Ventilation concern and general rental flat neglect

63
Posted 5th Jul
Me and my girlfriend have moved into a ground floor rental flat which consists of 2 floors, the ground floor and the basement.

As Wales wasn't allowing viewings during the pandemic we took the house based on a video but now we've been here for a week we've realised there are a lot of issues with general upkeep but our main concerns are the windows and ventilation.

The whole property is single glazed and the wood is very old and falling apart in places. Our biggest concern is the basement.

The basement level is where the main bathroom is with the shower and the second bedroom of the property which is the biggest nicer looking room so we've moved down there. As soon as you walk down the steps you can feel there is an obvious drop in temperature and whenever we use the shower the whole basement level steams up and there's only a tiny window in the bathroom. There is an extractor fan but it doesn't work but I'm guessing this was installed because there were previous damp issues. You can tell that damp and mould have grown before from all the marks on the walls.

In the bedroom there is a single-window too which we do usually keep slightly open but general ventilation down there is really bad. Both me and my girlfriend woke up absolutely soaked and dripping a few nights ago because of the condensation build-up. Being cold down there anyway we don't want to keep the small windows open all the time especially in the winter and we have concerns with how damp and cold it's going to get down there in the winter months.

We met the landlord on our move in day when he gave us our keys and he told us that he wouldn't use the downstairs bedroom himself because it's cold down there but if the bedroom is not suitable to be lived in then the flat should have never been advertised as a 2 bedroom house.

We've contacted the landlord but I'm not holding my breath at the moment. He's obviously aware of the issues and has never bothered to fix them. The extractor fan in the bathroom must have been added to help with the ventilation but he has never bothered to fix it when it broke.


Any help or advice would be really appreciated. We currently feel we've been bit hard done by as we were never made aware of any of these issues and the video tour we had to go on never highlighted just how rundown the property is.
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headworx07/07/2020 02:36

I would just start withholding rent until he fixes everything. Don't let …I would just start withholding rent until he fixes everything. Don't let him con you. If he kicks you out then you're happy and also if he doesn't then at least I'd be tried to keep the 800 then at least you've got it back through the not paying. If the landlord isn't giving you dimethyl safe to live then why should you pay? He will not want to take you to court as he will know you would win.Just be firm and fully explain why.... And keep record of it. Good luck.



Seriously headworx, I don't wish to sound offensive so please don't take it that way but that is the worst advice. The one thing - the golden rule - is you never withhold paying rent. It puts you immediately at a disadvantage if any legal case is brought up by either party. I've read so many articles and they all say the same thing. No matter how bad something is, never, ever withhold payment.

Saying that, there's no harm in 'threatening' not to pay...
63 Comments
Is the basement actually under ground?
If it is it will always be slightly cold but if it's riddled with damp or had a lot of issues previously there could be a problem with the damp proof course or it hasn't been insulated properly.
The steam issue is because the whole room is cold and the lack of fan.
Single glazed wooden windows do not help the problem either you will just be losing heat automatically.

I would seriously consider moving again.
Any landlord who has not upgraded their windows to pvc ones by now are taking the P. Unless it's one of those buildings that you have to keep in the same style (can't remember what they're called) but even then you can get new windows manufactured to the same spec nowadays it's just more expensive.
Damp and mould is no joke especially in a basement as there isn't as much air flow. It will effect your quality of life and your health.
No amount of anti-mould paint will sort the issue if there is a problem between the cavity and the outside due to either lack of insulation or water damage which sounds like one of the issues. Even if it was fixed it needs enough heat to dry out and if it's freezing it may never dry out unless filled with a lot of electric fan heaters.

He's obviously re-decorated with anti-mould paint which will keep it at bay for a month if you're lucky.
Seen it done before, done it myself for a quick fix.
He's taking the P, take your money and get out.

I would also consider buying a moisture meter to measure the walls and if it's too high there's your proof to the landlord there is a problem and if he doesn't sort it or won't give you your money back say you're going to environmental health and he's commited fraud.
Edited by: "Cloeeez" 5th Jul
Cloeeez05/07/2020 22:21

Is the basement actually under ground?If it is it will always be slightly …Is the basement actually under ground?If it is it will always be slightly cold but if it's riddled with damp or had a lot of issues previously there could be a problem with the damp proof course or it hasn't been insulated properly. The steam issue is because the whole room is cold and the lack of fan. Single glazed wooden windows do not help the problem either you will just be losing heat automatically.I would seriously consider moving again.Any landlord who has not upgraded their windows to pvc ones by now are taking the P. Unless it's one of those buildings that you have to keep in the same style (can't remember what they're called) but even then you can get new windows manufactured to the same spec nowadays it's just more expensive.Damp and mould is no joke especially in a basement as there isn't as much air flow. It will effect your quality of life and your health. No amount of anti-mould paint will sort the issue if there is a problem between the cavity and the outside due to either lack of insulation or water damage which sounds like one of the issues. Even if it was fixed it needs enough heat to dry out and if it's freezing it may never dry out unless filled with a lot of electric fan heaters.He's obviously re-decorated with anti-mould paint which will keep it at bay for a month if you're lucky.Seen it done before, done it myself for a quick fix.He's taking the P, take your money and get out.I would also consider buying a moisture meter to measure the walls and if it's too high there's your proof to the landlord there is a problem and if he doesn't sort it or won't give you your money back say you're going to environmental health and he's commited fraud.


Yes is actually underground.

it has been converted into a spare room and the bathroom. It’s the where our bath/shower is in the house.

