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housing inspectors re issue with damp flat

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Im not sure if ive posted this in the right forum but im looking for some advice on what i should do next....

 

 

I rent a upstairs flat off the local council housing authority, i lived there a few year and since ive moved in the whole flat has had a massive problem with damp amd mould growing on the walls, on my furniture and its ruined many of mine and my childs clothes.

 

Downstairs where the front door is the wall is constantly soaking wet, the wall blebs and flakes. Ive requested the housing inspector to come out several times, t o which im told its just condensation and to keep the windows open to stop the mould growing, .and theyve turned the dri master in the flat up a few settings to which its made no different.

 

The flat is constantly freezing cold and black , and wet. I dont think the council are making a big enough effort to get to the route of the problem of why the flat is havin these problems, is there anywhere i can go to get my flat inspected anda report givin to the coucil of what repairs should be done to the flat?

Edited by citizenB
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Im not sure if ive posted this in the right forum but im looking for some advice on what i should do next....

I rent a upstairs flat off the local council housing authority, i lived there a few year and since ive moved in the whole flat has had a massive problem with damp amd mould growing on the walls, on my furniture and its ruined many of mine and my childs clothes. Downstairs where the front door is the wall is constantly soaking wet, the wall blebs and flakes. Ive requested the housing inspector to come out several times, t o which im told its just condensation and to keep the windows open to stop the mould growing, .and theyve turned the dri master in the flat up a few settings to which its made no different. The flat is constantly freezing cold and black , and wet. I dont think the council are making a big enough effort to get to the route of the problem of why the flat is havin these problems, is there anywhere i can go to get my flat inspected anda report givin to the coucil of what repairs should be done to the flat?

 

Sounds like condensation, which is usually due to lifestyle (inadequate heating & ventilation). The drimaster should take care of ventilation. Are you using the heating? Are you drying laundry inside the flat? Are there any leaks or other sources of water penetration? You'll need to demonstrate that the condensation is due to a defect with the property or make a formal complaint to the council.

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A solicitor may employ a surveyor on your behalf, if you start legal action against the council.

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Thanks for the replys

I dont dry laundry on the raditors, i use a dryer or hang them outside on a dry day, i have the heating on when its cold, i have a young child that i need to keep warm, i keep all the vents on all the windows open ( which the council advised). Ive followed all the councils advice but it isnt gettin any better. Is there anything else i can try?

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The only other things I can think of are that the drimaster is on the blink, but you did say it had been adjusted and should have been checked then. Water leaks or penetration could introduce moisture, check for dodgy rainwater pipes gutters & roof tiles. Also check internal pipework, washing machine, sink, bath etc for leaks. Good luck.

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The only other things I can think of are that the drimaster is on the blink, but you did say it had been adjusted and should have been checked then. Water leaks or penetration could introduce moisture, check for dodgy rainwater pipes gutters & roof tiles. Also check internal pipework, washing machine, sink, bath etc for leaks. Good luck.

 

Thanks for the advice :)

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Hi

 

I am sorry but IMO the council housing are using the old excuse of condensations it your fault, well if this is your fault then where is their physical evidence to prove that statement. It is just sheer laziness to pass the buck as we dont want to wast money doing a proper investigation.

 

I would contact the councils Enviromental Health Department and request that they visit your property and make sure you insist on a copy of their report.

 

Now when you say upstairs flat what is above your flat i.e. is it then the attic and roof etc?


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http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/repairs_and_bad_conditions

 

If you think the Council are not taking you seriously then contact Shelter - they have an advice department that might be able to advise what you can do.


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Hi

 

I am sorry but IMO the council housing are using the old excuse of condensations it your fault, well if this is your fault then where is their physical evidence to prove that statement. It is just sheer laziness to pass the buck as we dont want to wast money doing a proper investigiation.

 

I would contact the councils Enviromental Health Department and request that they visit your property and make sure you insist on a copy of their report.

 

Now when you say upstairs flat what is above your flat i.e. is it then the attic and roof etc?

 

Yeah theres just the loft and roof above me. The walls at the bottom of the stairs are that wet and damp the paint is literally dripping off the walls even tho it was painted in the summer, thats damp it is.

Would i have to pay for enivornmental health to come do an investigtion?

