Forum Home Search Login Register
+  Landlord Forum
|-+  General Category
| |-+  Landlord Advice & Help
| | |-+  Two bathrooms. Damp issue in one. Tenants entitled to rent rebate if not fixed?

Two bathrooms. Damp issue in one. Tenants entitled to rent rebate if not fixed?

Pages: [1]
Author Topic: Two bathrooms. Damp issue in one. Tenants entitled to rent rebate if not fixed?  (Read 55 times)
Posts: 2

I like property

« on: February 10, 2020, 02:45:02 PM »

I'm renting a 4-bed Victorian terrace to students, their one year lease expires on 1st August 2020.

In December, damp and mould appeared on the external wall in the basement bathroom, and, to a lesser extent, in the rear basement bedroom adjoining the bathroom. We had a problem in the same areas before, in 2016, and a remedial damp course was provided. However, the damp has returned The builder has exposed the brickwork in the bathroom and found a) water is penetrating from the balcony above, which means structural repairs there b) rising damp which needs major work - basically stripping out the whole bathroom, and improving the drainage at the rear of the property

My longterm plan has always been to subdivide the house into two or three flats, and build a rear extension and roof extension (other houses on the road have done this, so no problems anticipated with approval.) The exterior, generally, needs attention, the last work was done 10 years ago. In view of this and the fact that the basement problems have resurfaced, it's obvious that major work needs to happen sooner rather than later. And that it would be better to bring plans to subdivide and extend the property forward. Extending the property would entail demolishing the problem walls and a new drainage system, so any major remedial work done to these areas would be wasted.

My question is regarding my tenants rights during the remainder of their tenancy (six months.) The property has a second bathroom on the top floor and a toilet on the raised ground floor. So legally, sanitary facilities are present. If only very minimal work is done to rectify the damp patches in the affected bedroom, and the basement bathroom is left in its current state (it's pretty much unusable now as the toilet and part of the tiling around the shower has been removed) should the tenants have a refund, during the remainder of the term, and if so how much?

The builder says the bedroom will be out of use for one week, and I plan to refund 25% of the week's total rent to reflect this. I also plan to provide the tenants with the option to vacate a few weeks earlier, when the academic year ends.

Fixing up the bathroom to the extent that it's fully usable with no damp showing (but not addressing rising damp) would cost in the region of 6k, fully addressing the problem would be double that. I don't believe my insurance would cover the remedial work.

Apologies if I'm providing to much unnecessary information, but I might add that the house is on a large mortgage, and I'll need a loan to fund part of the major work I plan to do.

I'd be grateful for any advice regarding rent rebate due, and whether I'm obliged to fix up the basement bathroom.
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 3333

I like lots of things

« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2020, 03:08:33 PM »

Rent rebate might not be formally, or legally, due... but you are taking the right approach by thinking about it and potentially getting in first with a reasonable and sensible and justifiable offer... before it is asked of you or, worse, demanded of you. That puts you on the back foot. I would make it generous and hope people are reasonable and don't always just ask for more because that's how they are... because, let's face it - even though Tenants (even students) don't actually live inside a Bubble of Immunity when renting, some think that they do. They [can] fail to understand that things break, things go wrong, and it's not always due to the Landlord skimping and saving and not maintaining their property / asset (though there might be a little of that you could accuse yourself of here, if I read things correctly)... but we don't expect things to do wrong, do we? We understand that they do go wrong, but we don't expect it to happen to us. It's sad when that happens.
Posts: 2

I like property

« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2020, 07:54:17 PM »

Thanks for the well-thought out response. Yes, I'd like to do the right thing for everyone, if possible. I'm thinking about a rebate of about 15%, if they're agreeable to forsaking a bathroom.
Pages: [1]