A TENANT has claimed that he is having to fork out over £500 to his landlord, despite being “forced” to move out of his rented property after it allegedly became infested with mould and flies.
Adrian Hargrave moved into the property in Hampshire in May of this year to be closer to his young son but says he soon experienced “unlivable” conditions in the flat.
The 43-year-old claims that, despite the property undergoing a fresh paint job, he began to smell mould two months later and discovered rotten drywall beneath, providing a breeding ground for flies.
Adrian claims his bathroom was subsequently ripped up and the water was turned off because of his complaints, with the landlord promising that the issues would be resolved by the end of August.
Adrian has since opted to terminate his contract as a result of the ongoing issues but claims he has been told that he will be charged £550 for breaking his tenancy agreement.
Office manager Adrian claims he has had to temporarily move back into his parents’ home as the dispute rumbles on, resulting in his mental health taking a blow and him being unable to see his son.
Shocking images of the grim-looking property begin with a piece of fly tape haphazardly hanging by a window, covered in a mountain of dead flies.
A further image shows a bathroom that has had the bathtub completely removed, with what appears to be dark brown mould spread across the wall tiles.
Crevices of mould can be seen in the grooves of the bathroom floor, which has also been torn up, revealing the horror show beneath.
Severe water damage and thick black mould can also be seen gathering underneath the sink.
Adrian took to social media on Wednesday, to ask for guidance on how to resolve the dispute.
He wrote: “I’m hoping someone may be able to answer a question. I was forced to move out of a rented property in early August due to a big damp issue in the bathroom and kitchen.
“The bathroom was ripped out and the water turned off. The landlord then went quiet and would not answer messages or emails.
“They referred me to a company that was acting as an intermediary between themself and their insurers. The property was still in the same state and uninhabitable seven weeks later.
“I therefore advised I’d be terminating the tenancy as the works had not been completed within four weeks as per the tenancy agreement.
“Ten days later, the landlord has responded and has advised she will be deducting a re-letting fee from my deposit as I have broken the lease.
“Is this even possible? I cannot physically live in the property and have been unable to do so since August the 15th.”
The post received dozens of likes and comments as many attempted to aid Adrian’s plight.
One person wrote: “That’s shocking. How could they even expect rent in that state?”
Another said: “Phone environmental health at your local council and start the long journey. I’ve been on it two years and the council issued an improvement order this week.
“It’s like winning the lottery for us.”
A third commented: “Surely, though, if it’s in [Adrian’s] lease about repairs being carried out in four weeks and these weren’t then, [he] shouldn’t be charged.
“Mind, I suppose that would depend on what the lease says about leaving if the repair’s not done.”
A fourth added: “The insurance company should be paying for alternative accommodation.”
Speaking to Adrian today, he said: “I moved in a rented flat in May this year. I found it through an agent, but it was managed by the landlord.
“Within a couple of months, the paint smell from the ‘freshen up’ had subsided and a mould smell was coming from under the sink.
“The landlord was advised, and they basically ignored it. Fast forward to the end of July and the property stank of mould and the place was full of small flies.
“I looked behind the bath panel and found that there were lots of old damp, rotten joists/drywall and black mould.
“The flies were breeding in the soil under the floor. The landlord was notified and instantly passed the blame to me and advised to use fly spray.
“I contacted a number of pest control companies and explained the situation and they all advised that the flies were probably fungus gnats breeding in the damp.
“The landlord again wasn’t interested and was only upset that I’d looked behind the bath panel. I finally convinced them to send a pest control company and they instantly confirmed that treatment would do nothing due to the state under the bath.
“Eventually, a builder attended, and the bathroom was ripped out and water switched off in mid-August. The landlord then went quiet.
“After some chasing and a letter to them in the post, they eventually asked for my email address but passed it straight to an intermediary company that was dealing with their insurance company.
“After no luck for a further month, I sent them my termination of the tenancy, as per the tenancy agreement regarding the property being uninhabitable and no work completed within four weeks.
“About 10 days later, the landlord responded with an email stating they would deduct the re-letting fee from my deposit. This amounts to about 2/3 of my deposit.
“The whole point of getting back to the Eastleigh area was to be nearer to my son that started secondary school in September.
“I got this rental and then all of this happened, so I wasn’t there for my son. I don’t drive either because of my epilepsy so it’s been tough.
“It’s definitely beaten me down and my mental health has definitely suffered. Especially with it dragging on.
“I’m obviously not seeing my son as frequently as a result and I can’t find another rental until I’m officially done with this one and have recovered my deposit, etc.
“The system is definitely broken when it comes to private landlords. Not to mention the cost of rent in the area has gone up again since I signed up for that property.
“I wouldn’t have left if it looked like the issues would be resolved promptly.”
Letting agent Leaders Eastleigh has been contacted for comment.