Here is a question to the blog clinic from Pav who is a tenant
I move into house and after 2 weeks mould and damp was showing on the wall in all house.
I contact agency they say the landlord know about it and is major repair to be done & he would just keep it clean and painting over the mould.
I stay in the house for next 6 weeks but the conditions of mould was extreme my 3 years old son get sick our clothes and furniture’s get mouldy so I decide to move out of the house 4 month’s earlier before my contract finish.
Now I have problem to get my deposit back also I lost the £420 what I paid to agency before I moved in. I was there only 2 months instead 6 months due to unhealthy condition of living.
Any advise how can I get my deposit back and compensation for all lost I paid £1875 for rent and I was there just over 2 months.
Unfortunately, the law does not treat people in your position well.
There have been attempts to change the law to give more rights to tenants who find that the properties they have moved to are unhealthy and in poor repair, and who want to move out, but this has not happened yet.
If you had stayed in occupation you could have contacted your Local Authority and asked them to do a Housing Health and Safety Rating System inspection but this generally takes a long time – and your son was getting sick. So it was entirely understandable that you decided to move out.
The only thing I can think of is the tenant’s right to ‘rewind’ the tenancy under the Consumer Rights Act 2013 and claim compensation. (But iff anyone has any other suggestions please leave a comment).
This is the right for a tenant to end the tenancy and recover money paid if they have entered into the tenancy as a result of misleading information or an aggressive practice.
In this case, it looks as if the landlord was aware of the condition of the property and did not tell you. In which case you should have the right to ‘redress’ under the law.
However, you need to take action fairly quickly as there are time limits.*
You need to write to the landlord, setting out the misleading action which induced you to take the tenancy in the first place. This will be the fact that the landlord’s agent did not tell you about the fact that the property needed major repair work and as a result was subject to this damp and mould.
- If you sent such a letter during the first month of the tenancy then (assuming, in court proceedings, that the Judge accepts that a misleading action or aggressive practice played a significant part in your decision to sign up to the tenancy) you would be entitled to a full refund of all the money you paid out.
- If you sent the letter in less than 90 days but more than one month after the tenancy start date, then you would still be entitled to a refund but the amount you receive will be calculated by the Judge.
Bringing a claim
You would need to claim the money through the courts and so you should find someone who can help you with this. For example:
- A Shelter office – see here
- A Law Center – see here
- A CAB Office – see here (but warn them before your visit that you have a housing issue as not all of their staff can deal with this sort of thing)
You will find further sources of help here.
Note also that your son may have a claim against your landlord for personal injury – all of the organisations above would be able to help you with that too.
* As with all blog clinic questions, this question was actually sent several months ago (questions are answered in strict rotation and there are many questions submitted so there is always a big delay – unless you use the fast track).
The picture is for illustration only and is not a picture of the property in question.