Rising Damp, Black Mold & MS.
Rising Damp, Black Mold & MS are on my mind.
I live in a rented property and I have black mold on my walls which have ruined my furniture and furnishings all the landlord has said for years now, is “wash it down with bleach and re-paint it” and that he would pay for the paint.
Now I know what his argument is going to be if I ever try to bring this up again and that is because of my OCD he was not able to fix the rising dampness properly.
In my defense, my OCD is up and down from day to day so even if I was having a bad day I would work around workmen. My OCD does not define me and I can work around it in my home. It did not stop me last December with the numerous amount of people that entered my property to fix the ‘hot zone’ in the kitchen over the installation of a cooker I had bought. So his argument can be counter-argued.
Rising damp has to be treated properly and needs a qualified builder to take on the job not some cowboy building contractor which I have met a few over the years.
Rising Damp and Black Mould can have adverse effects on your health especially if you fit into the following categories:
- babies and children
- elderly people
- those with existing skin problems, such as eczema
- those with respiratory problems, such as allergies and asthma
- those with a weakened immune system, such as those having chemotherapy (this is something my daughter has and has been treated with).
These people should stay away from dampness and mold.
Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause an allergic toxic reaction), irritants, and, sometimes, toxic substances. Inhaling or touching mold spores may cause an allergic reaction, such as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes, skin rash, or even death. Molds can also cause asthma attacks and MS. Mold (black) can be deadly and a sign of a house that is lacking ventilation, not only would it be bad for MS but general health.BrainResearchBulletinArticle-MS
Now you have to weigh out all the pros and cons when complaining.
Landlords are bound by Government legislation to conform to the laws set out.
If a Landlord is found to be doing things, not by the book he can be fined and even face a custodial sentence, hence if you complain about your landlord you have to also think about the domino effect.
The landlord is no longer going to be favorable towards you and will slap you an eviction notice at his first opportunity once the dust has settled so to speak. He will just claim he is no longer renting out the property and unless you have £££££s of pounds in the bank you could find you are kicked out on your ear with nowhere to go.
For me personally, I am going to move the first opportunity I have and then report him and not a moment sooner.
I know that the mold could have been a contributing factor to my daughter’s ill health and when I do move my landlord will reap the consequences.
The guidelines to keeping moisture at bay are to keep your home warm and have good ventilation, which I do and have the central heating on 24/7 in the colder months, and have an extractor fan. They also say open windows when you cook or in the bath as the steam needs to escape. This is not ideal in freezing cold temperatures during the winter months and extractor fans are the better option.
Mold and dampness are caused by excess moisture. Moisture in buildings can be caused by leaking pipes (I believe to have leaking pipes as my combi boiler cuts out every two hours or so and I have checked why that could be happening and it could be because of a leaking pipe, not only that, one of my kitchen radiators was leaking water so I have turned it off completely. Rising damp normally starts in basements or ground floors, or rain seeping in because of damage to the roof or around window frames. (Well my window frames are rotting and are single glazed so that could be another contributing factor).
Some dampness can be caused by condensation. This can lead to a growth in the mold that appears as a cloud of little black dots.
Condensation occurs when moist air comes into contact with a colder surface like a wall, window, mirror, etc. The air can’t hold the moisture and tiny drops of water appear. It also occurs in places the air is still, like the corners of rooms, behind furniture, or inside wardrobes. (This is particularly true as my Italian Furniture is ruined and have photographic evidence of this).
‘Rising damp’ is due to a defective (or non-existent) damp course. This will leave a ‘tide mark’ about a metre above the floor. Fixing rising damp is a job for a qualified builder.
Do consider the consequences of complaining about your landlord and even though he cannot serve you an eviction notice willy nilly, as it is illegal to do so, he can bide his time, and once your contract is up for renewal simply say he is no longer renting out the property and will give you notice to leave. He could use a number of reasons why he does not want to rent out the property any longer and the only thing you can do is claim compensation for damages due to ill health and damaged property as in the case of my furniture. Also, you have to weigh out the length of time this will take to be dragged through the courts and is it in your best interest to start something knowing there are consequences in every action we take.
Remember there are numerous ways to skin a cat (metaphorically speaking) and get around things and if he no longer wants you, he will find a way, even waiting for your contract to end to serve you notice. He can easily just keep the property empty for a few months and in most cases as I have witnessed with the numerous tenants over the years below me, he waits until they have moved out before refurbishing leaving the properties empty for a few months.
Do have a ‘Plan B‘ ready for when the landlord says he will no longer be renewing your contract. Do save some money, including deposit and rent for the next property and removal costs as well as buying furniture, etc, etc…..
For me personally speaking, I will bide my own time and when the time is right have all my guns blazing. No one should live in substandard conditions and you do have rights but always do your research first before taking action and always have a ‘Plan B’.
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