How Can I Get the Landlord to Fix this?

Discussion in 'Plumbers' Talk' started by Claudia Thompson, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. Claudia Thompson

    Claudia Thompson New Member

    Hello Everybody,

    Ever since I moved to this house in Feburary of this year, there has been a problem with the bathroom putting out a strange odor about the time when I am just about done taking a shower. It begins with a sort of chemical type of an odor and then morphs into some other kind of odor, more like a bacteria type thing, I guess. It's hard to describe. I end up having to close my bathroom door for a couple of hours afterwards and put a towel across the bottom of the door so that I don't have to smell it when it is like that.

    And then, in addition to this, there is this little sort of dividing wall between the toilet and the bathroom sink. It started with the side the toilet is on, on the left, and at the bottom, the paint is wearing away and has black mold-looking stuff there too. Now on the other side of the wall, it is doing the same thing where the bathroom sink is.... and I noticed behind the pipes of the sink along the wall, it is wearing away the paint and black stuff too.

    Now I smelled something in the kitchen on the other side of the bathroom wall, and I looked in the kitchen cabinets and down on the bottom shelf right about where the bathroom sink would be on the other side of it, I noticed black mold forming.

    Whenever I try to get something done about any of these things, I always get them telling me that its just dampness in the room from having a shower or whatever.

    Does anyone know what I can do about this? In a few days some sort of "Dampness Inspector" is supposed to be coming out again because I complained about it, but I am just afraid they are going to give me all the same excuses. The first time an Inspector came out he literally told me there was some sort of stop tap behind the wall that is behind the toilet and they don't want to have to spend alot of money opening up the wall and fixing it. He was claiming that because the sink taps would make a koud jerking noise every time I would turn them on and off. But the Water Company fixed a stop tap outside and that stopped the noise. The entire problems with the shower putting off an odor when I take a shower and the toilet and sink walls are still there and getting worse.

    I know nothing about plumbing but to me it seems obvious that the pipes inside the walls must be leaking. When I first moved in the bathtub was leaking on the other side of the wall in the hallway from where the bathtub is. Finally after coming out like 3 different times they fixed that at least. I told them I wouldn't be able to put in carpeting if they didn't fix it. The Boiler closet was leaking all over the floor, and the hall Radiator was leaking all over the floor too. They finally fixed the boiler and radiator leak.

    But it seems like they will keep on just making excuses about the toilet and sink and shower problems, and now the kitchen cabinets as well. It is kind of obvious, the kitchen cabinets smell like mold. I have breathing problems and I am definitely not looking forward to this becoming any worse than it already is now. I am almost sure that they will just claim it is dampness in the bathroom from using the shower or the sink, like as that its coming from outside the walls rather than inside. Can anyone help me with this please?
  2. terrymac

    terrymac Screwfix Select

    Sounds like you are renting from a landlord who doesn't really care much about his property. My advice is you should move and not waste your time banging your head against a brick wall.
    Its not good for your health to stay there.
    The Teach, just pumps and Heat like this.
  3. Tony Goddard

    Tony Goddard Well-Known Member

    Damp is one ingredient needed for mould growth, as is still air and darkness - alas it is all too common in houses, make sure you alow plenty of air to circulate and open blinds etc.
    Unfortunately the mould can occour even where there is no curable/notable damp ingress, condensation on walls from temperature changes is all that is needed.
    There is a rather pungent but effective product called HG mould spray that is good at removing the black stain and repainting with paint mixed with an inhibitor such as Kair mould inhibiting pain additive prevents its return for a good length of time.
    Ultraviolet light and fresh dry air, ie bright daylight is the ultimate enemy of mould and fungi.
    Heat likes this.
  4. Heat

    Heat Screwfix Select

    Firstly take plenty of photos of all the plumbing, shower tray, shower doors etc, plus take plenty of where mould is.
    Post some of them on here.
    As above post, then use some mould remover. Even bleach diluted in water will remove mould, but take care as you don’t want it on your skin or near your eyes, especially if you use a spray.
  5. Muzungu

    Muzungu Screwfix Select

    What sort of extraction do you have in the bathroom, is it just a window or is there a extractor? Sounds as though the landlord should be sorting this out as others have said;, short sighted not to look after both his\her property and tenant.
    Heat likes this.
  6. MGW

    MGW Screwfix Select

    [​IMG] Mold looking stuff, or were you talking about mould? It can be that under floor boards things are rotting away, so it is in his interest to fix them, but on the other hand if he decides major work is required he could decide the home is uninhabitable and your left finding another home.

