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To move or not? Damp house. Dont know what to do.



Well-known member
Founding Member
Jan 26, 2008
North Lincolnshire
I got married last year, but my husband kept his flat on, which he pays rent on as we didnt want to live here together (I am owner occupier).

So we find a house to rent, as it happens I know the landlord, he was the drummer in a famous band known for their socialist values (ironically), he bought a load of property. We signed the lease on September 1st having agreed verbally to fix all the sash windows to make them open, fit two new UPVC windows to replace rotten ones and ut a new back door in. The deal was he buys the materials and we do the labour and we get two months rent free..... plus we installed two fireplaces with his permission at our own expense. I find having a real fire in winter helps my depression.

While we are doing all this work, and it takes ages, we notice damp springing up all over the place, coming through the freshly decorated walls. The landlord had it completely decorated before we viewed it. No wonder he wouldnt let me view it until it had been decorated....

I booked the removal van for the 12th October but discover while cleaning the bathroom that there is no hot water. The boiler that feeds the bathroom wont light. I delay the move as the gas safety check is also due on the 12th, lets see what the guy says.....

More damp emerges. I delay the move again but allow boxes already packed to go as I cant move around my house.

My husband meets with the landlord, shows him the damp using our damp meter (I know its sad, we have a damp meter, because we have an aging caravan), the meter screams on each of the nine areas it is used on. The damp is visible and its coming through the concrete floor in places too at the back of the house.

The landlord says "it wont do you any harm, its not a problem". My husband is furious. I refuse to move into a dam house. Stalemate, and meantime, the two months rent free is coming to an end. The plumber says he will come to look at the boiler on Friday, he doesnt turn up. We ring him, he says he will come on Monday, again he doesnt turn up. Stalemate again.

A ray of hope, a letter addressed to The Tenant. "Following our visit in February we have spoken to the owner and he has confirmed that the hazards we identified have all been fixed. Please ring us to arrange a time we can come and verify this." We ring, elated that there is some help after all, all this that we didnt even know about. We arrange for her to visit the house on the 10th - yesterday.

Last week it hit me that someone I have known for over 30 years, and to whom I have never done any wrong allowed me to sign a lease to pay £600 a month for a house riddled with rising damp and a dodgy boiler. I hit rock bottom and instead of hurting myself and self harming I cut off all my lovely hair with kitchen scissors. I dont speak for two days. I delete myself on groups and delete my email account, I feel like i dont exist, I dont matter. My dreams to live in a new house with my husband and have a new start since my fathers death last year are crumbling like the damp bricks.

The day to pay rent arrives, if I dont pay i am in breach of contract, if i have to sue him that will put me in a weak position, reluctantly i pay. I'm already in debt, I borrowed money to make improvements to my flat to make it good to rent out. The rent I would get would pay my half of the rent on the house. But I'm still living here, so no tenant and no rental income, and my husband is still paying rent on his flat, and already we are paying three lots of council tax.

I pay the rent.

I speak to the council lady, I tell her I am paying the rent, its stressing me out, I am in debt. Then I decide to fess-up and email her about my mental health issues and how this is making me worse. I send the email Friday afternoon. The meeting was yesterday. The inspector brought her boss with her because of what i said in the email.

The outcome was that the damp is worse than it was in February, hasnt been fixed and they want to refer me to Adult Protective services. I agree, it might help, the suicidal ideation that dogs me is getting out of hand. I dont know where to turn, I'll try anything. They will give the landlord two weeks to reply and say what he is going to do.

So, i can either move into a damp house, with my oil aintings, watercolours, Tebriz rug and not be able to claim on my home contents if they get damaged because I knowingly moved into a house that is damp, and probably then have to live with no kitchen for however long it takes to do the work, including taking up and replacing the concrete floor, work which will be disruptive and noisy and frighten me and the cats.

Or I stay here and get further and further into debt.

No wonder I am depressed.

Sorry to moan, why would anyone want to read this? But if anyone has any advice I could really do with some.

Thank you. :cry2:


Mar 21, 2011
in a bit of a ravel
That sounds so stressful, am sorry. If it were me I would stay in your own home and wait see if the landlord sorts the problems out in a specific time frame (so you're not left waiting for ages), if not, I would look for somewhere else to live. I don't know the details but could there be a case for reclaiming your paid rent while you are unable to live in the new place? as you are backed up by the council, damp readings etc.
Hope things improve for you and you get some support x
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