Smelly problem... please help

    I really hope someone will be able to help me.

    Basically a month ago I moved into a flat, which must have been flooded before I moved in and now a lot of mold grows on the carpets and tiles in the bathroom don't quite want to stay on the wall anymore. It starts really smelly too.

    The agency I rent it from is not very keen on doing anything with it, so I cancelled my direct debit today and I told them that I'm moving out by the end of next week and I want my deposit back (which is really a lot of money).

    However, they refused and told me that I signed an agreement for another 9 months so I have to pay this before I leave (and that's almost £10000). I told them that the contract isn't valid anymore because they failed to deliver a flat that is suitable for normal living, but unfortunately the conract doesn't say anywhere anything about them having to care for the flat while I live there).

    What should I do? Just stop paying and take them to court to get the deposit back? Can they take me to court for not paying the rest of the rent?

    Oh, by the way, they are not registered with any national board of estate agents or anything like that.

    Guys, I'm really scared...


    I have nothing to say, but just wanted to say i hope things work out for you

    Not really the help that you need! but if all else fails get a de-humidifier. I have one at home and use it to stop condensation & to dry jeans that can't be tumbled!?!(as you do).

    Original Poster

    I'm afraid the walls are far too wet for a de-humidifier to help. They are actually so wet that the leak was in the bathroom and they are wet on the other side, in the living room.

    If the flood happened before you moved in, and the walls are so wet that the damp has gone through from the bathroom to the living room....
    Why on Earth did you decide to rent the place?

    Original Poster

    well, the flat was newly painted so that when we rented it, we could see/smell anything. It only started showing up a couple of weeks after we moved in.

    I'm really not sure what my legal rights in such a case are? Any lawers here?

    I'd discuss with your local citizens advice and environmental health officer...I would cancel the direct debit unless I had a firm undertaking from the landlord that the problem was going to be cannot be expected to live in such an unhealthy environment.

    Find an error with some of the furnishings (if there are any?), and hold this against them:…txt


    Use diluted TCP to kill mould on the carpet.
    Use bleach to kill mould on the tiles and walls ( if they are painted. Don't use bleach on wallpaper.)
    If possible don't spend ages in the bath or shower and also if possible bathe with the batroom window and door open. Use an extractor fan if you have one. Don't leave damp towels or damp washing around.
    Keep air circulating as much as possible. Open windows and doors when you can. Remove damp air from your flat by turning the heating on and warming the flat, then open all your doors and windows for ten minutes. This should completely change the air in the flat.
    Luckily, we are having a very warm Autumn, so if the leak has been fixed the flat will soon dry out. Good luck.


    This is difficult, my friend. I assume the flat is at ground floor level? If not post back. Plse read the small print of your contract before stopping payments. You will be at default otherwise and in possible breach. Is the damp falling(from gutters etc) or rising from G level? If the latter, other flats on the same level would surely have been affected. Enquire from them! Build youre case logically. The letting agents have a duty - R they meembers of the RICS or a professional body who U can complain 2? Ask them for their complaints proceedure if so - they must supply it. A solicitor would advise U at a cost as to the legalities(expensive - try to avoid) Post back the letting agency details/qualifications - I will try to help further. Plse do not try to mask any details.

    some links that might help..


    i'd post in this forum because they are great with landlord/tenant advice.


    I can understand how frustrating this is because i've had landlord problems in the past. good luck

    Original Poster

    The flat is on the top floor. The leak was from broken drain pipes and holes in the silicone around the bath. The holes are actually still there so the walls around the bath after still getting wet.

    I think I've given up the idea of not paying. Now I think the best course of action is to stay here and demand repairs. Unfortunately they will take a long time and I'd be left without a shower or bath for a few weeks. The agency told that there is no way we can get a replacement flat for the period of the works. Plus the wet carpet clearly needs exchanging, but the landlor/agancy says that it's fine.

    What ever you do dont stop your payments, as said above you will be in breach and that will make your case fall.
    alot of good links above and one bit of good advice there is see your local citizens advice or solicitor, they will steer you in the right course of action and might phone that company for you.
    Ask for someone from that Agency to view the flat with you and take them around it, they surelly knew this was going to happen.
    Go to see them personally with my mate BIG RON he will sort them out lol
    nah to be serious go to them and speak to them face to face.

    P.s get thay direct debits set back up again and also get an appointment with a solicitor for advice.


    Right, we r making progress. U will not get a replacement flat - daft idea.
    Look at where U r. Do not demand repairs at his stage - refer 2 the contract - negotiate reasonably. draw up a list(schedule of items that U consider need attention - state that U would like 2 reserve the right 2 obtain a Surveyors report and would they pay 2 wards the cost? RICS every time - total weight in court(god forbid U should end up there). When U entered into the agreement for tenancy was it a formal contract? If so who prepared the schedule of conditions etc. U must have some paperwork from the letting agents, surely, that reflect the state of the building prior to taking tenancy?