There is obvious mould stains around all the basement walls so damp has clearly been an issue for a long time and not properly fixed. The ventilation fan in the bathroom would help a little but it doesn’t work!

I’ve never woke up dripping wet because of the condensation in the room, surely that’s not safe for our health?

It’s only a matter of time until the cold damp down there starts bringing back all the mould and damaged our clothes and our health.

when we met the landlord to get the keys we told him we’d probably use the basement bedroom and he straight away said he wouldn’t suggest it as it gets cold down there etc. So it’s clearly never meant to be a second room.

we’ve already signed a 12 months lease so we’re a bit stuck. We only had the video to go by because we couldn’t view the property and wasn’t aware of any of these issues or how run down it actually is here.
A house generally needs to breath/sweat but a basement is surrounded by earth so it doesn't get to nor gets enough airflow automatically. They're common for mould in general through to condensation or water ingress from the earth outside if the structure has damage.
Condensation leads to mould and damp which leads to respiratory problems, respiratory infections, allergies or asthma. People with these problems already it can lead to bronchitis and pneumonia. It can also affect the immune system and considering recent events you need a good immune system and a decent set of lungs.

First things first he needs to fix the fan.

I'm not completely sure of the legal issues with moving out, leasing and deposits but if you do end up having excessive mould growth it is an issue for Environmental Health if he does not sort it.
Like I said anti-mould paint just covers up issues for a limited time.

How many radiators are down there? Gas central heating is notorious for causing condensation issues - it is always recommended that if you have your central heating on you also leave your windows ajar but you also need a radiator/s big enough to heat the entire volume of the room to keep the 'walls dry' and having the window ajar to have airflow to reduce condensation.

Not to assume anything but considering he hasn't even bothered upgrading the windows I doubt he's properly converted the basement either.
Converting an existing basement by tanking and insulating the walls will cost £720 to £1,800 per square metre. When have you ever heard of landlords spending that kind of cash?
The level of damp you are describing it does not sound like he has done this he's probably just installed the correct plumbing for the bathroom and framed and plaster boarded it out so there is nowhere for the water to go apart from through the plasterboard to the inside.
Edited by: "Cloeeez" 5th Jul
it is always a bad idea to rent a property without having seen it. if you could not see it, you should have delayed the move. were you that desperate to move?

as you have signed a contract, there is little that you can do. the property needs to be at least E rating to be rented out, so you could look at the EPC and see what rating the property has.

does the contract have a break clause? if not, you should have asked for this to be added due to the fact that you could not see the property before signing the contract.

did you sign the contract before you saw the property or did you do so when you moved in? to be honest, you should have asked the question on here before you moved in as now it is too late.
Get council housing office involved if you don’t get a swift response from the landlord. If you do this plan to be moving again at end of contract which I presume is 6 months. You could also scare the landlord into action by telling him you are not paying a penny in rent until it is sorted. He will be well aware that you can’t currently evict anyone and once the courts open again there will be a massive backlog to deal with. The thought of 9 months without his rental income might prompt a response.
Shouldn’t there be appropriate fire exit (Doesn’t seem to be as no ventilation and I am not an expert) if it’s a basement? Electrics & high moisture a risk you could raise as an alternative issue with the rental maybe?
1. Book appointment with a lawyer for free. Get advice from a specialist in rental
2. Make records including photos
3. Document any purchases including dehumidifier
4. Contact your local authorities for health based check
5. Book appointment with doctor as fungal lung infection are no joke
6. Find a new place. You can win the battle once you are happy and safe
mork-0906/07/2020 00:26

Shouldn’t there be appropriate fire exit (Doesn’t seem to be as no ven …Shouldn’t there be appropriate fire exit (Doesn’t seem to be as no ventilation and I am not an expert) if it’s a basement? Electrics & high moisture a risk you could raise as an alternative issue with the rental maybe?


Not sure about a fire exit, it’s just a flat with a basement level so I wouldn’t have though so. There’s obviously mould spores on the walls that have stained it and it looks like they’ve been rubbed at some point because you can see the lines on the wall.

it’s cold and damp feeling down there at the moment so it’s only going to get worse when the winter months kick in! I’ll get a moisture meter if needed, it would probably pass at the moment but I very much doubt it would pass when it starts to get cold.

Personally I don’t feel the bedroom down there would be fit for living
jamiew2306/07/2020 10:27

Not sure about a fire exit, it’s just a flat with a basement level so I w …Not sure about a fire exit, it’s just a flat with a basement level so I wouldn’t have though so. There’s obviously mould spores on the walls that have stained it and it looks like they’ve been rubbed at some point because you can see the lines on the wall. it’s cold and damp feeling down there at the moment so it’s only going to get worse when the winter months kick in! I’ll get a moisture meter if needed, it would probably pass at the moment but I very much doubt it would pass when it starts to get cold.Personally I don’t feel the bedroom down there would be fit for living


your problem will be that you have rented a house and it could be argued that you should sleep upstairs where there is no damp issue as the basement is not fit to be a living area. it is probably designed to be occasionally use for guests or for storage. if the upstairs is fine then you will be told not to live downstairs.

as you are a couple, there is no reason why you need to use both bedrooms and so the basement bedroom does not need to be your main bedroom.

everyone knows that a basement can be cold and damp so unless some serious building work had been done to it, it will never be habitable.

i am just saying what an independent assessor may say. i assume you also got the property really cheap, so if it was comparable to the rent for a one bedroom place, then there is even less grounds for you to make a complaint.

