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Jackman88
23-02-2010, 09:39 AM
I was wondering if anyone can advise me.

There is extremely heavy condensation in a flat that I am currently renting with my friend. The condensation is in both bedrooms and the living room and on interior walls that are exposed to the outside. In the bedrooms it is extremely bad, covering almost the whole wall.

We moved in October and the condesation began in mid-November and has progressively got worse. We have spoken to our letting agents (who manage the property on behalf of the landlord) who have as of yet failed to do anything. Despite being shown the conditions of the property.

I am not sure what our rights our as tenants in the property, would anyone be able to advise us what to do?

Thanks in advance
Leo

Cipher
23-02-2010, 09:49 AM
If the condensation wasnt there when you moved in (not detailed in check in inventory) and occured a month after you moved in, surely your doing something to cause this? What precautions have you taken?
Is the property well ventilated?
Are you drying clothes indoors?

What would you like as a resolution from the LL or Agency?

Telometer
23-02-2010, 09:57 AM
Condensation is almost certainly the fault of the tenant. Without a tenant, there would be no condensation.

Open some windows and turn the central heating up. Do not dry clothes in the flat - instead use a vented/condensing tumble drier. Do not boil pans of water without lids on them. Do not shower without the bathroom window open and leave it thus until the bathroom is dry. Sleep with the window open a crack.

P.Pilcher
23-02-2010, 10:24 AM
In my hoiuse, double glazing was installed over 10 years ago. I had almost forgotton the problem that condensation was before then! In the winter it was totally normal to be mopping up pools of water from the windowsills each morning. Before the installation of central heating, this water would be frozen in the bedrooms and bathroom which were of course unheated. Brr! but this was normal in those days. When we breathe out, we exhale warm, very moist air this will invariably deposit water droplets on cold surfaces - particularly single glazed window panes. In extreme circumstances this will also occurr on walls, particularly if they are uninsulated or are of single course brickwork.
As we all know, this problem is made much worse by unventilated gas (cylinder) type fires or attempting to dry washing in the room - where can the water go?

The problem is that people moving from a warm, double glazed environment into a (hopefully warm) single glazed one complain about the condensation that occurrs in winter. Yeras ago, it would be accepted as normal and coped with.

P.P.

jghomer
23-02-2010, 11:17 AM
Condensation is a constant nightmare for Landlords, and tenants generally feel it is our fault.

I generally fit a moisture sensing extractor fan in my bathrooms and/or kitchens which helps a bit. On top of that general advice about not drying clothes on radiators, not having fishtanks!, venting tumble driers (or using condensing driers), and opening windows on vent settings.

I even advise internal doors being left open to promote airflow, especially the bedroom door at night when just the breath or 2 people in a small room will cause moisture.

Cavity wall insulation has also helped me, although some say that it can cause some cold spots still, i've never had this myself...

Lilo
23-02-2010, 11:50 AM
Agree about the balance between heat and ventilation. I have the same problem in my flat, but I invested in a dehumidifier. I run it when I dry clothes on a rack in the kitchen. It dries the clothes quicker and sucks all the moisture out of the rooms. Keep the windows closed and the loo seat down while it runs or you'll pay for sucking up toilet water and clouds!

It's not the LL fault.

Jackman88
23-02-2010, 11:51 AM
Thank you for the response!

I am not sure that it completely our fault, surely after a month we could not be the cause of this amount of condensation. As in the rooms that have been mainly affected by the condensation, there have been new paint jobs which could possible because of a problem before we moved in. There hasnt been anything that we have done (to my knowledge) to make it into this state.

We have ventilated the rooms as much as possible during the day. We have also been told to leave our heating on at all times specially during the night which we have done. However there is no kitchen door which means that when cook or clean using the washer machine this will moisten the air right?

I am not sure what we would like the landlord/letting agent to do. I doubt very much he will install double glazing. But I think that it is not unreasonable for a humidifier to be installed and a professional cleaning job to be done on the property is it?

We also reported the condensation to our letting agent in early December which was when it was becomming rather bad, it has taken till now to address the situation.

jghomer
23-02-2010, 12:12 PM
If I was your landlord, and you were a good paying tenant, I would perhaps offer you a dehumidifer yes, if it meant you weren't going to leave!

You keep mentioning only 'condensation', but I presume your main problem is the MOULD growth that has occured DUE to condensation?

Double glazing with trickle vents would help. As may cavity wall insulation and extractors.

This is not your LL's fault, but if he is a bit more pro-active with a solution he will avoid having to repaint the property between tenants every time! Trust me i've been here!

Telometer
23-02-2010, 12:27 PM
I am not sure that it completely our fault, surely after a month we could not be the cause of this amount of condensation.

