Tag: Disrepair Claims

How to Damp-Proof Your Home

Damp happens when there is moisture, water, or condensation within a structure, such as your home. It can easily spread in an environment where there is not enough ventilation. It can cause lots of disrepair in your home in the form of mould from the wall to the ceiling and even the bed that you sleep in. It puts everyone’s health at risk, not only because of the pathogens that float in the air, but also because of the physical and mental stress caused by the lack of a comfortable place to rest in.

It is important that you immediately address the damp in your home as this can eventually lead to severe conditions such as black mould, which has adverse effects to health, and—if some parts of your house are made of wood—rotting timber. 

Causes for moisture entering your home include chores like drying the laundry, washing the dishes, bathing, and even cooking. These activities increase the amount of condensation in the air, especially when the warm air that comes into contact with a cold surface cools down. This forms droplets of caked condensation.

Causes of damp

You can easily spot dampness in walls when it is cold to the touch. If you leave damp for too long, there is a good possibility that fungi might grow. Your window will fog up, and this moisture will leave a small puddle of water beside the window sills. Black mould can grow on the sealant that surrounds your sink in your bathroom. In addition to this,your basement could have a musty smell as damp can be anywhere.

These different manifestations of moisture originate from the different causes of damp:

Rising damp

Rising damp is caused by groundwater rising to the wall, usually from floods or overflowing pipes. You will know that you have this type of damp if you see a tideline on the lower part of your wall. Your skirting boards could also be rotting and floor boards lifting. The moisture either creates bubbles under your wall paper or it just suddenly peels off.

Penetrating damp

Penetrating damp comes from both internal and external structural issues. It could be caused by roof leaks, incorrectly installed downpipes, and damaged gutter. The materials used for the walls play a part in the affecting damp as water can seep through walls that were constructed with porous materials. 

Condensation

You may feel your home is damp due to condensation and can potentially notice extra moisture on your windows and black mould on surfaces. You can solve this problem by making sure your home is sufficiently ventilated. This may entail the installation of a ventilation device or the use of a passive vent to increase ventilation.

Damp-proof your home

If you rent your property, contact your landlord to help you prevent damp from further penetrating your home. However, there are also things that you can do, such as install a horizontal course that is water resistant so it will not leak when there’s a heavy downpour. This course will redirect rainwater to a horizontal direction instead of straight down.

Add more sources of air, like a slightly open window. Mechanical ventilation, such as bathroom and kitchen fans, allow for regular air movement throughout your home and help to alleviate any condensation difficulties.

Address penetrating damp by clearing the gutters so water can flow through it freely and away from your home. Get your plumbing system fixed, too, as this could be one of the causes that water penetrates your walls and floors.

Request your landlord to fix the central heating system in the property. There are various temperatures per room that help determine the moisture is 16-20° in the bedroom and 19-22° in the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. Broken windows and doors should be fixed so there won’t be a need to close them all the time.

Avoid drying your clothes on radiators when possible. Instead, hang your clothes out to dry, open the windows, or turn on a fan. Using bottled gas heaters inside can cause a lot of moisture in the air, so it’s best to avoid it if at all feasible.

What to do if your landlord won’t help

All disrepair in your home caused by damp must be addressed right away- and before the situation gets out of hand, you have to contact your landlord. Send your reports and requests to your landlord via email, SMS, or snail mail as you can use these as evidence in case you decide to bring the matter to court.

Give them 14 to 21 days to respond to your report. After 21 days, you can make a follow-up call. However, if your landlord continues ignoring repair requests, the experts at disrepairclaim.co.uk can help. They know how you can get compensated for the damages in your home. 

Are You Renting from a Rogue Landlord? Telltale Signs You Should Know About

From our own experience, we want to help tenants who have issues with their landlord. Our Director had a rogue landlord, and we wanted to warn people who may come across one.