you should ask that the landlord repair the air extractor and get you a dehumifier so you can run it in the basement to help remove the moisture. and you will need to leave the window ajar when you can to get ventilation into the basement.
mutley106/07/2020 11:57

your problem will be that you have rented a house and it could be argued …your problem will be that you have rented a house and it could be argued that you should sleep upstairs where there is no damp issue as the basement is not fit to be a living area. it is probably designed to be occasionally use for guests or for storage. if the upstairs is fine then you will be told not to live downstairs.as you are a couple, there is no reason why you need to use both bedrooms and so the basement bedroom does not need to be your main bedroom.everyone knows that a basement can be cold and damp so unless some serious building work had been done to it, it will never be habitable.i am just saying what an independent assessor may say. i assume you also got the property really cheap, so if it was comparable to the rent for a one bedroom place, then there is even less grounds for you to make a complaint.you should ask that the landlord repair the air extractor and get you a dehumifier so you can run it in the basement to help remove the moisture. and you will need to leave the window ajar when you can to get ventilation into the basement.


hi, thanks for your reply.

My girlfriend works shifts for the hospital so we use both beds quite a bit. If the basement level room was not made to be a proper bedroom then the property should not have been advertised as 2 bed rather a 1 bed with a spare room. We are actually paying quite a bit in rent, more than we were planning to pay, in fact it's £150 more than the property we was meant to be moving into which fell through because the tenant refused to move.

I personally don't believe the basement level i safe, the mould all over the walls is very concerning to not only the house but to our health and safety. The main bathroom with the only bath/shower in the house is down there too.
jamiew2306/07/2020 12:21

hi, thanks for your reply.My girlfriend works shifts for the hospital so …hi, thanks for your reply.My girlfriend works shifts for the hospital so we use both beds quite a bit. If the basement level room was not made to be a proper bedroom then the property should not have been advertised as 2 bed rather a 1 bed with a spare room. We are actually paying quite a bit in rent, more than we were planning to pay, in fact it's £150 more than the property we was meant to be moving into which fell through because the tenant refused to move.I personally don't believe the basement level i safe, the mould all over the walls is very concerning to not only the house but to our health and safety. The main bathroom with the only bath/shower in the house is down there too.


the bathroom is a not a habitable room so you won't be able to complain about it being in the basement. your only complaint (if you have grounds for such a complaint) is going to be the bedroom in the basement.

it depends on whether you can use the estate agent's terminology when he advertised 2 bedroom, when he should have advertised one bedroom and a storage room / occasional use room, as being misadvertising. an independent assessor may take into account that it is common knowledge that a basement will be cold and so any rooms down there would not be habitable daily, and that you should have known this (if you didn't) when you rented the property.

you would need to take out any claims through the courts and you would have to prove that you were misold the property by false advertising.

a dehumidifier will help a lot with the damp and mould so you should ask the landlord to provide this.
Edited by: "mutley1" 6th Jul
mutley106/07/2020 12:28

the bathroom is a not a habitable room so you won't be able to complain …the bathroom is a not a habitable room so you won't be able to complain about it being in the basement. your only complaint (if you have grounds for such a complaint) is going to be the bedroom in the basement.it depends on whether you can use the estate agent's terminology when he advertised 2 bedroom, when he should have advertised one bedroom and a storage room / occasional use room, as being misadvertising. an independent assessor may take into account that it is common knowledge that a basement will be cold and so any rooms down there would not be habitable daily, and that you should have known this (if you didn't) when you rented the property.you would need to take out any claims through the courts and you would have to prove that you were misold the property by false advertising.


No but the bedroom should be. If it's not fit for day to day human habitation then the property should not have been advertised as a 2 bedroom flat. The estate agents advertised the property as a 2 bedroom flat on their listing which I feel isn't correct if the downstairs is not meant to be used like that. The video viewing of the house also shows both rooms being used as a bedroom.

Thank you for your help. Really didn't expect all this, we just wanted to move in and be happy with the place.
jamiew2306/07/2020 12:39

No but the bedroom should be. If it's not fit for day to day human …No but the bedroom should be. If it's not fit for day to day human habitation then the property should not have been advertised as a 2 bedroom flat. The estate agents advertised the property as a 2 bedroom flat on their listing which I feel isn't correct if the downstairs is not meant to be used like that. The video viewing of the house also shows both rooms being used as a bedroom.Thank you for your help. Really didn't expect all this, we just wanted to move in and be happy with the place.


the problem will be that everyone would expect you to have known this before you signed the contract. the fact that you didn't may not hold much water in a court of law.

if you were a family, you may have a stronger claim as you had always intended to use both bedrooms, but the fact that you are a couple, a judge may decide that you had rented the property with the intention of using the basement bedroom as a spare bedroom or for storage. that you are now making up the story about you needing both bedrooms daily to get out of the contract because you don't like the place.

if you were a family, the judge would think that the landlord should have known that you would use both bedrooms and so should not have rented to you as the basement bedroom is not habitable. but as you are a couple, he would assume that you would use the upstairs bedroom and not the basement one as a main bedroom. and in fact he told you this when you moved in.

in your circumstance, i would get the landlord to do repairs to the extractor fan and get a dehumifier for the basement. and if there is inadequate heating down there to get him to provide extra oil filled heaters for you to use.

the good news is that you only have to be there for 12 months and that will go very quickly.
mutley106/07/2020 12:59

the problem will be that everyone would expect you to have known this …the problem will be that everyone would expect you to have known this before you signed the contract. the fact that you didn't may not hold much water in a court of law. if you were a family, you may have a stronger claim as you had always intended to use both bedrooms, but the fact that you are a couple, a judge may decide that you had rented the property with the intention of using the basement bedroom as a spare bedroom or for storage. that you are now making up the story about you needing both bedrooms daily to get out of the contract because you don't like the place.if you were a family, the judge would think that the landlord should have known that you would use both bedrooms and so should not have rented to you as the basement bedroom is not habitable. but as you are a couple, he would assume that you would use the upstairs bedroom and not the basement one as a main bedroom. and in fact he told you this when you moved in.in your circumstance, i would get the landlord to do repairs to the extractor fan and get a dehumifier for the basement. and if there is inadequate heating down there to get him to provide extra oil filled heaters for you to use.the good news is that you only have to be there for 12 months and that will go very quickly.


