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Terrible, terrible, landlords

A tenant with an incurable lung condition he says was caused by mould in his flat has called for greater punishments for councils and landlords that fail to act on “inhumane” living conditions.

In 2021, Max, 38, was diagnosed with sarcoidosis – an autoimmune condition triggered by exposure to certain irritants such as chemicals or fungus – four years after he had moved into a flat riddled with leaks, damp and black mould that was offered to him by Hackney council.

Of course, it’s the council here. So more will be done to penalise private sector landlords.

11 thoughts on “Terrible, terrible, landlords”

  1. Maybe fix the leak, open a window, get a dehumidifier? Was the flat riddled with mould when he moved in? Why did he live there for four years in such conditions? Questions, questions…

  2. “Ventilation of a property is key to healthy living. Condensation mould is mainly an issue in winter. The temperature falls and condensation forms on the coldest surfaces. Left untreated, the spores will spread and can cause illness. While there are effective treatments available on the market (I’m a huge fan of HG Mould Remover), prevention is always better than cure. But we really need to have a national conversation about the benefits of fresh air. It is free and is really good both for humans and the properties they inhabit. Getting a constant airflow into a property means moisture can be dispelled quicker. Simple lifestyle changes such as opening a window a bit, or making sure the extractor fan is working while showering or cooking, can prevent a build-up which can lead to condensation mould forming.”

    Taken from “The Secret Landlord” a monthly column (Telegraph) by an anonymous buy-to-let investor.

  3. Long ago a house I shared had mould in one bedroom, nowhere else. The trouble was that the dim bint refused ever to open the window.

    I pointed out that I never slept with my window completely closed. She declined to believe me. Some people like living in a permanent fug but don’t want to pay the price.

  4. Was the flat riddled with mould when he moved in?
    That’s the first question I’d be asking. My experience, albeit only really in London, is that councils & housing associations don’t let new tenancies go out like that. They don’t have the pressure to. They’re really not much interested in money the same way as the private sector. They’d be quite happy to remove a property from the available housing stock & have it sitting vacant. It reinforces their ever continuing demands for MOAR FUNDING!
    Not saying they’re particularly good at maintenance, repairs & stuff.Their own labour, if they have any, are idle & incompetent. And stuff done on contract is done very much very much as one would expect if the contract managers came out the same pond as the direct labour. But repairs will get done. Leaks fixed. And look at the photo. That guy’s on the 3rd floor of a 5 floor block. If it’s a roof leak the top floor must be like a pond. One notes it’s a double-glazed refit. So it won’t be the condensation went with the original Crittall steel frames. Wonder if that window ventilator’s been blocked? Sounds suspiciously like the case made the news recently. The mould comes from the way the place is being used. LPG gas heaters with no ventilation?

  5. Private tenants would move out of disgusting accommodation.
    Welfare and council tenants can’t, because of how those systems work.
    Those stuck are stuck because our welfare system does that. It keeps the poor downtrodden poor and downtrodden. Bug or feature?

  6. I’ve just spent a few minutes looking at Hackney council blocks. Where they’ve retrofitted with D/G, they’ve generally put in the correct size of ventilator bricks as part of the upgrade. So there’s no reason to think they’ve not done it with his block. It’s required to conform with Buildiing Standards control.

  7. It tends to be the reverse, Swannypol. Private tenants will put up with things because of the difficulty of renting somewhere in the first place. They’re reluctant to trouble the landlord. Once in council property, you’re laughing. Complain as much as you like. The council has a statutory obligation to rehouse.

  8. Also councils have no memories. There’s tenants regularly trash places. They just get given another one to trash. The person handling the case is unlikely to be the same one as last time. And nobody with any sense is going to be wring anything on the files. Good way to a career damaging disciplinary hearing that would, putting on paper something adverse about a tenant. That could go very pear shaped on you, you do it to the wrong tenant.

  9. We had tenants who managed to make our ex home mouldy. The place was far too hot in summer and pleasant in winter. Cross ventilated too.

    They just left windows closed all the time, and let shower steam into the hallway. Hence mould.

    We never had a hint of mould, nor the next tenant.

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