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Damp Repairs

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680 views 1 replies latest reply: 09 February 2015

We have been living in our privately rented house since October 2010 and not had many problems. The landlord extended the back of the property, putting in a new kitchen and a downstairs toilet in the old kitchen, over the course of 4 months in 2013. We had complained about damp in the bedrooms, especially on the walls around the exterior of the house, and this weekend the landlord came with his handyman to ‘fix’ the damp problem by covering the existing damp patches with insulated plaster board and then plastering over the new plaster board. They didn’t bring any dust sheets and have covered the walls, curtains and carpets in plaster, and they left dust everywhere. My husband asked him what he was planning on doing about the mess he’s left and he said that when he comes to remodel the bathroom later this year (no date yet, but anytime from May onwards) he will get a decorator in to paint the ceilings, walls and put new carpets upstairs. My problem with this is that I’m 7 months pregnant and the baby’s room is in a terrible state, plus my daughters’ room is full of dust, and I’m not happy that we have to live in this mess until he can be bothered to sort it out. When he put the downstairs toilet in he left it roughly plastered and unpainted, so we just painted it to make it look a bit nicer. Does anyone know if we have any rights to ask him to sort the upstairs out before the baby arrives, or do we just have to live with the mess?

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Hi Emma

Your landlord has a responsibility to make sure that they don’t cause other repair problems when carrying out repairs (that includes any damage to ‘internal decorations’) – more info on that here, including what you can do about it. Landlords really take the proverbial when they leave internal decorations in a state for months – I doubt they would be prepared to live in the same situation! However, it’s worth treading carefully so that you don’t give the landlord a reason to give you notice, especially with a baby on the way. 

Although the landlord is probably required to do the internal redecoration what I’m not sure is whether you can put your own personal timetable onto it – probably not. However, it might be worth asking a professional – try one of the UK’s free law centres.

Good luck for the new arrival!


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