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Twitter attack on landlords by Generation Rent deputy director

The latest attack on landlords by the Generation Rent group of activists is from its deputy director and concerns mould.

It comes in the form of a personalised tweet by the campaign’s Dan Wilson Craw.

He wrote on Twitter: “You know all that rubbish you get from landlords about how mould is the tenant's fault and they somehow have no responsibilities? Well, it comes from the very top.”

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He then links his claim to a blog on the Generation Rent website which is a critique of a fact sheet on condensation and mould produced by the National Residential Landlords Association.

The blog accuses the NRLA of suggesting remedies to the problems which put more emphasis on tenants than landlords. Instead the blog urges readers to read Generation Rent’s own fact sheet on the issue.

However the blog is less critical of the NRLA than Wilson Craw’s tweet suggests and even says “To be completely fair to the NRLA, they do give some tips that are useful to keep in mind” and “Nothing the NRLA say is factually incorrect. There are even some tips that we can wholeheartedly agree with.”

Wilson Craw returns to the subject in another tweet when he says: “Condensation, damp and mould can arise from: Inadequate ventilation systems, Poor insulation or heating, Failed damp proof course, Faulty guttering. And other things that it's the landlord's job to fix.”

The criticism of the NRLA came on the same day as the association’s chief executive, Ben Beadle, went before a committee of MPs calling for financial help for tenants with Covid-related arrears.

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    It can arise from LL repair responsibilities but I’ve found that a different tenant same house never seems to complain about the issue. However trying to explain how condensation is created by washing, cooking without ventilation to some tenants is very challenging. I’ve also noticed how owner occupier houses never have this problem

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    I have an old house that had suffered damp, present tenants been there 5 yrs now and no damp issues, come rain or shine, summer and winter bedroom windows are open in day time

     
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    I agree. I have had complaints about mould in one bathroom from two out of about 20 tenants. Neither listened to advice about ventilation and heating,

    I now have no mould mentioned on the condition reports when handing over properties and email guidance on avoiding mould to all new tenants.

    Landlords don't supply mould, mice, cockroaches etc. Tenants introduce such things through their lifestyles.

  • Trevor Cooper

    An extract from an article I wrote for our local newspaper about tenants at fault with causing mould:
    "Rising damp and penetrative damp are structural issues for the landlord, but some tenants are known to dry an entire load of laundry on airers inside their unventilated accommodation, and not use extractor hoods provided when cooking. Extractor fans in shower rooms are often switched off at the isolation switch, either because of the noise they make or to save on electricity. For security reasons, some ground-floor tenants choose not to open windows, ever. This behaviour does not cause damp in the structural sense but condensation, when moist air comes into contact with colder surfaces like walls, windows and mirrors. The air cannot hold the moisture and droplets of water appear, leading to a growth of black dots that multiply into streaks of mould. It also occurs in places the air is still, for instance corners of rooms, behind furniture and inside wardrobes, ruining porous and organic materials like wicker-ware, clothes and leather shoes. Worse still, inhalation exposure to black mould can cause allergic reactions, in extreme cases hypersensitivity pneumonitis and aspergillus fumigatus."

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    Absolute nonsense from half wit Craw.

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    I've not read the material but as I understand it mould is primarily caused by condensation settling on cold surfaces, especially in winter, rather than rising or penetrating damp which are of course serious structural issues that should be fixed asap, if you can actually get someone to do the work these days. It is very noticeable that some tenants seem to be mould-free and others seem to generate a lot of it. It is the tenant's responsibility to consult the landlord if mould starts to develop, and both should work together to keep it at bay.

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    Sensible landlords are happy to be alerted to issues that affect the structural integrity of the property and avoid much more serious issues like dry rot etc. Many tenants don't report things until problems escalate as they can't be bothered with the hassle of them being fixed.

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    It's funny how condensation is prevalent in rented properties but not in private houses. It's a similar situation with company cars. The renter doesn't look after the property because it isn't theirs. Stop blaming the landlords!

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    Hog wash in most cases. I paid a RICS surveyor to look at one of mine where the lady was complaining about mould around a window. The answer open the window. Ventilation is a big word to spell for generation rent.

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    Last inspection of my property found mould in one of the bedrooms. It wasn't bad and the result of condensation. The illegal occupiers have tried to keep under the radar and neighbours reported the bedroom window was never seen open since they moved in. I bought the house off a friend who lived in it for 8 years and never had a mould problem in the time she owned it. Suggests it's tenant problem in this case.

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    I have a house that has never had mould until current tenants. Turns out they never put the heating on and condensation is settling on external walls and going mouldy!

    There is a difference between damp caused by structural issues and by tenants and LLs can only solve one type!

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    I used to get that problem from students when I rented to them in the 90s, ''the heating is too expensive to switch on'' but they could go out nights and get P****ed, haven't rented to students since and my mental health is much better for it.

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    Male students don't tend to cause damp issues drying washing indoors and the washing machine tends to be kept in pristine condition! !! Their washing gets taken home at least annually (whether it needs washed or not)!

    I've found young professional females to be the biggest culprits, washing lots of clothes and feeling too cold to have windows open. Guys don't feel the cold as much and are in the flats much less.

     
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    all down to the global warming scam

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    All this EPC stuff is making us all soft, double glazing, triple glazing, insulated walls, under floors , between floors, roof space, everything sealed up tight a perfect breeding ground for the viruses, at least now they are saying to open the windows, we need air /oxygen to live and can't keep repeatedly recycling the same polluted air in our lungs. We could help the environment by turning down the heat, the 20m people over weight could eat two thirds less, reducing the need for so much live stock, the Department of transport could remove the traffic creating schemes they imposed, freeing up traffic instead of queuing endlessly polluting when they could be already at home with their family's.

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    That's just too much like common sense for today's world

     
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