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Housing disrepair: two areas of internal damp

MJV&Co
by MJV&Co

Rising damp

Our client moved into a new home in 2015. Soon afterwards she noticed damp and mould forming in the porch and living room. She tried to clean it, but it got worse and so it was reported to her landlord.

Her landlord sent an agent to carry out an inspection. They claimed it was related to condensation so workmen came and painted over it, but the problem soon returned. It continued to get worse over the next few years.

Our client did the right thing. She continued to report the problems. Her landlord undertook several inspections and kept trying to paint over the affected areas. They tried this numerous times over several years, but, just as it did not work the first time, it did not work the fifth or sixth time.

The problem seemed to stem from the area around the chimney breast in the living room. Our client informed her landlord of this, but they appeared not to listen.

For more information on the requirements for notice see our guide to the subject https://www.mjvlaw.co.uk/legal-news/housing-disrepair-notice/

Expert’s Report

We instructed an expert surveyor to carry out an inspection. He did so and produced a comprehensive report that the landlord had no choice but to agree with.

He found the following issues:

The Cause of the Damp

The damp in the porch was penetrating damp. It had been retro-fitted with a damp proof course that had failed. It was installed above ground level and so was ineffective. It needed to be replaced and the damage caused repaired.

In the living room, the damp proof course around the chimney breast had failed. This was just as our client had suspected.

His report recommended that the plaster and skirting boards be removed and a chemical damp proof course applied. Once the treatment had been completed, the wall needed to be re-plastered, new skirting boards fitted and the room decorated.

The hallway had also fallen into disrepair due to the damp in the porch and hallway. It was recommended that, once the works were complete, the hallway be redecorated at the landlord’s expense.

Repairs

The landlord’s surveyor agreed with our expert’s findings. Her landlord arranged for the works to be completed quickly, as this client was elderly and vulnerable. They were satisfactorily completed and our client’s property was returned to the condition it should always have been in.

Compensation

Our client also accepted an offer of £4,000 in compensation. The problem had persisted for around three years prior to our instruction.

For more information on the way compensation is determined please see our introductory guide at https://www.mjvlaw.co.uk/legal-news/housing-disrepair-compensation/

Your Claim

If you live in a council or housing association property and your landlord has not undertaken repairs when requested, you may have a claim for housing disrepair.

If we are able to assist you, we will do so on a no win no fee basis.

For your free initial consultation, e-mail info@mjvlaw.co.uk or call us on 01253 858231. We can provide you with expert advice at no cost to you unless your claim succeeds.