So who else has been having showers, boiling pasta, breathing and drying clothes in your flat? Goldilocks?

jghomer
23-02-2010, 12:38 PM
Goldilocks alone I think wouldn't cause such a problem. But if the 3 bears are there too..? :D

jeffrey
23-02-2010, 13:11 PM
Nah, they're in the forest- and what do bears do in a forest?

slicecbr
23-02-2010, 13:31 PM
Condensation is almost certainly the fault of the tenant. Without a tenant, there would be no condensation.

Open some windows and turn the central heating up. Do not dry clothes in the flat - instead use a vented/condensing tumble drier. Do not boil pans of water without lids on them. Do not shower without the bathroom window open and leave it thus until the bathroom is dry. Sleep with the window open a crack.

Doesn't this seem totally un-reasonable for the tenant?! "Without a tenant, there would be no condensation", well if thats the case why rent the property out, if its in no fit state!? All buildings should be able to overcome the issues presented by a tenant, extra heat etc., we living in the 1940s?

I have had problems with mould / condensation, the walls don't have a cavity, how are you suppose to live? Don't breath in-doors?! WTF

Next time I BUY a house I will follow your recommendations...NOT... do you live like that in your house/flat?

Telometer
23-02-2010, 13:38 PM
It's up to the tenant to live in a tenantly manner. And that includes ensuring sufficient ventilation and heating.

slicecbr
23-02-2010, 13:44 PM
It's up to the tenant to live in a tenantly manner. And that includes ensuring sufficient ventilation and heating.

I agree totally, but its not always the tenants fault, if you ever bought a house to live in with your family and was told you couldn't do this, had to do this, etc. you wouldn't move there.

When you rent you don't get the in's and out's and often pushed to take it asap, and then find out a wall has no cavity and more prone to condensation and mould.

New builds have more regs. and higher code aspirations, and older properties to today standards are inadequate, so its not always the tenants fault.

Mars Mug
23-02-2010, 13:44 PM
It is quite possible that a house/flat could be poorly designed. I once lived in a ground floor flat with a single skin wall bathroom appended at the back. Opening the window was a security risk and no other form of ventilation helped to stop the mouldy ‘map of South America’ from appearing on the wall, until the wallpaper fell in a heap onto the floor.

Sometimes there are limits to what a tenant can practically do, even behaving in a ‘tenant like manner’, and sometimes the landlord needs to consider alternative long term solutions for the benefit of their own property.

Jackman88
23-02-2010, 13:51 PM
I agree that as a tenant I have acted in a proper manner and have tried to ensure the property is fully ventilated as much as possible. However it is essential that i cook and clean etc so condensation in that sense is unavoidable. The property is an old building and i believe that it is a problem that the has reoccured rather then a problem that i have created as a tenant.

slicecbr
23-02-2010, 14:06 PM
I agree that as a tenant I have acted in a proper manner and have tried to ensure the property is fully ventilated as much as possible. However it is essential that i cook and clean etc so condensation in that sense is unavoidable. The property is an old building and i believe that it is a problem that the has reoccured rather then a problem that i have created as a tenant.

I have been in the similar situation as yourself and it annoys me when the blame falls on the tenant (sometimes rightfully so), when in a matter of fact, the building could be inadequate and more prone to condensation, and the L and LA would insist the T is the problem when it is the building itself.

There are statistics out there that state that 99% of private dwellings in Wales (lower in England, but due to standards being lower) falls below decent home standards. Also, the privately rented sector (by tenure) has the highest percentage of 'non decent homes' (2005) with 40%.

Telometer
23-02-2010, 14:43 PM
There are statistics out there that state that 99% of private dwellings in Wales (lower in England, but due to standards being lower) falls below decent home standards. Also, the privately rented sector (by tenure) has the highest percentage of 'non decent homes' (2005) with 40%.

Wow! 99%. But only 40% in the private sector. That must mean that over 100% of public sector homes are non-decent.


The property is an old building and i believe that it is a problem that the has reoccured rather then a problem that i have created as a tenant.

You have created the problem as tenant. It is a problem that has possibly previously been created by previous tenants. I have lived in places that have been "damp". By the time I have left, they have no longer been damp.

slicecbr
23-02-2010, 14:54 PM
Wow! 99%. But only 40% in the private sector. That must mean that over 100% of public sector homes are non-decent.

Privately rented has the highest 'non decent homes', by tenure, compared with owner-occupied, local authority and housing assocation.

jghomer
23-02-2010, 14:55 PM
we living in the 1940s?



But fact is a massive portion of UK rental stock was built pre 1940's, and without a sensible approach by both LL and T towards management of airborne moisture, condensation will not go away :-(

slicecbr
23-02-2010, 15:01 PM
You have created the problem as tenant. It is a problem that has possibly previously been created by previous tenants. I have lived in places that have been "damp". By the time I have left, they have no longer been damp.

Maybe the quality of the building isn't up to scratch.