Week 23 of Beeny Knows Best, where our very own Sarah Beeny takes to the blog to answer your property-related questions.
We're renting a 1-bed flat in central London and we've got a really severe mould problem in our bedroom and bathroom. We're ventilating the flat as much as we can and have also purchased a dehumidifier, but are still finding that our belongings (including furniture and clothes) and turning green and our chests are feeling tight. What are our right as tenants with regards to this? Can we withhold our rent until it's solved? Our estate agents are saying they'll apply anti-mould paint but I just don't think this will help! - Claire
A combination of things generally causes and stops black/green mould. It's a blend of good insulation, reducing the moisture in the air ie from showers, wet washing, some types of heating such as calor gas heaters, then ventilating to blow the wet air out. I would suggest a concerted clean up and then a really careful look at how you live. Once you have black mould you need to bleach and clean the areas and redecorate with mould resistant paint, but then make sure every time you have a shower or bath you pick up the bath mat and wet towels and put them on a radiator to dry and open the bathroom window to vent that wet air out. It's far better for your health to sleep with another blanket and the window open so that the flat will get an extra chance to fully ventilate.
In terms of your rent I would suggest you try these measures (with the help of your letting agent) before taking any drastic measures, as you may find you end up with a load of trauma and in another flat where your living habits cause the same issues to happen.
We've found a really nice house in Cornwall which we've fallen in love with, but it has an outdoor pool. The pool looks in good condition with an electric cover etc, but is purchasing a home with a pool more hassle than it's worth in terms of cost to maintain and also when it comes to selling again? - Mr Greenland
This is a tricky question to answer as it depends very much on who ends up living there! As a general rule, as long as the pool is not incongruous with the size of the property and garden, it's a selling feature - Albeit perhaps not adding as much value as it will have cost to put in!!
If you have a question that you'd like Sarah to answer in next week's post, email it across to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line 'Beeny knows best'.