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Damage cause by wood rot, how to complain?

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926 views 2 replies latest reply: 04 January 2016

Hey there, my partner and I are renting for the first time, privatley, and we’re having some problems with our flat.

When we viewed the place we noticed some condensation, but thought nothing of it. After living in the property for a vew weeks, having the heating on, showering ect. a severe amount of wood rot was starting to show on our back door. I made our landlord aware of this immediatley, about 4 months ago. It has taken her until just yesterday to answer maultiple emails and get someone to come sort it out.

The repair guy could put his hand inside the door it was so rotten, but she still opted to repair, obviously no one wants to choose the more costly option.

In these 4 months of waiting we’ve had to buy 2 dehumidifiers at 100+ pounds a go. Obviously they didn’t do much as they were pretty much just sucking in air from outside. We we’re emptying 6L roughly of water from the air every day. My partner has suffered greatly with asthma as a cause of the damp conditions. We have had to get rid of our brand new sofa as the back was covered in damp. Our bed slats are covered in damp and mattress underneath too, the bed feels soaking wet at night.

We pay 750 pounds a month to stay at a flat that is a health hazard, and has/will cost us over 500 pounds to replace our damaged possesions because this wasn’t sorted before we moved in.

How can I approach our landlord, what can I say, to get some kind of compensation for this expensive and dangerous damage? Right now, this flat isn’t at all worth the rent we pay. But I worry that she’ll just kick us out on the streets.

Please help!

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Hi Charlotte

I’m not a lawyer but I imagine you’d claim for these costs as compensation for breach of the landlord’s repair obligations under the tenancy agreement – that means taking her to court. 

Perhaps the first step is to get the local environmental health team from your local authority involved – having their weight behind you would give your claim some standing and they might be able to compel the landlord to take action to fix the issues. You could then write to her (do everything in writing) and set out what your costs have been (the sofa, dehumidifiers, inconvenience) and ask for a reasonable amount as compensation and/or a rent reduction for the rest of the year.

Yes, there is a risk that the landlord will serve you notice once your fixed period is up but it might be better to find somewhere else anyway by the sounds of it. And the good news is that when you sign your next tenancy you’ll be protected against a revenge eviction by new rules that came into force on 1 October this year that means – for tenancies that started on or after 1 oct 2015) landlords can’t evict tenants because they’ve complainted about repairs.

If you want some legal advice you can get it from a local law centre or Citizens Advice.

Hope that helps.





Just thought I would add this here as we are going through the same thing at the moment. Although, as pointed out by Alex above, you may have to find somewhere else. Even with new law, you can still be evicted under s21 notice of posession if landlords wants to do so 🙁

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