DAMP

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    Damp

    In simple terms damp in a property is caused by a lack of proper ventilation for water vapour generated in the property to escape. In such cases the property is not adequately equipped to deal with the level of water vapour. This may be due to:

    • Insufficient heat in the property
    • Inadequate insulation
    • Lack of ventilation
    • An excessive production of vapor

     

    How to detect dampness in your rental property:

    • Mould spores
    • Infestation by house mites
    • Destruction of furniture
    • Condensed water on cool surfaces and walls and plaster fittings.

     

    Consequences

    • The presence of deep condensation or dampness in the property creates mould growth, excessive humidity and in rare cases insect infestation.
    • Effect on tenants
    • Excessive dampness can cause mould growth which puts the tenant’s health and safety at risk. We can say that such property is unfit for habitation and tenants can make a claim under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 s9A (LTA 1985 s9A) which could require an immediate remedy of the defect in the property which is now deemed unfit for habitation.
    • When the landlord agreed to keep the property fit to live in or in a good condition as part of the tenancy agreement the landlord may have broken the terms of the agreement where the dampness in the property causes mould to build up due to the acute condensation, which is return causes the property to be uninhabitable or in a condition consequently not fit to live in.
    • A claim can be brought where mould growth presents a risk to the well-being and safety of the tenant who is now living in the property.
    • Ombudsman
    • Since April 2013 the housing ombudsman has the responsibilities for complaints about housing management matters, including disrepair's, condensation and property unfit to live in issues covering both housing association tenancies and local councils’ tenancies.
    • Bear in mind that there will be some exceptions to the rule under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 s9A.

     

    There are certain exceptions:

    • The landlord is not responsible for unfitness of the property if the cause is directly attributed to the tenant’s failure to behave in a tenant-like manner (s.9A(2)(a)),

    Example

    • If the cost of the heating provided by the tenant’s chosen heating provider is high and the tenant is unable to pay the heating costs to provide adequate heating to the property and consequently damp occurring and causing the property to be unfit to live in.
    • The landlord is not under any obligation to rebuild or reinstate the property in the case of destruction or damage by, flood, storm, fire, or other accident (an act of nature as we commonly describe them). 

    Example

    • An unforeseen storm destroys part of or the whole property and makes it unfit for living where the roof has sustained some damage and where the interior is exposed to the elements.
    • The landlord is not under any obligation to maintain or repair anything the tenant is entitled to remove from the property including furniture and appliances.
    • The landlord is not under any obligation to carry out works or repairs which will put him/her in breach of any obligation imposed by a third party such as undertaking work or repairs without obtaining planning permission, or without asking the permission of the freeholder of the land, or disrupting an order to maintain a conservation area requirement and the landlord has made reasonable steps to get the relevant consent, but which has not been given.

     

    by: tenancycentral uploaded Jul 1