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Charliemuppet

Undisclosed environmental issues

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Hi everyone
posting here as a tenant regarding my landlord whom also happens to be my brother.
Myself and my wife have been renting from him for the past twelve years after moving in with our youngest son from very small terraced house in a very rough area.
Immediately we were aware of a dank,fausty smell but put it down to the property being unoccupied for five months and it being the end of winter so set about spring cleaning but the problem never went,even the onset of summer and replacement of rotted floorboards never resolved it,throughout the whole of this tennency as years progressed,it has been an endless cycle of combatting damp and condensation ,wallpaper would never stay on the walls,moisture would leech through and bring it off along with the render,carpets would rot and double glazed panels would fill with condensation with literal puddles on window sills of a morning.
So,to the core of this post,I have purely by chance just discovered a report sent to my brother from the British coal board from the time this property conveyed for purchase stating that the damp proof course was severely damaged/ compromised due to subsidence and would need to be addressed to prevent further issues but it never was,nor was I ever made aware of it.i have had this confirmed by a surveyer who stated the DPC has indeed broken down and has been for a number of years.
It would have been a game changer for us and our growing family but historically whenever challenged ,my brother would always make an excuse or just simply dismiss it from hand and knowing him to be the stickler for detail he is,i am almost certain he was fully aware during the conveyance and completed the purchase regardless.
I would really appreciate any advice or suggestions you guys can offer on this matter as I am so angry and unsure what I should do next.
A point to note is our relationship this past three years has deteriorated to the point we are no longer on speaking terms as this damp issue has significantly worsened.
Thanks so much for reading this
C

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Firstly can I just say that it is recognised that many experienced landlords never rent their property to family and friends as more often then not when problems do arise it can lead to acrimony and the very situation you find yourself in right now with your Brother.

For your situation one option is to move out and presuming you pay your Brother a monthly rental fee it should be quite possible to rent a better property that is totally damp free.

The other option is take this extreme damp issue matter further with the local council housing authorities which will lead to total conflict with your Brother making your current relationship even worse and probable a matter from which there will be no coming back from I would suggest.

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Rent to family or friends , the wont be family or friends for long. My daughter rang last week "Dad I have seen this lovely house , you wouldn't buy it and rent it back to us " ,reply was you are quite right I wouldn't. 

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Hi guys,thank you , really appreciate you taking the time to respond.
We are indeed moving out,I just spent the last year selling off everything I could to raise a deposit ,you guys are spot on,it was dumb to rent from my brother but I'd just left the amy and was so exited about building a future for our growing family and it was within shouting distance of my elderly parents,one of which had ongoing health issues so it was okay by us at the time,as our family grew and my parents became more and more infirm we saw less and less of my brother until three years ago my parents passed and he left me to deal with my late father's estate bills and all,he hasn't offered a penny despite being co executor along with myself,I have just been granted probate after holding out for him to communicate amicably but as you can tell Melboy it's already no longer an option,

I can't help but feel I have been played somehow and for some purpose,there was never anything official/legal about the rental,I paid him a deposit/bond and the tenancy 
Thanks so much again for reading this.
C

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Report the damp conditions to the council.  They can force him to do repairs or leave the property empty by placing a notice on the owner that will prevent him renting to others.

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8 hours ago, Charliemuppet said:

 

But do local authorities pay a vested interest in private rents?

Yes, very much so and they would and should take up your damp complaint if you decided to go down that road.

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5 hours ago, Charliemuppet said:

Thanks for that Melboy,but would that not ultimately lead to litigation,because that's a battle I can't fund

No. The local council environmental /housing officer would deal with the whole matter on your behalf as the landlord ( your Brother) has failed in his duty of care to his tenant(s). Housing officer would issue a compliance work order and a time frame for the damp remedial work to be completed after an inspection of the property. The housing officer will also question you on how you live....  ie do you dry your washing in the radiators or do you keep a window open after showering / bathing etc. and the reason for  asking this question is your damp problem a case on severe condensation.

              If the damp issue is really serious to a degree it is causing severe medical problems to tenants then there would be a closure order on the property until certified work & inspection has been been carried out.

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I agree with Melboy. Contact the environmental officer at your local council. The contact details can normally be found on the council website. They will likely come out with their damp meters etc and then contact your landlord with a list of jobs to do to rectify the problem. The downside for the landlord is once these wheels are in motion they cant kick out the tenant and could be liable for large fines if not complied with.

Just make sure when the council come out your windows are cracked open a little, the heating is on and absolutely no clothes drying in the property.

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Thanks Grampa

We never dried anything indoors,we bought a vented tumble dryer and installed it in the outer building right from the word go and the windows were always on security simply to minimize the constant smell of wet earth

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