    It's some thing only you can decide on, how much to push, it is the land lords job to fix, but in this house the beams were rotten under the shower, since I own it, it was up to me, but if I was renting it out, to cover my self, I would have needed to remove tenants while it was repaired. As to if for the day or week repair done or if could not get tradesmen to fix straight away could be month or two. Then looking at security, having tradesmen in the house two things, they could steal things, but more of a problem be accused of stealing something that is simply misplaced. So safe way is remove tenants until repaired.

    But end of the day waving a big stick does not work, you need to use some diplomacy.
  7. Claudia Thompson

    Claudia Thompson New Member

    I really appreciate all of your replies. I don't have one of those types of mobile phones with camera/ picture-taking capabilites, only have a cheap one. I can't move out, because of my situation. I am working on trying to see if maybe one of my neighbors can help me with that.

    Using diplomacy isn't really something that I excel at, but I will try to do that. It's just that all these things have been this way for the last 6 months, ever since I moved here, and it is really frustrating. It seems that their answer to everything is to claim that "it's condensation".

    Today I looked again at the bottom shelf of my kitchen cabinets and to my surprise, after removing all my stuff from under there, the entire back panel of it has got black mold on it. I had no idea till now.

    They called yesterday afternoon and told me that the Dampness Inspector was going to come out on August 22, just day after tomorrow. So I am going to leave the mold there so they can see it, I guess.

    I mean, what can you do if they just always claim its condensation?
  8. The Teach

    The Teach Screwfix Select

    sounds like a long distance wind up,not seen any photos or other important material.

    MGW has the idea sorted out :D
  9. Heat

    Heat Screwfix Select

    “Mold” is American word for the British word Mould.
    Also noticed that “Neighbors” is used instead of neighbours.
    I deduce the OP is American :rolleyes:
  10. Claudia Thompson

    Claudia Thompson New Member

    Yes, I am an American who moved to the UK. I had to look up what "Wind up" means.
    "A wind-up is a joke or trick in which someone deliberately tells you something untrue in order to annoy you. [British, informal]"

    Then the other person says something about me being an American and does the face with the "rolling eyes" bit.

    So, I take it I am not welcome here. I honestly do not understand why people like this are even on Forums like these... if not here to help people, but instead here apparently to pass judgments upon the people who come here to ask questions. I had already said that I only have a cheap mobile phone with no picture-taking capabilities. Not everybody has alot of money, I have disabilities and am on Benefits so I don't have enough to spare and that's why I cannot just jump up and move out to another house when and if I feel like it. I am living in a house that is rented out by a Housing Association.

    All I really was hoping to find out is, How do you know the difference between dampness that is coming from inside the walls (such as leaking pipes), as opposed to dampness that is coming from outside the walls, such as condensation, so that I would know what to say to the person they are sending to my house day after tomorrow to Inspect it. Because, inevitably, they are going to claim that it is only condensation.

    To me, this seems more like a Kangaroo Court with some of you. But I suppose people like you imagine that it impresses everyone to treat others this way, so I have a good time doing that here, I guess... if it makes you feel better about yourselves. At any rate, I really don't need this, so Good-bye.

  11. Claudia Thompson

    Claudia Thompson New Member

    I forgot to say that about 9 hours or so ago, I received an email from Christina Rees, the MP for this area that I am in, and she said:

    "Thank you for your email. I am sorry to read about the issues you are having with ___________ (the Housing Association I am irenting from)

    I will gladly write to them and raise the issues you have written to me about. I will ask that they respond to the points you have raised and ask that they confirm which repairs they will be doing and when. I will ask that they delay no further and get started. If they have reasons for not completing all the work you have described, I will ask that they provide me with a written explanation as to why they do not believe the work should be done."

    And so hopefully, even if I am unable to counter whatever the Inspector says to me, then I can still have this MP to help me out.
    Anyway, thanks to those who were trying to help me.
    Heat likes this.
  12. Heat

    Heat Screwfix Select

    Calm down. Most of us didn’t say this thread was a wind up. (Although this forum has unfortunately a regular Troll causing trouble, so we are always suspicious of some new members threads).
    I also didn’t use “ face with rolling eyes”. It was a gazing upwards at my post face just to set a nice tone to show I was noticing the American terms, as probably another person had.
    You are very welcome as an American. No insults to you were ever made by me.
  13. Mr John Melvin

    Mr John Melvin Active Member

    Hi Claudia,

    Like Heat says Calm down.
    We are not really a bad bunch on this little island.
    I am in Newcastle on Tyne that quite near to Scotland.
    Know as Geordies.
    We get the "mick" taken because of our accent.
    We just ignore it.
    But dont lose our temper .well not very often Ok.
    I just say I will notify the Geordie Mafia and that will sort it.

    Just ignore the rather naughty guys I am sure you have some USA
    quicks to get back at them,
    So do it and feel better,
    But SMILE girl ok.

