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Mouldy blinds

Started by Lottgeorge, June 25, 2022, 07:05:21 AM

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My tenant has emailed photos of the conservatory/kitchen ceiling blinds covered in mould. He is asking for them to be cleaned or replaced and citing allergies and health implications. I lived in the property two years ago and am a very green landlord. I use an agent to manage the property for me. I know the blinds were fine two years ago when I lived in the house and I cleaned them regularly. I suspect the blinds have been folded up since I left and the tenant has let them down this last week when it has been sunny and discovered the mould which has built up over lack of use and cleaning over the last two years,

I have contacted two professional blind cleaning companies who say that the blinds looks irreparable which is infuriating as I could have done something about this had I known earlier.

So my question is what am I obliged to do now? To replace them will cost thousands. It is a 25ft glass roof kitchen/conservatory dining area. Do I suggest the tenants try to clean them to remove the mould.... although they will still look stained and horrible they won't be a health issue? Or do I remove the blinds altogether and leave the roof uncovered from the sun? The room gets the sun until midday so it would be bearable for them. Or is there another option?

Many thanks in advance. :D


Quote from: Lottgeorge on June 25, 2022, 07:05:21 AMI know the blinds were fine two years ago when I lived in the house and I cleaned them regularly.

Take a look at your Check-In report and if their condition is stated as you say you should have no arguments. What you know and what is formally written down (or photographed) are two entirely different things.

If you have no suitable Check-In report then it is your word against the Tenant's and - yes - the Tenant could easily claim they have not been used.. but that leads to the conclusion they were like this at the outset of the tenancy too.

Unless the house has serious problems... things like mould, condensation, damp etc. aren't the responsibility of the Landlord, more likely what we deem "Tenant lifestyle"... like some Tenants dry clothes on radiators and don't allow a property to have enough ventilation... or they heat it too much, or too little... or have long, hot showers in a tiny room with nowhere for the steam to go.

But - for you - the Check-In report should state whatever the condition was when the tenancy commenced.


Many thanks for your reply.

Unfortunately there is no mention of the condition of the blinds in the check in report and on the photos taken in the rental listing the blinds are all retracted so it's impossible for me to prove that they weren't stained then.

Do you mind me asking where I stand with having to get them replaced? I cannot afford to replace them but can I just say to the tenant that I will remove the blinds to prevent any damage to health and they will have to accept the sun in the room in the morning? Or I was thinking I could get them professionally cleaned to remove the mould spores but they will have to put up with the unsightly stained blinds.....?

Many thanks again for your help.


Quote from: Lottgeorge on June 25, 2022, 11:36:14 it's impossible for me to prove that they weren't stained then.

This, therefore, is your answer.

I think it now depends on whether you want to maintain good relations with your Tenant. If you don't care you might try to force the issue to your advantage, either by asking them to foot the bill of replacement or intending to deduct it from their Deposit, but they could easily call your bluff... and, the fact is, you have no evidence.

Or you could suggest removal.
Or you could suggest cleaning as best efforts - you do say this was the request they made.
Or you could attempt an assumptive close by saying - we both know they were fine when the tenancy commenced (!) but as a gesture of goodwill may I suggest we go halves?

There's a line of morality somewhere in all this that you might not want to cross.

Yes, at the moment you are adamant they were fine when under your custodianship... but everyone can be mistaken... and, nevertheless, the Tenant claims they've not been used. Whether they should proactively clean something that they don't ever use (until now) is another interesting debate. Some Landlords might easily say "yes", it's part of the property the Tenant has rented.

Unsightly, stained blinds do not stop the blinds being what they are - blinds. They still function as blinds. That could be pointed-out to assess reaction. What kind of property is it, had you marketed it as "high-end"? If so, Tenants will probably have expectations in-line with that.

I think a hard line here will sour a business relationship... but you might not be especially bothered about that.

And a Landlord should always have a war chest for unforeseen repairs / replacements. What if the boiler went - would you be able to afford that?


Thanks again for your reply - that is extremely helpful. The property is old and not high end and I am reassured by your comments about the blinds still being functional despite unsightly.

I will ask them to clarify whether they used the blinds over the previous two summers and attempt to ascertain what state they were in then. This hasn't happened overnight and could have been prevented if they had reported the mould sooner.

Thanks again