Here is a blog clinic question from Anthony (not his real name):
I am a tenant in a rented flat. Mould has arisen in 1 of my rooms and is now tranfering into my kitchen that is backed onto the wall. The landlord has just come out and inspected the problem and is trying to tell me its a chemical reaction to the paint. I understand paint can sometimes do this but it doesnt transfer around to other rooms and begin spreading.
Before I became the tenant the top floor flat had a water leak and was supposed to be fixed it doesnt look like it was fixed correctly and the patches isnt a reaction at all but water drippin through the insulation.
The landlord has arranged a decorator to come and spit polish it up and is saying I have to fit the bill for the work being done but I havent caused the damage to the property where do I stand on this because I feel as it isnt my right to be paying for damage that hasn’t been caused due to me living there.
Liability for this sort of thing depends on what the cause was. If you did not cause the damage I don’t see how the landlord can expect you to pay for it.
Note that you could consider calling in the local authority Environmental Health department and asking them to do an inspection under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. If they consider that the mould is a category 1 hazard they will require your landlord to do proper repairs.
You don’t say, by the way, whether the upstairs flat is owned by your landlord or not. If it is not owned by him, then it may be difficult to get anything done about the real cause of the problem.