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Environmental Health are unlikely to inspect as the council are unable to take enforcement action against themselves. I agree with Stu007, there is a tendency by maintenance inspectors to assume that black mould is due to the lifestyle of the occupants (probably because it usually is). However, they should still take it seriously and investigate it properly.

 

The way I see it, you can either go through the councils formal complaints procedure, usually a 3 stage process, after which you can go to the local government ombudsman, if you're still not satisfied. You could go to Shelter for advice or you could find a solicitor who specialises in housing disrepair cases. You could, of course, do all three!

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Hi

 

I have to disagree that the Enviromental health will not investigate council housing you must remember yes it may be council but these are two completely different department that are required to follow legislations.

 

Are other tenants in the other flats in your building having that same issues with damp?

 

If they are why not get together as a Group and complain to council housing as one group this will make them standup and take notice.


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I wonder what action the Council would take against a private LL with similar reported problems?

An FOIA request to Council for number of similar problem reports received, against private vs social housing LLs and action taken, may be 'educational.'

Council must make some response within 21 working days. I believe there is a public website to submit FOI requests where the public can review all correspondance. This infor would then be in public domain.

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Hi

 

I have to disagree that the Enviromental health will not investigate council housing you must remember yes it may be council but these are two completely different department that are required to follow legislations.

 

I don't know how it works in Scotland, but in England, a local authority can not prosecute itself. They will give advice on the health impacts of damp and mould, but most EH departments will not get involved in something where they have no enforcement powers. They are more likely to signpost to someone who can do something.

 

Another thought for OP is to approach her local councillor or MP. It's probably the fastest and most effective way to get action from a council.

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Can environmental health not just do a investigation, hand a report to the council that says what action needs to be done to reslove the issues the flat, that way there not going to keep fobbing me off saying its just condensation. Living in a damp mouldy flat just doesnt seem the right environment for.a.small child to be living in.

I forgot to add on my orginal post that all the rooms with the damp and mould issues have outside walls the only room that doesnt have the problem is the kitchen which the wall is joined to next door, have i explained that right? Ive tried to apply for a warm seal cavity grant but cant get one with it being a council property, the council inspector said the flats got cavity insulation.when he was here

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I would certainly ask the question of your EH department, they may investigate and liaise with the Housing Department to try to resolve the problem. The damp & mould occurring on the outside walls makes sense, as they'll be the coldest surfaces, especially if you have a North facing wall or walls which don't get much sun. The problem is likely to be worse behind furniture, pulling it about 100 - 150mm away from the wall can help.

 

You may be able to confirm if the cavity walls have been insulated because you can sometimes see where they've drilled the walls to inject it. Is your loft insulation up to scratch? I think the current standard is 270mm thickness of mineral wool.

 

This seems like an unusual case, it sounds like you're doing all the right things with regard to heating and laundry and you have a drimaster unit, which is normally very effective at reducing or eliminating condensation. If there are no leaks or water penetration issues, the only other solution would be to line the external walls with membrane and insulated plasterboard. Some houses are just prone to condensation and it can be difficult (and expensive) to resolve. Don't be fobbed off and stick to your guns with the Housing Department. Just because most condensation is due to people only using their heating for a couple of hours a day to dry laundry and never opening a window or using ventilation, it doesn't mean yours is.

 

You haven't mentioned what type/condition your external doors and windows are in. If you have poorly fitting doors and windows, they may need replaced or perhaps some draught excluders fitted. Most councils have their properties up to decent home standards (or better) by now. As Stu007 mentioned, it is worth speaking to some of your neighbours to see if they're having similar problems.

 

Hope this helps.

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Hi

 

@ Keyzer you are actually confusing the OP as I have previous said the Housing Side is completely as they are a "Registered Social Landlord seperate from the enviromental health side and yes they can investigate the councils housing and if necessary issue enforcement action if required so you are incorrect.

 

I also never once refered to scotland and if you had bothered to read this thread fully and the advice given was for england.

 

Therefore as the council housing is a Registered Social Landlord and seperate the enviromental health dept if required can take enforcement action is that is necessary.

Edited by stu007

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@Stu Ok, if I'm wrong, then I'm wrong, but so is the council solicitor & the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. If it's an ALMO or a Housing Association, I would agree with you.

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