help with landlord?

Hi all

Was diagnosed with adult onset asthma about 18 months ago.

I'm usually fine and symptom free in the summer months, but as soon as the damp cold weather starts the problems start and are quite bad.

I live in housing association housing which is cold, damp, and is plagued with black mold which reappears after treatment. I have tried to get the housing to sort out the damp/mold on numerous occasions but they do nothing. I've even made formal complaints with doctors note!

I am convinced these conditions are the triggers for my asthma, as within hours of leaving the house and being in work my symptoms get much better.

What is my best way of dealing with the housing???

5 Replies

  • Can your GP refer you for allergy tests? It might help if you can go to the housing association with proof that your living conditions are making you ill.

  • Go to your local environmental health department and speak to someone in housing they will come out and do a Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) asssessment to determine if there are any category 1 or 2 hazards present. If there are category 1 hazards present they can enforce changes to be made. If category 2 hazards are present then advisory notices are given and it is optional for the housing association to take up this advice.

    Things you can do for yourself:

    Firstly, treat or remove any mould you may have in your home, and then deal with the basic problem of condensation. If this is done, mould should not reappear. To kill and remove mould, wipe down the affected surfaces with fungicidal wash which carries a Health and Safety executive approval number. Follow all the instructions. Dry clean mildewed clothes and shampoo carpets. Disturbing

    mould by vacuuming it can increase the risk of respiratory problems. You can also purchase fungicidal paint to help.

    To avoid condensation:

    1. Produce less moisture.

    • Use lids on pans and do not leave the kettle boiling.

    • Avoid using paraffin and portable flueless bottle gas heater - as they put excess moisture into the air.

    • If you have to dry washing inside, then dry it in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open or an extractor fan on.

    • Vent tumble dryers to the outside air, unless they are the self condensing type. You can purchase DIY vent kits for this.

    2. Ventilate to remove moisture.

    • Keep a small window ajar, ventilator open or a fan on when someone is in a room.

    • Ventilate kitchens and bathrooms when in use by opening windows wider, or use a heat recovery humidity controlled fan (they will come on automatically when the air is humid while

    retaining the heat in the room).

    • Close kitchen and bathroom doors, even if there is an extractor fan. This will prevent excess moisture reaching other rooms – particularly bedrooms, which tend to be colder and more likely

    to get condensation.

    • Ventilate cupboards and wardrobes –avoid over filling them as this will stop the air circulating. Cut a ventilation slot in the back of each shelf or use slatted shelves. Breather holes can be cut into doors and in the back of wardrobes. Try to position furniture such as wardrobes on internal walls.

    • If windows are replaced, make sure that they have trickle ventilators incorporated.

    3. Insulate, draught proof and heat your home.

    • Insulate your loft. Remember to draught proof the loft hatch but be careful not to block ventilating openings around the eaves.

    • Consider cavity wall insulation – you may need a building inspector to check your property first as building regulation approval can be required.

    • Think about secondary and double glazing of windows to reduce heat loss and draughts. You must ensure that there is still some ventilation.

    • During cold weather, make sure there is some low level heating on all day, even when the home is not occupied.

    Be Careful!

    • Do not block permanent ventilators.

    • Do not completely block chimneys. Instead leave a hole about two bricks in size and fit a louvered grille over it.

    • Do not draughtproof rooms where there is condensation or mould.

    • Do not draughtproof a room where there is a cooker or a fuel burning heater – e.g. a gas fire.

    • Do not draughtproof windows in the kitchen or bathroom.

    Sorry for the long post....

  • You'd hope they would repair it, even if you didn't have asthma! Living in damp conditions is not good for anyone.

    Have you had a look at Shelter's website? They have really good information on all aspects of housing. They have a bit on getting housing associations to get repair work done (remember to look at the correct one depending on where you are in the UK).

    In the meantime getting a dehumidifier might help your symptoms.

  • We do everything possible to reduce the condensation, but the black mould appears in areas that dont (appear to) have any damp as well!

    The affected areas are bathroom, and all upstairs bedrooms.

    Only the bathroom is damp, and all the black mould appears at the join of the ceiling and walls a couple of inches either way.

    We're secured tenants (have been for 10 yrs) , but my wife is worried we'll be forced to move, either due to the problems in the house, or because of us moaning!

  • Hi Carlo, Sorry to hear of your problem. I would definitely get a dehumidifier - we use one in the autumn/winter and it's surprising how much water it takes out of the atmosphere. Having said that, the landlord should be doing more to help.

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