    When i lived in a house share the landlord was CRAP at repairs :-( so i do know how you feel.
    I cant really help as i dont know all the legalities of it, but i would say keep nagging them, in the effort you will get on there nerves and theyll do the work just to shut you up


    When i lived in a house share the landlord was CRAP at repairs :-( so i … When i lived in a house share the landlord was CRAP at repairs :-( so i do know how you feel.I cant really help as i dont know all the legalities of it, but i would say keep nagging them, in the effort you will get on there nerves and theyll do the work just to shut you up

    I can see how that might work for you!

    However, dunno if it would work in this case. As a landlord, you just get more and more annoyed!

    Ive got a smelly problem at the moment - grdesign :giggle:

    Original Poster

    The landlord lives in Singapore, so the communication if kind of hard. I've contacted the local council and they've given me some legal advice about the standard procedure.

    I've issued an official written letter to the landlord and the agancy about what I think should be repaired. I've got a copy signed by the agancy (signed that they've received it and the date). I'll give them a few days to make a move. I've got my local Environmental Health Officer coming in 1-2 weeks and if the problem is not solved by then, the Environmental Health office will give the landlord/agancy 2 weeks to fix it up, after that they will have to pay a big fine to the City Council (I don't know why not to me, but nevermind).

    Legally I can't demand a replacement flat even if the works are very major and prohibit normal use of the current one. However, I can demand a compensation or rent reduction for the time of the works - the reduction is usually calculated as the percentage equal to the percentage area of the flat where the works are done - e.g. my bathroom and the part of the living room affected is about 25% of the flat and this will be not usable for 2 weeks, so I can demand 0.5*25% = 12.5% reduction of the rent next month. However, if they refuse, the only action is take them to court, which means paying a solicitor, which will be more expensive than the actually money I'd be after.

    Anyway, I think it's just the beginning of the story. I'll keep posting as the situation develops. Hopefully this will be useful for a lot of people with similar problems!

    Glad youve got things moving
    To scare the company id let them know you know where you stand, and also about the reduction in rent, if they say no tell them you WILL take them to court for it, it cant hurt, and if they pay up even better (but if you cant afford it dont take them to court!)
    Good luck with it all, glad youve got enviroment people coming round, theyll sort if for you

    the only action is take them to court, which means paying a solicitor, which will be more expensive than the actually money I'd be after.

    Cant the court make the landlord pay your court cost's if you win?

    Good luck

    Also, can i just add, i dont know if this is correct as i dont know under what section it falls under, but you can take them to the small claims court YOURSELF for around £30, you dont need a soliciotor for this.

    Also if i were you, id get everything photographed BEFORE any work is done.

    Original Poster

    I'm actually a photographer. Maybe I should make an exhibition on the topic of mould and mildew.... hmmm, that's an idea...


    I'm actually a photographer. Maybe I should make an exhibition on the … I'm actually a photographer. Maybe I should make an exhibition on the topic of mould and mildew.... hmmm, that's an idea...


    Some great advice in this thread, thanks to everyone who offered to help Kemot

    When somethings wrong like this, its always best to get it photo'd for evidence

    Hope it all gets sorted and you can start to enjoy your home
    I love mine

    i think the cost to take it to a small claims court is £90 we took Courts to court (lol sounds funny i know) a few years back...
    they settled out of court n refunded us the £90 back on top

    Hmmm, when i phoned trading standards about something they said £30 :oops:

    [SIZE=2]im sure it was £90, i'll ask my dad when i get home 2nite.[/SIZE]

    Ah dont worry, i dont mind if im wrong, but i blame it on trading standards if i am :thumbsup: :oops:


    Small claims is on a sliding scale - where R yre damages coming from to justify a claim. U seem to be escalating the problem without understanding the issues. U seem to be going off at at a tangent and drawing everybody in to solve YOUR problem. What does the contract stipulate(that U must have signed?) Smell is subjective,and without basis in fact ,additionaly, without professional support you appear to be going no where. On what U have posted so far it is difficult to see how U can present or win a case.

    Original Poster

    Sorry eggman, are you talking to me personally? I haven't said I'm going to small claims court. I really want to avoid this at all cost...

    Kill the flat. Kill it with fire. Oh yes. That'll show them.

    Also - rent the movie "Pacific Heights" and watch it with a notebook and pen.

    Original Poster

    oh dear, what have you smoked tonight?

    Some fine red wine, my friend. But seriously, the behaviour of dodgy landlords evokes old student memories. And the reason they get away with it is because they KNOW they can get away with it. Someone isn't going to give up the place they live in protest. It's not a rational thing. They know they're in a position of power and they abuse it.

    Stand up to The Man, and do a random act today. Make a statement!


    Sorry, Kemot - my point really was make it HIS(Landlords) problem - not YOURS. If you are aggreived vent it out on the letting agents to give them opportunity to resolve the problems. Providing U pay the rent Landlord should be reasonable - be nice to him/her and give them time to relsove. I am speaking from the advantage point of a Building Surveyor in private practice. Good Luck.
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