    Johnny M
    Heat likes this.
  14. Claudia Thompson

    Claudia Thompson New Member

    I know, that's why I said, "thanks to those who were trying to help me."

    Actually, at this point, though, probably I am not going to be able to get any pictures up here by tomorrow, and the Inspector person whill come the next day, so I don't know if anyone could help me anyway. But if I do get pictures even after that I will put them up here for you. I know my one Neighbor who came to introduce himself a couple of weeks ago doesn't have a camera because I'd already asked him. I showed him today when he came over, the way the wall was showing "buckling" type marks on the other side of the little wall between the toilet and the sink, and then I showed him the mold all the way across the bottom shelf in the kitchen on the adjoining wall to the bathroom and he said he definitely thinks it is water leaking from inside the wall. But of course he isn't a plumber though.

    I showed him the Patio in the back yard too the other day and how the pipe coming down from the roof where the rain water goes down isn't even properly reaching to the drain pipe below on the pavement and its like flooding down there. Or at least it always appears to be about to. The one plumber who came out awhile back, he told me the pavement has sunken down into the mud and that is what made it all start cracking and then the rain goes down into the mud and it makes the pavement go down further and further. So some guys came to "fix " it the other day and now it is actually worse, because they didn't even fix the pipe, they have somr sort of excuse for not fixing it, so now the water that comes when it rains doesn't even have anyplace to go, it just raises higher and higher where the pavement is until it finaly rises up to where the drain pipe is then it finally starts going down into the drain but it doesn't look like it is going to go down the drain fast enough before the water comes into the house and to be honest it is kind of freaking me out since its been raining so much here lately. I live in a hilly area in like a valley. And on the back side of the house when I moved here in February, before they put in carpeting for me, the cement floors on that side of the house... the dust smelled kind of like rancid or something. The Lettings Officer told me to make sure to get home insurance. like for all my possessions, and now I am starting to think that's why he said that to me. Anyway I have told all of this in a message to my MP (Member of Parliament) the other day and I don't know if she will be able to help me but I am hoping that she will. My Neighbor said he would be like a Witness for me to the fact that when he saw it raining really hard when he was visiting me and I showed it to him, that the water bypasses the drain altogether and it turns into a big pool of water down there on the cracked pavement. They cemented over some of it, and like I said it ended up making things worse.

    Sorry this message as so long but its all just really frustrating for me.

    Thanks for trying to help me I really do appreciate it :) and sorry I misinterpreted the face thing to be a "rolling eyes one".... I just jumped to conclusions and shouldn't have.
    Heat likes this.
  15. Heat

    Heat Screwfix Select

    Glad you and me are still friends Claudia. :)
    All you can do is get as much evidence of the mould and dampness and also hopefully have someone investigate it.
    Plus keep fighting your corner, but in a nice manner with landlord and everyone.
    If you can get someone to take some photos and post them on here, it would be good
  16. Claudia Thompson

    Claudia Thompson New Member

    Thank you, Johnny. Your comment made me smile already. I guess I have just been in a bad mood lately :)
    Heat likes this.
  17. Claudia Thompson

    Claudia Thompson New Member

    Thanks Heat.

    Hopefully I will be able to find someone around here with a mobile phone who can take pictures. I did ask one of the repair guys here who came recently to put up new fences in the neighborhood for all the people who are with the same Housing Association as I am with to take a video of the water back in the patio and he did and I had asked him to send it to the Inspector lady who had come out here. So hopefully he did do that for me, send it to her, I mean. But that was before they supposedly fixed it, and they cemented over some of the cracks on the patio pavement since then and it just got worse since they didn't fix the downpipe or whatever you call it that comes from the roof. So really, now I need a new video of that when it rains plus photos of the bathroom walls, now with the sink wall and the kitchen wall. They did take a picture of the wall on the toilet side of it before but not since the new developments with the sink and the kitchen cabinets.
  18. Claudia Thompson

    Claudia Thompson New Member

    I forgot to say that I am living in Wales.
  19. ecoplumbing

    ecoplumbing Active Member

    Is there any extraction fans in the property? Obviously the house sounds like it needs inspecting for leaks internal and external (guttering/roof/drains etc) but if the damp is purely down to condensation then it would be a good idea to have an extractor fan in the bathroom and possibly one in the kitchen . You can install low wattage fans that run silently 24h a day so any moisture will be removed. Something your landlord should definitely pay for. He would be daft not to. Damp,if left csn cause hundreds of pounds of damage so it would benefit him as well as yourself
  20. Claudia Thompson

    Claudia Thompson New Member

    Yes there are extraction fans in both the bathroom and in the kitchen as well.

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