Yeah I see what you mean. The estate agents advertised it as a 2 bedroom flat and it shouldn't really matter if we are a couple or not really. The flat upstairs which is also owned by the same landlord is being rented out to 2 friends who use both bedrooms and this could have very well been the case for the ground floor flat too. It was always advertised as a 2 bedroom flat and we were always under the impression both rooms were made to be habitable bedrooms whether we were a couple or not.

My main concern is the fact it's not safe down there, bedroom or no bedroom the amount of mould spores and damp is worrying and can be extremely harmful.

You'll see in the image attached green mould build up in the bottom right of the door. Here a link to a video I've uploaded showing the stained mould spores all over the walls which look as if the landlord has attempted to wipe off streamable.com/djq7qr41310271-G539x.jpg

Do you think we'd have a case with the estate agents for advertising it as a 2 bedroom flat? If they turn around and say the downstairs bedroom isn't meant for general use then surely it should have never been advertised as a 2 bedroom and rather a 1 bed with a spare room? I doubt they'll say it's not meant to be used for a general use bedroom, they need to stick to their guns and say it is a 2 bedroom flat but I'd argue if their advise is to use the other bedroom that they're admitting it's not meant to be used as a general second bedroom.
jamiew2306/07/2020 13:15

Yeah I see what you mean. The estate agents advertised it as a 2 bedroom …Yeah I see what you mean. The estate agents advertised it as a 2 bedroom flat and it shouldn't really matter if we are a couple or not really. The flat upstairs which is also owned by the same landlord is being rented out to 2 friends who use both bedrooms and this could have very well been the case for the ground floor flat too. It was always advertised as a 2 bedroom flat and we were always under the impression both rooms were made to be habitable bedrooms whether we were a couple or not.My main concern is the fact it's not safe down there, bedroom or no bedroom the amount of mould spores and damp is worrying and can be extremely harmful.You'll see in the image attached green mould build up in the bottom right of the door. Here a link to a video I've uploaded showing the stained mould spores all over the walls which look as if the landlord has attempted to wipe off https://streamable.com/djq7qr[Image] Do you think we'd have a case with the estate agents for advertising it as a 2 bedroom flat? If they turn around and say the downstairs bedroom isn't meant for general use then surely it should have never been advertised as a 2 bedroom and rather a 1 bed with a spare room? I doubt they'll say it's not meant to be used for a general use bedroom, they need to stick to their guns and say it is a 2 bedroom flat but I'd argue if their advise is to use the other bedroom that they're admitting it's not meant to be used as a general second bedroom.


When the agent did a full inventory with photographs of the condition of the flat, how did they describe the room downstairs? As a bedroom or storage area?
Edited by: "Toptrumpet" 6th Jul
mutley106/07/2020 12:59

you only have to be there for 12 months


Honest question - Contract or not, you don't have to stay there though, do you? I've never rented myself but I thought you can leave at any time you wish - you just lose your deposit payment and or pay some sort of fee? I never thought you were compulsorily obliged to stay? I assumed a contract duration was more for the Landlords benefit - i.e. short term vs long term let.

If OP isn't happy with the property and/or feels their health will suffer (either short or long term) then wild horses wouldn't stop me from finding somewhere else and getting the hell out! I can't see a landlord who rents out a place like this will be too quick to change anything - legal obligations aside...

I am going to keep tight-lipped about the actual situation as I'm not fully aware of all the details/issues involved for the OP but; to me; renting a place on the strength of a "video" is akin to buying a used car without test-driving first. Madness.
I think people are kind of forgetting that if it is such a bad mould problem bearing in mind if it's coming from the outside in then what do you think is happening to the actual joists behind the walls that hold the whole structure together? Wet rot is serious.

Don't go in the basement anymore if you can help it and I certainly would not be sleeping in it. I do not trust the building standards of that landlord if he can't even be bothered fixing a fan.
I personally do not think he has converted the basement properly and basements can be perfectly fine and habitable living spaces if done correctly but it can cost as much as a loft conversion generally between 20k- 80k depending on existing or non existing structure, size and what type of rooms are going down there.

Edit: the right hand side of the picture of that door has just confirmed my suspicions in my mind.
Is that door seriously been hung to the wall?
Stay out of that basement.
Edited by: "Cloeeez" 6th Jul
Have a look at the Shelter Legal England website.

I wonder if there was ever planning permission/building control permission to have a 'bedroom' and bathroom in the basement.

I think it would be a good idea to move as soon as you can - there must be a clause somewhere that is applicable. A year is a long time, and if it is like that already at the start of July imagine six months down the line.
Toptrumpet06/07/2020 13:22

When the agent did a full inventory with photographs of the condition of …When the agent did a full inventory with photographs of the condition of the flat, how did they describe the room downstairs? As a bedroom or storage area?


