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  • Deposit Protection

    Deposit deduction request - how much

    Our flat was newly redecorated a year ago when the current tenants moved in.  It has suffered severe condensation and mould issues to the walls and windows.  Surveys have shown no problems with the building and it is bone dry now they've moved out.  We've given ongoing guidance to them on how to manage the condensation but they've not acted on it.

    We've had a quote for £2k to remove the mould and redecorate. We do not of course expect the tenant to pay this but how do I assess how much is a reasonable contribution to ask for.  The deposit scheme says it's down to us and if the tenants don't agree we need to go through the dispute process.

    Does anyone have any experience of this please.

    Please let me know if I've posted this in the wrong thread, maybe it should it be Buy to Let?!

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    Hi there, if you can try and answer the following questions;

    Was there a problem before before they moved in ?

    Have they now moved out or are they still there ?

    Was the survey for mould and damp conducted by a specialist company and have they given you a report ?

    which Deposit Scheme gave you an opinion, bearing in mind that they are more concerned with the tenant’s concerns therefore you may not get an organic opinion shall we say !

    Basically if you can answer these questions and I can give you a bit more info, if the mould or damp is primarily caused by the tenants negligence then all you can do is show them the report and give them the appropriate advice, your duty  as a landlord is to ensure that your tenants are within the acceptable health and safety standards however you can’t do that if they are causing or exasperating a problem.

    I have been in touch with the RLA previously about a pest problem which my tenants have clearly caused, my property was newly refurbished and had three years of tenants with no pest issues, however since these tenants moved in, rats or mice have appeared and having inspected the property very few months it is apparent that cleanliness is not primary with these tenants, so even though the have clearly caused the issue the RLA have been quite firm about the fact that’s it’s my responsibility as a landlord !

    let me have your thoughts !

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    We had a full survey when we bought the place, all fine. Previous tenants flooded the place and blamed the subsequent condensation on the building. They were nightmare tenants generally. We had a surveyor check who discovered the flood and checked the building saying there were no issues other than cold walls due to the age of the 1960's style of building. Property was completely dry for the months between tenancies. When the current tenants experienced severe condensation we had a builder check again and he said it was down to their lifestyle. We even had the above flat tested for any leaks. We've installed trickle vents and given constant advice about ventilation, wiping windows down and provided a powerful dehumidifier. When I've visited I've found vents closed, the dehumidifier off and windows streaming with water with puddles on the floor. They moved in as a working couple as in the contract but now have a baby which they say can't have drafts and didn't remove the mould growth because they couldn't use bleach products, even though mould is harmful. Also they were in 24/7 after the baby arrived with a big increase in washing, bathing, cooking. They've now left by mutual agreement. Unfortunately the deposit adjudicators don't see the properties and I think it's hard to make a judgement without any understanding of the standard of the place.

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