is this unreasonable to ask a tenant to do this.

(93 Posts)
MrsBucketxx Tue 22-Jan-13 08:48:16

Our last tenant didn't air the house leaving us with a big bill from a damp specialist to fix the damp caused by not opening windows etc.

The house is now vacant while we fix this, we want to put a clause in the next tenancy agreement to make sure the house is aired,

Is this being unreasonable , would it bother you when renting.

I dont want another massive job on my hands.

TheFallenNinja Tue 22-Jan-13 09:03:44

It depends on what you want done and how often you want it done really.

I've rented places with lists of things that must be done due to prior tenants misdeeds and frankly found a lot of them to be unreasonable and in some cases intrusive.

What do you have in mind?

biryani Tue 22-Jan-13 09:08:09

I think you're being reasonable, particularly in light of the problems you''ve had. Perhaps you should also add in some additional property inspections too-not sure how you'd moni tor it otherwise.

jojane Tue 22-Jan-13 09:11:37

Not really sure you can force
People
To keep their windows open, can you install extractors or vents especially in the bathroom and kitchen.

My friend was a tenant like you've just had - never opened the windows, ever! Things got so bad that the wooden front door swelled shut, it was terrible

I wouldn't have a problem with having that as a clause in it, you're only looking after your interests, and damp/mould is no good for anyone!

bonzo77 Tue 22-Jan-13 09:13:49

Not sure really. We rarely air our house and have no damp problem. I think you need to address the cause of the damp, eg provide a properly vented tumble dryer, extractor fans in bathrooms and kitchen and dehumidifiers if required. I don't think you can demand the flat is aired, though you can tell tenants of the previous problem, agree a report on the current condition of the property and charge for damage caused by tenants.

expatinscotland Tue 22-Jan-13 09:15:19

Some people run the heater rather than air the place in winter.

MrsBucketxx Tue 22-Jan-13 09:25:51

We are instaloing extractors as part of the damp dudes job. I lived there for three years and never had a problem

Just maybe if they see there is an issue, with condensation etc, open the windows for a bit

MrsBucketxx Tue 22-Jan-13 09:27:20

Its an old house with no wall cavities, when the damp company came they said the damp is not comming from outside only from not airing the home to stop extra moisture.

MrsBucketxx Tue 22-Jan-13 09:29:02

We can't keep the deposit if she wasnt aware of the issue in the first place can we?

She thinks its all our fault, I am just glad I can get in to fix it.

ethelb Tue 22-Jan-13 09:34:03

I lived in v damp houses and would have been furious if the landlord tried to pin the damage that caused on me.

You need to instlal proper ventilation and give them a tumble dryer. Do they have a tumble dryer? Are the windows easy to open?

"agree a report on the current condition of the property and charge for damage caused by tenants."

You can't do that as it would be impossible to prove. Deposits aren't there to cover normal wear and tear.

MrsBucketxx Tue 22-Jan-13 09:37:23

There is an intergrated dryer there. Windows are 5 years old and very easy to open, if she had told us before asking to leave we would have fixed it but nothing was said.

notcitrus Tue 22-Jan-13 09:42:07

If there is appropriate means for airing, so wouldn't mean leaving the door open or a window at night that someone could easily get in, then I think you're reasonable. I've rented places that say for example you have to run the extractor fan after a shower.

I had a nightmare tenant once who reported me to the Environmental Health because the flat got so damp and mouldy. The inspector soon realised that there was a huge extractor fan that she wasn't using, and accepted that four-hour showers were something that it couldn't be.expected to cope with anyway.

specialsubject Tue 22-Jan-13 09:48:53

four-hour showers? Jeez.

all you can do is to provide the facilities. Extractor fans that come on when the shower does and cannot be turned off, a cooker hood that vents to the outside, vented tumble dryer and outside drying space.

we also had a clause that the place must be heated to 15C between Nov and March, primarily to avoid burst pipes. No way of monitoring it but didn't get any burst pipes.