The listing of the flat stated it was a 2 bedroom flat, there were no photos just a video which shown the ground floor bedroom with a bed in it and the basement level with the bed in it. The previous tenant was the landlords friend who I believe the landlord was helping out as he was going through a divorce and he has 2 children living with him.
Phsycronix06/07/2020 13:23

Honest question - Contract or not, you don't have to stay there though, do …Honest question - Contract or not, you don't have to stay there though, do you? I've never rented myself but I thought you can leave at any time you wish - you just lose your deposit payment and or pay some sort of fee? I never thought you were compulsorily obliged to stay? I assumed a contract duration was more for the Landlords benefit - i.e. short term vs long term let.If OP isn't happy with the property and/or feels their health will suffer (either short or long term) then wild horses wouldn't stop me from finding somewhere else and getting the hell out! I can't see a landlord who rents out a place like this will be too quick to change anything - legal obligations aside...I am going to keep tight-lipped about the actual situation as I'm not fully aware of all the details/issues involved for the OP but; to me; renting a place on the strength of a "video" is akin to buying a used car without test-driving first. Madness.


We have signed a 12 month lease. Because of Covid estate agents weren't allowed to do viewings if the property was occupied which is was so we only had a video and the description in the listing to go on. The deposit we would lose is over £800 if we left early including all the electric/gas contracts we'd have to cancel too
jamiew2306/07/2020 13:15

Yeah I see what you mean. The estate agents advertised it as a 2 bedroom …Yeah I see what you mean. The estate agents advertised it as a 2 bedroom flat and it shouldn't really matter if we are a couple or not really. The flat upstairs which is also owned by the same landlord is being rented out to 2 friends who use both bedrooms and this could have very well been the case for the ground floor flat too. It was always advertised as a 2 bedroom flat and we were always under the impression both rooms were made to be habitable bedrooms whether we were a couple or not.My main concern is the fact it's not safe down there, bedroom or no bedroom the amount of mould spores and damp is worrying and can be extremely harmful.You'll see in the image attached green mould build up in the bottom right of the door. Here a link to a video I've uploaded showing the stained mould spores all over the walls which look as if the landlord has attempted to wipe off https://streamable.com/djq7qr[Image] Do you think we'd have a case with the estate agents for advertising it as a 2 bedroom flat? If they turn around and say the downstairs bedroom isn't meant for general use then surely it should have never been advertised as a 2 bedroom and rather a 1 bed with a spare room? I doubt they'll say it's not meant to be used for a general use bedroom, they need to stick to their guns and say it is a 2 bedroom flat but I'd argue if their advise is to use the other bedroom that they're admitting it's not meant to be used as a general second bedroom.


when a case go to court, your own personal circumstance will be taken into account as the judge will weigh up misadvertising with the actual impact on you. he would need to decide if you are trying to pull a fast one as there are dodgy tenants around and so he would have to believe that you had rented the property with the full intention of using both bedrooms and not use the basement as a spare bedroom or for storage.

if the whole house had a damp problem with mould upstairs as well that is unmanageble then your case will be stronger as you could get the council to declare the whole property uninhabitable. if it only affects the basement, it is not as clear cut. and if the landlord comes round to remove the mould every now and then, then it will be even harder to get the council to declare the place unihabitable.

your best bet is to ask the landlord to sort the basement out as i can't see you getting out of the contract or getting a reduction in rent.
Cloeeez06/07/2020 13:26

I think people are kind of forgetting that if it is such a bad mould …I think people are kind of forgetting that if it is such a bad mould problem bearing in mind if it's coming from the outside in then what do you think is happening to the actual joists behind the walls that hold the whole structure together? Wet rot is serious.Don't go in the basement anymore if you can help it and I certainly would not be sleeping in it. I do not trust the building standards of that landlord if he can't even be bothered fixing a fan.I personally do not think he has converted the basement properly and basements can be perfectly fine and habitable living spaces if done correctly but it can cost as much as a loft conversion generally between 20k- 80k depending on existing or non existing structure, size and what type of rooms are going down there.Edit: the right hand side of the picture of that door has just confirmed my suspicions in my mind.Is that door seriously been hung to the wall?Stay out of that basement.


Yep that's the door. Did you see the video too? streamable.com/djq7qr The landlord said he likes to keep the original features of the house but to be honest he's just neglected it and not bothered putting any money into it for years. There's marks on the walls, single glazing with rotting wood, the screws to one of the doors are coming out etc.

We don't really know where we stand, we feel we've been mislead really. It's not what we were expecting at all.
JimboParrot06/07/2020 13:28

Have a look at the Shelter Legal England website.I wonder if there was …Have a look at the Shelter Legal England website.I wonder if there was ever planning permission/building control permission to have a 'bedroom' and bathroom in the basement.I think it would be a good idea to move as soon as you can - there must be a clause somewhere that is applicable. A year is a long time, and if it is like that already at the start of July imagine six months down the line.


Hi, how would i find that out? Do i just need to contact Shelter Legal England?

Thanks
mutley106/07/2020 13:36

when a case go to court, your own personal circumstance will be taken into …when a case go to court, your own personal circumstance will be taken into account as the judge will weigh up misadvertising with the actual impact on you. he would need to decide if you are trying to pull a fast one as there are dodgy tenants around and so he would have to believe that you had rented the property with the full intention of using both bedrooms and not use the basement as a spare bedroom or for storage.if the whole house had a damp problem with mould upstairs as well that is unmanageble then your case will be stronger as you could get the council to declare the whole property uninhabitable. if it only affects the basement, it is not as clear cut. and if the landlord comes round to remove the mould every now and then, then it will be even harder to get the council to declare the place unihabitable.your best bet is to ask the landlord to sort the basement out as i can't see you getting out of the contract or getting a reduction in rent.


