Here is a question to the blog clinic from Andy (not his real name) who is a tenant:
Our landlord wants to withhold some money to pay for redecoration caused by damp and mould.
We told the agent there was a problem and we have made a point of opening the windows every day, as well as heating the house. We have also not dried clothes in the house.
On leaving the house, I paid for the carpet & cooker to be professionally cleaned and have ben told that they are happy with everything except the mould issue.
The house seems to lack adequate ventilation as it was exceedingly hot in the summer and it also had no door between the kitchen and living area which may have allowed moisture from cooking to enter the living room despite us using lids and opening the window when cooking.
The agent has already told us the landlord has requested quotes for new windows and a front door where the majority of the problem was as she thought the seals may have blown, letting in rain etc.
Do you think the issue is our fault and would we have a case at dispute resolution for the portion of deposit the landlord wants to keep?
Damp and mould issues can have several causes – a landlord can only bring a claim against the tenant if the damage is down to the tenant’s use of the property.
And, as is usual in tenancy deposit adjudications, he will have to prove this by evidence.
It looks as if your landlord will have an uphill job here, as you seem to have done everything right.
The blown seals sound to me as if they are due to ‘fair wear and tear’ which is for the landlord to deal with.
So yes, it is definitely worth making a stand and asking for the matter to be referred to adjudication.