there's no defence against an idiot. Three monthly inspections are all you can do - no-one should object to these as they are to make sure all is working and to protect your property. Many tenants ignore leaks, dripping overflows, dripping taps etc, these are for the landlord to fix but it can't be done unless someone notices.

wonkylegs Tue 22-Jan-13 09:51:51

I don't think you can blame tenants unless they are actively doing damage. What are you doing to make sure the fabric of the building is doing the job properly, which it sounds like it isn't. If you aren't replacing windows can you retrofit vents like these m.handlestore.com/category/Window-Vents/0/
Is the roof properly ventilated does it need extra vents added?
Are there sufficient airbricks and are they clear? Are you sure there are no underfloor or behind plasterwork leaks that are contributing to excessive moisture within the house. This is not alway obvious until significant damage is done.
Is there adequate extract ventilation in bathrooms, kitchens and utility spaces, does it come on automatically and does it run for long enough
There should be enough background airchanges that opening the windows isn't needed on a day to day basis just on exceptional days, if this isn't the case then I think you need to look at a ventilation solution that doesn't rely on people otherwise this problem will keep reoccurring.

Cosmosim Tue 22-Jan-13 09:53:49

Every tenancy contract I've signed had a condensation / damp clause that it is the tenants' responsibility to air out the house and if damages occur because the tenant does not take any steps, it is tenants' responsibility to fix those damages and return the property to same state as it was at start of tenancy. This doesn't include rising damp, leaky gutters which cause damp on inside walls, leaky pipes etc. But absolutely if I as tenant refuse to air out the place and dry my washing and towels on radiators, then cause mould on walls, carpets, kitchen units - yup, I'm liable. Most tenants never want to admit it is due to condensation and always assume something is faulty with the property. That said, what on earth is a damp specialist?! Sounds like you just made your property more airtight which in turn will cause more mould if windows aren't open.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 22-Jan-13 09:57:39

I think you need to look at the stucture of the house. No house should need the windows open to ventilate it.

Venyilation bricks...trickle vents...you need to look at the house not the tenants

BitOutOfPractice Tue 22-Jan-13 09:58:50

Or, what wonkylegs said, much better than me grin

BrittaPerry Tue 22-Jan-13 10:01:01

I would be a bi bemused by a tenancy that didn't let me dry my washing on the radiator, especially if it was one that also didn't allow me to ceiling mount a drying rack. I would expect a house to be able to cope with that, or else how would washing get dry? Windows can't be left open in winter, if it is warm enough for open windows, it is warm enough for the washing line.

Hullygully Tue 22-Jan-13 10:03:37

Of course it's reasonable to say Please don't let the house becaome a stinking mould fest you hopeless slatterns. <bitter>

BrittaPerry Tue 22-Jan-13 10:04:17

Ime, damp is a common problem amongst me and my friends who rent. Very much more so with landlords who have attitude problems and don't do other repairs either. Get rich quick types.

MrsBucketxx Tue 22-Jan-13 10:07:06

The house is 120 years old, it never had airbricks to start with its structually sound no blocked gutters, no roofing issues, surveyor and damp company said the same thing, its from inside not out.

The windows already have vents there not being used.

My house is fine, the tenant caused tjis but we can't take action as is v v diff icalt to prove.

As most people seem to think that damp is caused by the house itself. And not drying clothes, cooking, etc.

MrsBucketxx Tue 22-Jan-13 10:08:00

I do do repairs, if I'm not informed, how can I fix this?

dappleton Tue 22-Jan-13 10:08:04

I lived in rental accommodation with clauses such as 'keeping the flat ventilated is tenants responsibility'. I also rent out a flat and a house with these terms and as both a tenant and landlord I think they are reasonable.
As wonkeylegs said, it's not the tenants fault if the property has a damp problem but it is their fault if they are allowing huge amounts of condensation to build up unnecessarily. I think tenants should be expected to use extractor fans provided, open windows when and where possible and not do things such as string up drying laundry indoors unless there is a window open or extractor fan on.

MrsBucketxx Tue 22-Jan-13 10:08:54

You can use the dryer for clothes.

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