Thank you. We're going to be talking to the Landlord today and see what he says
jamiew2306/07/2020 13:42

Yep that's the door. Did you see the video too? …Yep that's the door. Did you see the video too? https://streamable.com/djq7qr The landlord said he likes to keep the original features of the house but to be honest he's just neglected it and not bothered putting any money into it for years. There's marks on the walls, single glazing with rotting wood, the screws to one of the doors are coming out etc. We don't really know where we stand, we feel we've been mislead really. It's not what we were expecting at all.


The video isn't working for me but if he has avoided showing the damp areas on the video then it is false advertising and he has commited fraud.
Like someone else said then you generally hold all the cards.

Take lots of pictures right now and record everything if you have not already. Keep a copy of that video and any pictures the estate agent put up. Do not contact the landlord by calls. Only email, text or letters. Keep a record of everything.

Edit: saw the video. Did you take that video or is it the original viewing video? It is clear someone has tried to clean/bleach off the mould rather than paint over. That is not condensation mould that is mould being caused by a structural problem behind the walls most likely has not been weatherproofed from the outside in.
You can tell because it is so high up and there are large patches...everywhere. It isn't concentrated in one bit like condensation/living habits would lead to like around windows or behind a couch that is right up against an external wall.
Stay out of that basement.
Edited by: "Cloeeez" 6th Jul
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mutley106/07/2020 12:28

the bathroom is a not a habitable room so you won't be able to complain …the bathroom is a not a habitable room so you won't be able to complain about it being in the basement. your only complaint (if you have grounds for such a complaint) is going to be the bedroom in the basement.it depends on whether you can use the estate agent's terminology when he advertised 2 bedroom, when he should have advertised one bedroom and a storage room / occasional use room, as being misadvertising. an independent assessor may take into account that it is common knowledge that a basement will be cold and so any rooms down there would not be habitable daily, and that you should have known this (if you didn't) when you rented the property.you would need to take out any claims through the courts and you would have to prove that you were misold the property by false advertising.a dehumidifier will help a lot with the damp and mould so you should ask the landlord to provide this.


mutley, did you just say that advertising something as 2 bedroom but not being able to use one of them as a bedroom *might* be misleading. Of course it is. This is a simple case....
Phsycronix06/07/2020 13:23

Honest question - Contract or not, you don't have to stay there though, do …Honest question - Contract or not, you don't have to stay there though, do you? I've never rented myself but I thought you can leave at any time you wish - you just lose your deposit payment and or pay some sort of fee? I never thought you were compulsorily obliged to stay? I assumed a contract duration was more for the Landlords benefit - i.e. short term vs long term let.If OP isn't happy with the property and/or feels their health will suffer (either short or long term) then wild horses wouldn't stop me from finding somewhere else and getting the hell out! I can't see a landlord who rents out a place like this will be too quick to change anything - legal obligations aside...I am going to keep tight-lipped about the actual situation as I'm not fully aware of all the details/issues involved for the OP but; to me; renting a place on the strength of a "video" is akin to buying a used car without test-driving first. Madness.


if you have signed a contract then you are liable for the rent for that period. you don't have to stay but that doesn't mean you won't have to pay the rent. if you withold rent then the landlord can take you to court to claim the money back and you would have to convince the court that the property is not habitable and so you had to move out.

the contract period is not only for the benefit of the landlord but also the tenant as within that period, the landlord can not take the property back and so the tenants have security of tenure. tenants can prefer a tenancy contract that give security of tenure so they know they haven't wasted money and effort in moving into a place, only to be told to move out after a couple of months. especially for families, being told to move out can have a serious impact on the kids' schooling as they may have to move school at short notice.

during the contract period, the landlord can not increase the rent either so the rent is locked at the starting rate for the whole period. the minimum length for an assured shorthold tenancy in England and Wales is 6 months, but most contracts are generally 12 months. the government is looking to increase the minimum period for an AST to 2 years to give tenants more security of tenure.
mutley106/07/2020 13:47

if you have signed a contract then you are liable for the rent for that …if you have signed a contract then you are liable for the rent for that period. you don't have to stay but that doesn't mean you won't have to pay the rent. if you withold rent then the landlord can take you to court to claim the money back and you would have to convince the court that the property is not habitable and so you had to move out.the contract period is not only for the benefit of the landlord but also the tenant as within that period, the landlord can not take the property back and so the tenants have security of tenure. tenants can prefer a tenancy contract that give security of tenure so they know they haven't wasted money and effort in moving into a place, only to be told to move out after a couple of months. especially for families, being told to move out can have a serious impact on the kids' schooling as they may have to move school at short notice.during the contract period, the landlord can not increase the rent either so the rent is locked at the starting rate for the whole period. the minimum length for an assured shorthold tenancy in England and Wales is 6 months, but most contracts are generally 12 months. the government is looking to increase the minimum period for an AST to 2 years to give tenants more security of tenure.



So you're saying that if you moved out again in; let's say month one; you would be liable to pay the full 12 months rent? Not sure that would hold water, would it?

