Grime vs deposit deductions?

Some advice urgently needed please. In our shared student let, a large (white) bedroom is covered in soot-like grime, including the ceiling. The source is not obvious - no cigarette smell, fire place etc. It has not occurred previously or in other rooms. Where do I stand if the tenant denies any responsibility? Many thanks!

How long were they there?
So you have a photgraphic and written inventory?

August 1

How long were they there?
So you have a photgraphic and written inventory?


Thanks for the questions.

Tenants were there for two years. I have a written inventory and general photos of the room without any mention of soot-like deposit covered walls.

Any thoughts?

Try your luck. Is it ash? . DPS may put it down to fair wear and tear. If you don’t try you won’t know
If the tenants dismiss it you could ask them to contribute a share if you don’t want to go to adjudication

We’re the frequently using candles in the room?

1 Like

It’s hard to know tenant was a student who had a boyfriend coming over frequently so could well have been scented candles but can’t prove anything. Has never happened before.

You only really need to show that it wasn’t there before and it is now and that there is no credible reason related to the structure of the property, (such as chimneys) or anything you’re responsible for.

There is no chimney or open fire - and the property was let to non-smokers. As it has never happened before, I wonder if the tenant has caused it. I am would love to have the residue analysed!

Check in check out inventory rules if no other circumstances prevail

This is not soot as you think it is dampness that means there is a problem on roof PS iam a roofer builder .:hugs: Nice to help

Listen depending on who land lord is then they won’t want any cost because it seems like the ones I’ve felt with don’t want to pay money to fix it I bet you are top floor flat .

Just be aware.I had a one bedroom that the tenant complained the decoration was getting sooty.Turned out to be faulty boiler even though gas certificate was up to date.He was also having trouble waking up in the morning!! .could have been really serious

Christopher may be right. It may be black mold. That comes mainly from condensation, (heavy snorer or drying clothes in bedroom or cold spots on the walls/ceiling). Do a test with a bleach based spray. I use the Astonish mold cleaner from the pound shops. Just give a patch a quick spray and wait 15 mins. If it changes colour then it’s probably mold. If so then I dont recommend cleaning it yourself without the right protective clothing as it can cause lung conditions.

Did you not have a CO alarm?
Sounds like CO poisoning

Thanks A_A and David 122. This is a ground floor bedroom, (serviced 3 yr old boiler in upstairs airing cupboard). Only occurred in this room, not in other 4 rooms, 1st time in 10 yrs. Washes off like “dirt”, black streaks. Washing and painting (deposit deduction) solution, me thinks!

Has the tenant possibly used supplementary heating, e.g. A paraffin heater. I had the same results in a flat I once rented, where the bathroom was cold enough for an Eskimo.

Anyway, it cannot be considered normal wear & tear, and the tenant should be made to rectify the damage to the decorations etc. Mould is a lifestyle issue and burning candles, fires etc, is the tenants actions.

1 Like

If its mold then it needs a fungicidal wash. Don’t paint over it or you will never get rid of it.

Please, please take this seriously. Gas certificates aren’t just an annoyance. Faulty boilers can cause problems including carbon monoxide poisoning and must be taken very seriously. If there’s even a chance this is the cause of the black marks get it checked at once, possibly by a different registered Gas Safe engineer than the one who supplied the certificate and make sure the flue is checked too. I know someone whose young son died of CO poisoning due to a faulty boiler flue. And once that’s done, replace the Carbon Monoxide alarm, they have a limited life.

1 Like

Sounds like overuse of candles.

Not then , but do now!