in 3 weeks. We are their 1st tenants, so I think they are a bit miffed we are going, trying to hang on to the deposit for as long as.

Its a shame not all LL are as understanding and helpful as you seem to be.

Rodent1
10-02-2009, 04:06 AM
Ed, you forgot this one!:
http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/pdf/Mould.pdf

I would add that I've successfully cured the dreaded black spores in fitted wardrobes by 'wallpapering" external walls with expanded polysterene on a roll - this isn't a bodge, it reduces the thermal gradient at a cold wall and prevents damp air from condensing on it, thereby causing the mould to occur.

But better ventilation is the key.

With bad cases i line with thermal plasterboard 3cm of polstyrene on the back of a plaster board then re-skim - this is expensive but works (well at least to the point where moisture just goes to find the nearest "colder" surface)

The Rodent

Izzycam
10-02-2009, 08:17 AM
Re Rodent...I do the same, and find it works, not ideal but better than nothing.
It seems you cannot get into tenants heads that you need to open a window if you are drying clothes on boiling hot radiators, and also when you are having a bath or shower.

jmt
02-08-2009, 09:12 AM
Just posting to this so that I can find it later as I have found it very informative as I believe my tenants do have mould from condensation.

harry1001
02-08-2009, 11:08 AM
Just posting to this so that I can find it later as I have found it very informative as I believe my tenants do have mould from condensation.


Just to mention that the advice thus far re heating and ventilation is spot on, but in modern, well-insulated properties and with tenants who like to live in a draught-proof environment, condensation can still be a problem.
A small domestic dehumidifier can be purchased quite cheaply (I bought from Comet at £99 - I think it was De Longhi but there may be other brands) and these are very effective I have found after putting them in 2 flats with damp problems. It's not a lot to lay out and my tenants were very happy that I took the matter seriously.

harry

harry1001
02-08-2009, 11:18 AM
Re Rodent...I do the same, and find it works, not ideal but better than nothing.
It seems you cannot get into tenants heads that you need to open a window if you are drying clothes on boiling hot radiators, and also when you are having a bath or shower.

To add to that - cooking creates lots of water vapour and breathing also increases humidity if there is poor ventilation. I ask my tenants to cut down on that - breathing in is fine, but expiration should be curtailed until the end of the tenancy. Some see the joke, others look at me as though I'm......................cue, mind the gap

harry

Rodent1
02-08-2009, 11:30 AM
Just to mention that the advice thus far re heating and ventilation is spot on, but in modern, well-insulated properties and with tenants who like to live in a draught-proof environment, condensation can still be a problem.
A small domestic dehumidifier can be purchased quite cheaply (I bought from Comet at £99 - I think it was De Longhi but there may be other brands) and these are very effective I have found after putting them in 2 flats with damp problems. It's not a lot to lay out and my tenants were very happy that I took the matter seriously.

harry

Yes, great if the T actually use the thing..IME they will for first week or so, then the bucket fills up and is left full with the machine off because it is full ...and left for many weeks or months. If you are going to do this you really need to pumb the waste directly out o the building or it can be a complete waste of money or time!

Rodent1
02-08-2009, 11:34 AM
To add to that - cooking creates lots of water vapour and breathing also increases humidity if there is poor ventilation. I ask my tenants to cut down on that - breathing in is fine, but expiration should be curtailed until the end of the tenancy. Some see the joke, others look at me as though I'm......................cue, mind the gap

harry

A couple of hose pipes fitted thru walls to outside with face masks attached should solve this problem. Ast should be ammneded to allow visitors to stay no more than 30mins and max permitted 2 at any time.

harry1001
02-08-2009, 12:11 PM
Yes, great if the T actually use the thing..IME they will for first week or so, then the bucket fills up and is left full with the machine off because it is full ...and left for many weeks or months. If you are going to do this you really need to pumb the waste directly out o the building or it can be a complete waste of money or time!

You're quite right - dehumifiers fill up pretty quickly, but I believe the ones that I bought have the facility to plumb to the outside, or it's an optional extra, I can't remember - but then it becomes non-portable of course and probably gets in the way although they are quite small.

harry

citizenz
02-08-2009, 17:25 PM
I have a house with a bathroom in a very old lean to which was originally a coal store. Unfortunately the walls get cold so when someone has a bath it is rather prone to getting damp spots on the walls. I have for a number of year advised my tenants to use a solution containing about ten water to one vineigar. This is used to wipe down the walls regularly. It simply stops the mould forming. Mould does not like acid conditions, so in arreas particularly with solft water when you clean the walls and windows this then provides perfect condtions for mould to form. It is also possible to put vinegar in the last rinse of washing to also prevent this in textiles. It does not smell once dry.

Rodent1
03-08-2009, 05:50 AM
I have a house with a bathroom in a very old lean to which was originally a coal store. Unfortunately the walls get cold so when someone has a bath it is rather prone to getting damp spots on the walls. I have for a number of year advised my tenants to use a solution containing about ten water to one vineigar. This is used to wipe down the walls regularly. It simply stops the mould forming. Mould does not like acid conditions, so in arreas particularly with solft water when you clean the walls and windows this then provides perfect condtions for mould to form. It is also possible to put vinegar in the last rinse of washing to also prevent this in textiles. It does not smell once dry.

Excellent tip !
and here are some more uses for vinegar !

http://www.versatilevinegar.org/usesandtips.html

quinie
04-08-2009, 10:54 AM
I've got this problem in one of my flats. It's a nightmare - people say it is "damp" but I think it is just poor ventilation etc and condensation.

I got my tenants a dehumidifer and then reduced the rent by £25 a month to pay for the running of it. They actually got the hang of it by working out the heating and ventilation etc but they are moving out this week and I am dreading the problem rearing it's ugly head again.

Does the thermal wallpaper really work - I am very interested in this? My walls are hollow brick type and I have metal windows too.

I tried to raise a loan for double glazed windows and some modifications to the property but despite having only a 30% mortgage the bank said no as I didn't earn the requisite amount of money per year.

Is the thermal wallpaper something that you could use and pay a decorator to put up for you etc?