A rogue landlord is someone who deliberately violates their obligations by renting out hazardous and low-quality housing to tenants, many of whom are oblivious to the telltale signs. Tenant applicants need to be cautious when looking for a new home to rent. Here are the things to watch out for before signing your tenancy agreement:

Uncommunicative; procrastinates

A landlord is required to provide their tenants with a safe and secure home and must promptly respond to their requests for repairs. The Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker is available to tenants in London. It is a tool that renters can refer to for checking the credentials of potential landlords and letting agents to make sure they are trustworthy. 

An unconcerned home manager is a huge sign you’ve signed up with a rogue landlord. Usually such individuals don’t care for their community of tenants and are just there for the funds they will siphon from their properties. Most will not even supply their contact information as they don’t want to be bothered with tenant concerns.

Using the checker will help protect tenants from rogue landlords.

On-the-spot rental

Rogue landlords often ask you to sign on-the-spot rental agreements.

If you are a tenant looking to rent, make sure what the landlord is offering is actually legitimate. Never sign a tenancy agreement if you are yet to see the property. A rogue landlord will typically rush you into making the decision so you will not have the chance to ask them for documents.

No contract

If they cannot show you a sample or copy of the tenancy agreement, then maybe they do not have one for a reason. If they do show you one, ask questions and check all the clauses. Do not sign the contract without asking questions or clarifying whether you can make any changes. t. Ask the landlord to email you the final draft, and let them know you’ll have to go over each page and clause before signing.

No repair inventory

If you see some disrepair in your potential home during the house tour, ask the landlord for a complete inventory. If they do not have one, ask them why. If they do have a list, ask when the repairs will commence. 

Allows overcrowding

Studio or one-bedroom flats have, understandably, a limited capacity. Rogue landlords typically squeeze in more people into one shabby flat to maximise rent payment. Some tenants would be made to stay in the garage; some would share one tiny bedroom with some others sleeping on the couch or on the floor.

Unlawful rent increases

A rogue landlord does not care about the welfare of the tenant and charges a rent increase from time to time even while the fixed-term contract has not ended yet. If you tell the authorities and/or threaten not to pay, they usually retaliate by evicting you, with no warning or explanations given. Again, this sort of eviction would be unlawful.

Does not protect Tenancy Deposit 

Your assured shorthold tenancy security deposit needs to be protected through government-authorised tenancy deposit protection schemes such as MyDeposits and Deposit Protection Service. Such a protection scheme ensures your landlord will not lose your security deposit and that, if no deductions are to be made, you will get the whole amount after your tenancy agreement expires.

Ignores disrepair requests

Rogue landlords prefer to leave their property unrepaired despite persistent requests from tenants. No matter how many times you submit a request and how frequently you ask for updates, they will not respond or act on your requests.

Harassment and trespassing

If you have reported to your landlord all the disrepair in your home but they do not respond right away, keep following up until they do. They are supposed to give you a response within 21 days, after which, you have the option to seek professional help or take the case to court. 

However, do know that if they do respond, they’re obligated to issue you a notice that they intend to do so 24 hours before entering your home. If they don’t give you a heads-up in advance, you have the right to deny them entry. Ensure you do not fall victim to any harassment or trespassing. 

If they force their entry, you can seek the assistance of a lawyer.

How to report the rogue landlord

Before attempting any legal action against your rogue landlord, you might want to discuss things with them to clarify things. Do not go alone though. Have someone with you to witness the exchange.  

Note down everything that you want to discuss with them then send them a transcript of your notes and your meeting through email. 

Start your notes by indicating the reason you are filing the complaint and what you want to happen, date and time the problem occurred/you’ve noticed the disrepair, and the details of your conversation and agreement with them. Also provide:

  • photos and videos of any disrepair as evidence; 
  • receipts, if you had to buy materials to implement a stopgap solution; and 
  • if you can, present a medical certificate if you somehow developed health problems because of the dilapidated state of your home.

PDFBox are happy to direct you to some experts should you need to any help with a rogue landlord. Should you need assistance to get your case started, contact the housing disrepair experts at disrepairclaim.co.uk to get you compensated for your landlord’s negligence.