Rising damp

Question from Jae updated on 2nd September 2016:

What can I do about an issue that keeps arising because of 'smell' related problem? We have a guest house at the back where the little building is situated on a slight slope when it rains the water surrounds it. This in turn causes the carpet inside to become moist and damp which then leads to the damp smell. The agent of the property has also accused me of smoking in doors because of this smell.

Our expert Bernard Parker responded:

You appear to have a problem with “rising damp” which occurs when water seeps through the foundations and into the floor or walls of a house. This can be a significant health hazard. I suggest you bring it to your landlord’s attention when the carpet is damp, and ask him to fix it. (In this case the agent can be regarded as the landlord.) If he refuses you can issue a 14-day notice to the landlord, requiring that the damp be addressed. If that doesn’t get any action you can apply to the Tenancy Tribunal for an order requiring the landlord to fix the damp problem.

Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 30 years.

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