I just read this and it makes me think A) I'll never rent! and B) Check, double-check and triple-check any tenancy agreement!
Edited by: "Phsycronix" 6th Jul
deleted1193306/07/2020 13:46

mutley, did you just say that advertising something as 2 bedroom but not …mutley, did you just say that advertising something as 2 bedroom but not being able to use one of them as a bedroom *might* be misleading. Of course it is. This is a simple case....


nothing is simple when it comes to housing law. this is not trading standards we are talking about.
property adverts are well known for over selling a property. how many times have you seen a photo of a room stretched in an advert to show it to be a really big room, only to find out that it isn't? that what is described as a double bedroom is actually a cupboard!

in a desirable location is actually in the middle of a rough neighbourhood!
Phsycronix06/07/2020 13:53

So you're saying that if you moved out again in; let's say month one; you …So you're saying that if you moved out again in; let's say month one; you would be liable to pay the full 12 months rent? Not sure that would hold water, would it?


think of it like a mobile phone contract. the penalty for leaving early is to pay the rest of the contract plan costs. the mobile phone provider is not stopping you leaving early, they just apply the early termination fee to be that of the remaining length of the contract. this is how contract law works in general, in any area, and not just housing.

in housing law, there is a protection for tenants, where the landlord will need to re-advertise the property and if he does find a tenant to move in before the original contract end date then he has to stop charging the original tenant the rent from when the new tenants move in. he can pass any cost incurred in finding new tenants to the past tenants, this may also include the reduction in rent if he has to rent the house out at a cheaper rent to get a replacement.

the OP could find replacement tenants as an option and so release them from the liability.

there is no cooling off period when it comes to properties but some tenancy contracts do have a break clause in them to allow either side to break the contract without penalty. however, this can not be done before the 6 months minimum AST period.
Edited by: "mutley1" 6th Jul
gov.uk/pri…ncy


As @mutley1 said earlier, check for a "Break" clause in the contract. Worth checking for. Apart from that, it sounds like you could throw yourself on the Landlord's mercy and see if they will agree to early termination? It sounds as if you aren't going to be happy, even if the Landlord were to fix things?

Come winter, it's going to be a like horror show.
12 months there sounds miserable.

Contact the letting agent first of all, they were the ones advertising it & inspected it. Inform them you aren’t happy & see what they say.

I feel for you OP. Must be very stressful.
I'm going to state my opinion and not legal knowledge....

I disagree with mutley

It was advertised as 2 bedroom, you signed on the basis of it being 2 bedroom. You were not told before signing the contract that the basement room was not fit for sleeping in and so I feel you have been misled.

You don't have to prove how you may or may not of used 2 bedrooms and you have already said the girlfriend does shifts so sometimes you use both bedrooms. Even if this basement room was not to be used as the main bedroom, it sounds like it is a health hazard either now or in the making, which makes the whole property a risk.

Personally I would already of been on to the letting agent that advertised it and you signed the contract through. Explain that you feel misled, that you're worried about your health and the now obvious poor state of condition and that you need out asap.

Who knows, the landlord may be happier to tear up your agreement to get you out and away rather than possibly face trouble from you or the courts.

If they don't agree then seek proper legal advice to confirm next steps, but unless legally advised, don't withhold rent yet, that could cause you problems further down the line.
mutley106/07/2020 14:00

think of it like a mobile phone contract. the penalty for leaving early …think of it like a mobile phone contract. the penalty for leaving early is to pay the rest of the contract plan costs. the mobile phone provider is not stopping you leaving early, they just apply the early termination fee to be that of the remaining length of the contract. this is how contract law works in general, in any area, and not just housing.in housing law, there is a protection for tenants, where the landlord will need to re-advertise the property and if he does find a tenant to move in before the original contract end date then he has to stop charging the original tenant the rent from when the new tenants move in. he can pass any cost incurred in finding new tenants to the past tenants, this may also include the reduction in rent if he has to rent the house out at a cheaper rent to get a replacement.the OP could find replacement tenants as an option and so release them from the liability.there is no cooling off period when it comes to properties but some tenancy contracts do have a break clause in them to allow either side to break the contract without penalty. however, this can not be done before the 6 months minimum AST period.



a666andy06/07/2020 17:50

I'm going to state my opinion and not legal knowledge....I disagree with …I'm going to state my opinion and not legal knowledge....I disagree with mutleyIt was advertised as 2 bedroom, you signed on the basis of it being 2 bedroom. You were not told before signing the contract that the basement room was not fit for sleeping in and so I feel you have been misled. You don't have to prove how you may or may not of used 2 bedrooms and you have already said the girlfriend does shifts so sometimes you use both bedrooms. Even if this basement room was not to be used as the main bedroom, it sounds like it is a health hazard either now or in the making, which makes the whole property a risk.Personally I would already of been on to the letting agent that advertised it and you signed the contract through. Explain that you feel misled, that you're worried about your health and the now obvious poor state of condition and that you need out asap.Who knows, the landlord may be happier to tear up your agreement to get you out and away rather than possibly face trouble from you or the courts.If they don't agree then seek proper legal advice to confirm next steps, but unless legally advised, don't withhold rent yet, that could cause you problems further down the line.



Phsycronix06/07/2020 14:09

https://www.gov.uk/private-renting-tenancy-agreements/how-to-end-your-tenancyAs @mutley1 said earlier, check for a "Break" clause in the contract. Worth checking for. Apart from that, it sounds like you could throw yourself on the Landlord's mercy and see if they will agree to early termination? It sounds as if you aren't going to be happy, even if the Landlord were to fix things?Come winter, it's going to be a like horror show.



fearona06/07/2020 20:33

Comment deleted



deleted1193306/07/2020 13:46

mutley, did you just say that advertising something as 2 bedroom but not …mutley, did you just say that advertising something as 2 bedroom but not being able to use one of them as a bedroom *might* be misleading. Of course it is. This is a simple case....



