Client Awarded £7,500 for Damp and Mould Housing Disrepair Claim

Damp and Mould Housing Disrepair Dispute
 Allaya Hussain
Case by: Allaya Hussain Updated:

Client Living with Damp and Mould for 5 Years

In 2020, AWH Solicitors’ Allaya Hussain was instructed by a client whose property had been suffering from ongoing damp and mould issues since 2015. The ongoing problem had significantly impacted the client’s living conditions, leading to drastic measures such as rearranging living spaces to avoid health risks for her children. Despite the client’s efforts to manage the mould by keeping windows open and regularly cleaning affected areas, the damp and mould remained.

Defendant’s Position

The defendant, the property owner, firmly denied any liability for the damp and mould. They argued that the claimant was at fault for not ventilating and heating the property, adamantly claiming this attributed to the mould growth. This stance was consistently maintained by the defendant, who used tenant-blaming language throughout the dispute.

Expert Involvement and Findings

AWH Solicitors engaged a specialist to conduct multiple assessments, including a thorough condensation assessment. The expert’s reports revealed that the true cause of the damp and mould was not the claimant’s living habits but structural issues related to water ingress. Specifically, the problems were traced to:

  • Deficiencies in the upper balcony
  • Faulty rainwater downpipe
  • Blockages in the waste water hoppers

These findings provided substantial evidence that the damp and mould were due to external factors beyond the claimant’s control.

Resolution Process

Utilising the Ombudsman’s Spotlight report and an open letter directed at landlords, AWH’s Allaya Hussain presented a strong case for the defendant’s liability. This advocacy, backed by expert evidence, highlighted the defendant’s responsibility to address and fix the structural issues causing the damp and mould.

Outcome of the Damp and Mould Dispute

After a period of negotiations, the defendant accepted the claims. They agreed to undertake comprehensive repairs, including:

  • Addressing the water ingress from the upper balcony
  • Repairing the rainwater downpipe
  • Clearing the blocked waste water hoppers

The defendant originally stated they would carry out one more mould wash and would not continue to do so,  inferring that this was the last time they would aid the client. Allaya Hussain recognised this was an unreasonable statement after some negotiation, managed to get the defendant to change their stance.

Additionally, the defendant committed to redecorating the affected areas within 120 days. Finally, to ensure the efficacy of these repairs, a post-works inspection was scheduled. Moreover, the claimant was awarded £7,500 in compensation. The compensations addresses the prolonged distress and inconvenience caused by the damp and mould issues.

Conclusion

This case underscores the importance of expert assessments in disputes involving property conditions. It also highlights the role of expert legal representation in overcoming tenant-blaming narratives to secure fair outcomes for clients.