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Do You Have a Parasitical Tenant?

Updated on July 28, 2017
Stella Kaye profile image

Stella is a full-time professional landlord and property developer with fourteen years' experience. She is based in the UK

A Mouldy Issue

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The Condensation Mould Was In Every Room

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Stacey, The Sap Sucking Parasite

The landlord has an infestation at one of his properties. Is it woodworm? No. Termites? No. Some other creature? Yes - Stacey, the sap-sucking parasite is gnawing away at her landlord’s bank balance.

Actually, there isn’t a bank balance as such any more, thanks to tenants like her - just an ever-increasing overdraft.

Stacey hasn’t paid a penny in rent but she’s swindled her landlord out of thousands in housing benefit provided by the taxpayer. She’s had the audacity to complain disrepair though. So how does she even think her long-suffering landlord is going to pay for any repairs when she doesn’t pay him any rent? To put it politely, is he able to miraculously extract a few gold bars from a certain bodily orifice?



Stacey Slept Here!

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Of Mould And Mattresses

Get out, Stacey! Find another sucker to dig your tapeworm tendrils into, thinks the landlord but in reality, he remains too lenient for his own good. And there’s not a lot he can do apart from recourse to legal action by throwing good money after bad and subject himself to long and tedious legal processes that become as burdensome as the tenant.

When he first became a landlord he’d naively thought all would go well if he was fair and reasonable. What a noble cause to provide a home for someone! Why would anyone object to paying for the roof over their own head? But he hadn’t bargained for tenants like Stacey.

Pay your way - you can stay, is a good motto for tenants and homeowners alike.

But Stacey’s stance goes something like this: I’m going to stay, see, and I’m going to take every opportunity to dig my heels in and play the victim. I’ve got rights and I’ll use and abuse them. The landlord’s made of money – he’s got lots of houses - why should I care.

Banks repossess; no questions asked but Stacey claims that her landlord’s repeated and reasonable requests concerning her non-payment constitute harassment. It’s an unfair world but why should responsible landlords have to tolerate parasitical tenants like Stacey just to be rid of the infestation.

Provide someone with a home but they don’t pay or they rob you of money the council sent them to pay their rent with! Stacey belongs to this species of parasite; a veritable underclass of vermin; a drain on society. Such leeches suck the life blood from those doing an honest day’s work - who believe their taxes are going to the deserving poor.

Parasites like her twist the law. She’s at the Citizens’ Advice right now with her sob story. ‘I’m under threat of eviction. My landlord is harassing me and hasn’t done any repairs’ she sobs. ‘The house is so damp and it’s uninhabitable.’

She sleeps on two mattresses on the floor which are covered in mould. The whole house is becoming mouldy and there is condensation streaming down the windows. Is this the landlord’s fault that she lives in such dreadful conditions? Do you feel sorry for her?

You shouldn’t – the house was Barrat show home standard when the landlord handed over the keys. It’s all down to ignorance. For God’s sake, woman, turn some heating on – it’s the middle of winter after all!

The landlord borrows money to cover his loss but he’ll still have to increase the rents for his good tenants to compensate for Stacey’s defaults. It’s always the same - those that pay and parasites like Stacey, sucking the life blood from society.

For Goodness Sake - Open The Windows And Put Some Heating On!

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Information For Tenants And Landlords Regarding Condensation And Mould

How does condensation cause black mould issues?

Homeowners and tenants alike often confuse condensation with damp, wrongly blaming the structure of the building or the landlord. If your property has signs of black mould it's a lifestyle problem that's so easily rectified with some common sense strategies.

Black mould has nothing to do with damp!

Unless there's been a serious leak, a problem with the roof, the guttering or an inadequate damp-proof course, the moisture won't be coming in from the outside - it's being produced inside with daily living and you're not allowing it to escape if you fail to provide adequate ventilation. Black mould hates damp - especially damp that has come through the bricks from the outside which is too salty for its taste!

Condensation and black mould are lifestyle issues

A great deal of moisture is produced when drying washing indoors, cooking and showering - even breathing causes condensation and this includes pets too! All this moisture doesn't just disappear - it has to go somewhere so if you never open your windows it'll stick around and cause problems with mould growth.

Condensation is caused by warm, moist air settling on cold surfaces such as mirrors, walls, tiling and glass. When warm air cools, it can't retain moisture and thus condenses into water droplets.

