Tenants Rights?

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08 Dec 2011 00:00 by jjkelly Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

Hi I am hoping that someone can give me some advice.  A friend of mine is renting a property that suffers with severe damp and mold.  She cannot heat the property as this speeds up the mold growth, not ideal to have no heating as we are now into winter!  She cannot afford to move, and her landlord (whilst being helpful in the past) is offering no help now.  She has lived in the property for I think about 5 years. The condition of the house has also led to considerable damage to her belongings.  Does anyone know what legal rights she has?  In an ideal world we would we would love it if she were entitled to some form of compensation which would afford her to be able to move out of the property and find something new.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as we think its affecting her health.





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08 Dec 2011 21:04 by SMYTHIE Star rating. 145 posts Send private message

 I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY ANYONE WOULD LIVE IN SUCH A PLACE. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT SHE LIVED THERE OF HER OWN FREE WILL SO IT WOULD BE UNLIKELY SHE WOULD GET COMPENSATION. SHOULD SHE REMAIN THERE IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO GET A DE-HUMIDIFIER TO DRY THE PLACE OUT THEN CLEAN THE WALLS WITH BLEACH WHICH SHOULD REMOVE THE MOLD





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08 Dec 2011 21:20 by jjkelly Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

Bleach is being applied on a regular basis, and windows and doors are being left open, and de-humidifier has been used however as soon as any heat applied to the property the mold returns with avengance.  The problems really began after the heavy rains of a few weeks ago, which led to damp patches all over the property(probably due to leaks).

She doesn't choose to live in these conditions, as mentioned in previous post she can not afford to move!  As with a lot of ex pats and Spanish alike she is finding things difficult financially.......these are trying times.





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08 Dec 2011 23:32 by SMYTHIE Star rating. 145 posts Send private message

 then only option return uk go on dole or whatever get money and free home

or do what i did 

get a job even here you can





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09 Dec 2011 07:38 by Jimbofinn Star rating in Chiclana De La Front.... 202 posts Send private message

Jimbofinn´s avatar

 Don't use bleach to remove mould as this only superficially cleans and spreads the mould spoores - thus exacerbating the problem.  Purchase a propriety mould remover (comparitively expensive) and this will help reduce the spread.  I would then suggest keeping the rooms warm, but with plenty of ventilation.  I would also advise against using a portable gas heater as this produces moisture that condensates on cold walls/windows.  Apart from that I see no other way around the problem other than the landlord carrying out repairs or your friend moving.  Incidentally breathing in the spoores of mould over a protracted period can lead to respiritory problems.



_______________________
Regards



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09 Dec 2011 08:18 by Acer Star rating. 1365 posts Send private message

Mould is usually down to poor maintenance, of course, involving water ingress from outside.  Mould also flourishes where there is poor ventilation and inadequate heating.  Some forms of heating can of course make matters worse.  But a good builder should be able to identify the cause.

In the UK the responsibility for the work is noted under the lease.  The standard AST lease which applies in most domestic properties will make the landlord responsible. The only exception would be where he/she can show that the tenant has somehow contributed to the problem, but very unlikely.  But in Spain, who knows.  Others will know considerably more than me, but is not issuing a Denouncia against the landlord an option ?

But first she must establish the facts - get a quote for the remedial work to the building and confront the landlord supported by written comments and a concise but full history of the complaint.  If the landlord refuses I would do the work myself and deduct the cost from the rent.

I do not understand the comment "she cannot afford to move".  Where ever you are in Spain there are empty properties and long term rents are generally a lot cheaper now than a few years ago.

This is a situation that needs immediate decisive action - she cannot afford not to do so.





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09 Dec 2011 10:01 by joanmalaga Star rating in Costa del Sol. 420 posts Send private message

 1. The landlord should have insurance on the property, if it is a real damp problem and not just something caused by bad ventilation and so on the insurance should come in and damproof and repaint the property and so on and they would pay for the damaged property as long as it is still there to show.

2. Hand in notice and find a new place, the landlord can not refuse to refund the deposit, specially not in those circumstances

3. Advise the landlord in writing that they are not conditions that can be lived in and that until the necessary repairs take place the rent will be put into an account and not transfered until they have solved the problem. Furthermore advise that if any health issues arise as they normally do with damp problems that you will hold them responsible.

Hope this helps.

Joan





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09 Dec 2011 22:19 by jjkelly Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

Big thanks to all that have given constructive advice, hugely appreciated!!  I think we are making progress in persuading her to move! 

joanmalaga, Acer,Jimbofinn your advice was appreciated! Many Thanks!!

But to SMYTHIE , please refrain from commenting on threads unless you are offering genuine advice......your comments were somewhat offensive(To assume that she does not work, and to advise her to return to the UK to take advantage of a struggling economy)!! Shame on you!!!!!
 





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10 Dec 2011 11:38 by joanmalaga Star rating in Costa del Sol. 420 posts Send private message

Glad to hear we have been of help to you and your friend, let us know how it all turns out.

Joan





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10 Dec 2011 23:06 by jjkelly Star rating. 11 posts Send private message

I will keep you up to date, joanmalaga.....again big thanks!!  We had an indepentant builder inspect property today and he has confirmed that issues are not with ventilation and are indeed problems with the house,  More good news, on hearing this news Sophie's(my friend) landlord has arranged for a builder to visit property next week to try to remedy problems!  Fingers crossed!!  Thanks again as I think reading these posts has encouraged her to tackle the problems :-)





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12 Dec 2011 07:36 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9298 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

 In the meantime, she should ask for a considerable redcution on rental fees payment



_______________________

Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA

Lawyer

Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria



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