Cloeeez06/07/2020 13:45

The video isn't working for me but if he has avoided showing the damp …The video isn't working for me but if he has avoided showing the damp areas on the video then it is false advertising and he has commited fraud.Like someone else said then you generally hold all the cards.Take lots of pictures right now and record everything if you have not already. Keep a copy of that video and any pictures the estate agent put up. Do not contact the landlord by calls. Only email, text or letters. Keep a record of everything.Edit: saw the video. Did you take that video or is it the original viewing video? It is clear someone has tried to clean/bleach off the mould rather than paint over. That is not condensation mould that is mould being caused by a structural problem behind the walls most likely has not been weatherproofed from the outside in.You can tell because it is so high up and there are large patches...everywhere. It isn't concentrated in one bit like condensation/living habits would lead to like around windows or behind a couch that is right up against an external wall.Stay out of that basement.



So I actually found out that the ground floor flat does not have a EPC certificate and only the top floor flat has one! After looking online the property should have never been rented without one. I'm guessing the estate agents didn't look properly and accepted the same one for both flats. Rent Smart Wales confirmed this and are going to chase it up and send him a letter to get one done as it's against the law.

We had him in today and he denied that the green markings on the door were mould. At first he said it was dust and then back chatted and said it's been like that for ages and is just stained.

He also told us that the marks on the walls were just condensation that have stained the walls. He has agreed to fix the extractor fan in the bathroom which is needed, although he did say they hard to get and you have to order everything in Screwfix now. When I told him I actually used to work in Screwfix and you can either pick items up the same day if they are in stock usually within an hour or if not get it delivered to the store for the next day he just said well they might not have it in stock. Seems to have an answer for everything. We checked the heating today and one radiator in the basement doesn't work so I'm going to ask him to fix that when he comes to do the fan too, if i haven't heard from him this time next week I'll message him and see what's going on.
jamiew2306/07/2020 23:26

So I actually found out that the ground floor flat does not have a EPC …So I actually found out that the ground floor flat does not have a EPC certificate and only the top floor flat has one! After looking online the property should have never been rented without one. I'm guessing the estate agents didn't look properly and accepted the same one for both flats. Rent Smart Wales confirmed this and are going to chase it up and send him a letter to get one done as it's against the law.We had him in today and he denied that the green markings on the door were mould. At first he said it was dust and then back chatted and said it's been like that for ages and is just stained.He also told us that the marks on the walls were just condensation that have stained the walls. He has agreed to fix the extractor fan in the bathroom which is needed, although he did say they hard to get and you have to order everything in Screwfix now. When I told him I actually used to work in Screwfix and you can either pick items up the same day if they are in stock usually within an hour or if not get it delivered to the store for the next day he just said well they might not have it in stock. Seems to have an answer for everything. We checked the heating today and one radiator in the basement doesn't work so I'm going to ask him to fix that when he comes to do the fan too, if i haven't heard from him this time next week I'll message him and see what's going on.


Sounds like there will always be problems there and with him.... May be better to try and get out now
a666andy06/07/2020 23:33

Sounds like there will always be problems there and with him.... May be …Sounds like there will always be problems there and with him.... May be better to try and get out now


Easier said than done i think. I've just emailed the estate agents with an update and to also tell them that the flat does not have a EPC. The Energy Performance of Buildings Certificate of Inspection (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 states that “An EPC is required by law when a building is constructed, sold or put up for rent” so the flat should have never been listed in the first place.

The original listing had an EPC on it but I can only presume that was for the top floor flat because that's the only one that actually has one which is extremely misleading and they've active broke the law by making this property available for rent without making sure it had an EPC.

If anything I'm now more disappointed with the estate agents, they clearly didn't carry out the checks properly and didn't check paperwork.
jamiew2306/07/2020 23:50

Easier said than done i think. I've just emailed the estate agents with an …Easier said than done i think. I've just emailed the estate agents with an update and to also tell them that the flat does not have a EPC. The Energy Performance of Buildings Certificate of Inspection (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 states that “An EPC is required by law when a building is constructed, sold or put up for rent” so the flat should have never been listed in the first place.The original listing had an EPC on it but I can only presume that was for the top floor flat because that's the only one that actually has one which is extremely misleading and they've active broke the law by making this property available for rent without making sure it had an EPC.If anything I'm now more disappointed with the estate agents, they clearly didn't carry out the checks properly and didn't check paperwork.


But that gives you an even stronger case for being able to get out of the contract if wanted

I also wouldn't be waiting a week before chasing for a simple extractor swap / fix.

But, it's you and your decision so best of luck
I would just start withholding rent until he fixes everything. Don't let him con you. If he kicks you out then you're happy and also if he doesn't then at least I'd be tried to keep the 800 then at least you've got it back through the not paying. If the landlord isn't giving you dimethyl safe to live then why should you pay? He will not want to take you to court as he will know you would win.
Just be firm and fully explain why.... And keep record of it. Good luck.
jamiew2306/07/2020 23:50

Easier said than done i think. I've just emailed the estate agents with an …Easier said than done i think. I've just emailed the estate agents with an update and to also tell them that the flat does not have a EPC. The Energy Performance of Buildings Certificate of Inspection (England and Wales) Regulations 2007 states that “An EPC is required by law when a building is constructed, sold or put up for rent” so the flat should have never been listed in the first place.The original listing had an EPC on it but I can only presume that was for the top floor flat because that's the only one that actually has one which is extremely misleading and they've active broke the law by making this property available for rent without making sure it had an EPC.If anything I'm now more disappointed with the estate agents, they clearly didn't carry out the checks properly and didn't check paperwork.


If no one bothered to get an EPC, or check for one, then quite likely it could be an 'illegal' let. When was the boiler (if gas) or electric etc checked? I would seriously consider moving out asap and requesting your deposit back and a full refund of all rent paid to date.
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