Modern features such as double glazing and loft insulation are important to keep your home warm but they also introduce problems associated with poor air circulation. Where there's inadequate ventilation, condensation easily takes hold. With the relatively high cost of heating, nobody wants to keep their windows open for very long when it’s cold outside so condensation problems have to be reduced as much as possible.

A seasonal problem too

Condensation is a seasonal problem occurring over the six coldest months of the year (October to April in the UK). During summer, the problem goes away but in winter, ventilation of your property is usually low when windows and doors are tightly closed and often draught proofed. This causes water vapour to accumulate and condensation soon follows.

You'll begin to notice the following:

Water droplets can appear on cold surfaces; if moisture droplets have formed on windows and doors they should be wiped off as soon as possible. Wallpaper may be damp to the touch and even begin to peel. Black mould will appear in places such as corners of rooms. behind furniture and in corners where floors and ceilings meet. This is because there's little movement of air in these areas. Condensation streaming down double-glazed windows first thing in the morning and puddles on windowsills are also signs that there's is a problem.

Often these issues happen in rooms nowhere near the source of the moisture and this causes confusion. The steam from your kitchen kettle finds its way into your unheated bedroom because the walls there will be cooler and you may even find mould growing on clothes as a consequence. Natural fibres like suede, leather and wool can be destroyed by this mould if the problem gets out of hand.

Sources of moisture in the home

The main sources of water vapour in the home occur in the kitchen and the bathroom.To prevent this from causing problems elsewhere it's essential to keep interior doors closed when cooking and showering or using any hot water in the kitchen and bathroom, ironing too will cause build up of steam so always keep the door closed whenever possible. This helps contain the moist air in that room. Open windows if there's no extractor present. Draw cold water first before you add hot and avoid drying clothes on radiators. Use a vented or self-condensing tumble dryer if you can't dry washing outside or use a launderette.

Ventilation is the key

Ventilate your home adequately - just a few minutes a day is sufficient. You can do this in winter as long as the air outside isn't damp.Never block ventilation grills or air bricks with rags.They're there for a reason - to ventilate your property. Under no circumstances should air bricks be covered over - either from the outside or the inside. Sometimes such grills are necessary for gas safety where there's a gas appliance in the room so blocking these could give you carbon monoxide poisoning. Any gas appliance also depletes oxygen from the air so if vents are blocked by you covering them, your life could be in real danger.

Where furniture (such as cupboards, wardrobes, chests of drawers etc) are up against a wall, try to keep a small distance between the back of the item of furniture and the wall (particularly if the wall is an exterior one). Fixing some form of ventilation grill in cupboards, walk in wardrobes, drawers etc is a good idea to keep fresh air circulating. Any cupboard or drawer that's not opened frequently will acquire a stale odour and thus needs ventilation to prevent mould growth on stored items.

Whilst it is a good idea to draught-proof your home, it's important to remember not to block airways that will prevent air circulation. Don't draught-proof rooms where problems with condensation or mould already exist such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Adequate heating is needed

Cold air causes problems associated with condensation so in winter you must keep your home warm - with background heating on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Keeping the air at an even temperature will lessen the problems associated with condensation. It's more cost effective to set the heating to low all the time because when you keep turning it on and off, your boiler must work harder to heat the radiators from cold. If the heating's permanently on low it will keep the temperature stable and reduce the likelihood of condensation.

Cleaning

At first appearance of mould, spray some mould and mildew cleaner onto the affected area immediately. This costs next to nothing and can be bought from virtually anywhere. Mould needs moisture to grow and you're giving it the ideal conditions if you never ventilate. Mould only grows where moisture is present. Remove the moisture effectively and the mould has nothing to feed on.

Decorating

Never paint over black mould – it always returns with a vengeance! Affected areas must be thoroughly cleaned to banish all visible signs of mould and then treated with a specialist mould inhibitor before redecorating with a mould inhibiting paint.

How To Deal With Black Mould And How To Prevent It

How To Differentiate Between A Leak And Condensation

After Reading This Article, How Do You Think Problems With Black Mould Arise?

What Causes Black Mould?

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© 2017 Stella Kaye

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    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 2 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Mould and damp are terrible. It can be such a job getting rid of it sometimes.