Letting agent rented out flat which council ruled unfit for habitation

A letting agent rented out a property which was criticised by Fife Council as being unsuitable for habitation, despite knowing about the state of the flat for over a year beforehand.

Rae Rogers has been told by Remax to move out. Picture: George McLuskie
Rae Rogers has been told by Remax to move out. Picture: George McLuskie

Rae Rogers rented the Kidd Street property in October 2016.

However, she soon began to notice damp in some areas of the home, and asked the council to inspect the property to find out the full extent of the problem.

And after a council officer ruled that the property was unsuitable for habitation, she asked the letting agent to make repairs.

The mushroom growing behind the leaking toilet

She was told that her lease would be terminated in April.

But a document seen by the Press shows Remax had already asked a contractor for a quote to repair extensive damp throughout the property a year before, but had not gone ahead with the work.

Rae (42), has now been signed off work and suffers from a respiratory infection.

She says her GP says her living conditions could be detrimental to her health.

Remax said her lease would be terminated in April – with no intention of refunding her rent or giving her alternative accomodation for the remainder of her tenancy.

She said: “It’s rising damp. I have a mushroom growing in the bathroom. The water’s been leaking at the back of the toilet.

“I’m now facing being homeless. The whole thing is an absolute shambles.

“Remax basically don’t care. All they’re looking for is money, and there’s no duty of care whatsoever. They should never have rented this property before they had done the work.

The mushroom growing behind the leaking toilet

“I’ve paid full rent for the last month £390, for a flat that was uninhabitable, which they knew from the very beginning.”

According to the Fife Council report, the flat had:

• Evidence of dampness.

• Cracked roughcast outside, which exposed bare brickwork to the elements.

• A cracked hand basin.

• A toilet which is leaking from the waste pipe area.

• A smell of dampness.

A letter from the council inspector stated: It is my professional opinion that the property in its current state fails to meet the Tolerable Standard, and therefore fails to meet the landlord’s Repairing Standard as defined in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006.

“I am very concerned about your housing situation, and have particular concerns about the rising damp in the property.

“I would therefore advise you to urgently seek alternative accommodation as your current tenancy is not suitable for your continued habitation.”

Remax claimed it wasn’t aware of the wider damp issue, despite the quote to repair it which had been sent to them in October 2015.

At the time of going to press it had been unable to respond with a comment.