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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know of, or where to start looking for, a professional cleaner to remove mould from ceiling and walls from our apartment? We are in Paris, 5th arrondissement.

We have been fighting with our apartment owner, building syndicate and insurance for about 10 months to get ceiling and wall damage caused by water leaks from the apartments (yes plural and that is another long story) above us repaired. Finally the work started on Tuesday. The workers came in and removed all the paint in the affected areas, exposing a significant amount of black mould. When they tested the walls for moisture they said that they are still wet (50% humidity) and then walked out, saying they would be back in 2 to 3 months to finish the job. In the meantime we are left with large areas in our main living area and entrance hall covered with a significant amount of mould that is already affecting our health.

The property and owner are stalling in responding to our requests to assist with cleaning and dehumidification so it may end up in us having to arrange the cleaning ourselves (and deduct cost from our rent) but we are not sure where to start. What we want is for someone experienced in mould removal to come in for the initial clean. We realise that this will not eliminate it, since the walls are still wet, so would need further cleaning every week or two to at least allow us to remain in the apartment without serious health issues.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Does anyone know of, or where to start looking for, a professional cleaner to remove mould from ceiling and walls from our apartment? We are in Paris, 5th arrondissement.

We have been fighting with our apartment owner, building syndicate and insurance for about 10 months to get ceiling and wall damage caused by water leaks from the apartments (yes plural and that is another long story) above us repaired. Finally the work started on Tuesday. The workers came in and removed all the paint in the affected areas, exposing a significant amount of black mould. When they tested the walls for moisture they said that they are still wet (50% humidity) and then walked out, saying they would be back in 2 to 3 months to finish the job. In the meantime we are left with large areas in our main living area and entrance hall covered with a significant amount of mould that is already affecting our health.

The property and owner are stalling in responding to our requests to assist with cleaning and dehumidification so it may end up in us having to arrange the cleaning ourselves (and deduct cost from our rent) but we are not sure where to start. What we want is for someone experienced in mould removal to come in for the initial clean. We realise that this will not eliminate it, since the walls are still wet, so would need further cleaning every week or two to at least allow us to remain in the apartment without serious health issues.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
My (French) cousins had a very similar issue (worse because it also involved some sewage) and it took 12 months to get all the work sorted, partly because the walls were wet like yours and they took ages to dry, and partly because of the complexities between various insurers and owners, especially with regard to previous work. You can't just remove the mould because the walls have to dry and it will regrow as fast as you remove it. I believe, though, that you should be entitled to temporary accommodation whilst this is going on and I would strongly recommend you pursue that with your insurers.
 

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EH is right.

At the end of the day you are moving out one way or another. If the wall is that wet it will come back.

Your health is not risk. Move out.

Anyway, whatever you decide.....STOP STOP paying rent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Agreed we have to move out ASAP.

We are just waiting on any information from agent or my employer. We have the added complexity that the apartment lease is actually with my employer, with us named as occupants. The person that manages my expat contract agrees that we should relocate ASAP but she is waiting to determine whether we have grounds for immediate termination or we have to wait it out the regulation 1 month. On top of this she needs to find out if the company HR department is willing to pay for the relocation or we have to fund it ourselves. Her estimate was up to €10,000 to cover relocation consultant to assist with finding new apartment and assisting with moving utilities, etc.; the cost of removals (6th floor, tiny elevator, 100sqm apartment) and another agents fee.

All quite stressful.
 

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Agreed we have to move out ASAP.

We are just waiting on any information from agent or my employer. We have the added complexity that the apartment lease is actually with my employer, with us named as occupants. The person that manages my expat contract agrees that we should relocate ASAP but she is waiting to determine whether we have grounds for immediate termination or we have to wait it out the regulation 1 month. On top of this she needs to find out if the company HR department is willing to pay for the relocation or we have to fund it ourselves. Her estimate was up to €10,000 to cover relocation consultant to assist with finding new apartment and assisting with moving utilities, etc.; the cost of removals (6th floor, tiny elevator, 100sqm apartment) and another agents fee.

All quite stressful.
Are you sure it's 3 months notice where you are renting?

If the apartment lease is with your employer, then the notice period should not be a concern for you - plus I'm sure they would have taken out some kind of insurance. €10,000 to cover costs is potentially on the high side IMO.

But who has taken out the 'habitation' insurance on your apartment? Irrespective of whose name it is in, though, the insurer should pay for temporary accommodation (hotel, furnished holiday-type rental, other).
 

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Agreed, cleaning the walls is not the answer, even it's a mistake! IF you get all the mould cleaned off the various landlord, insurance, legal etc inspectors will say "no problems!"

Agree also that cleaning is only addressing the results, not the cause. Humidity in walls and ceilings is difficult ot trace....I speak from experience! There are many possible causes, and if you think you've found the cause it can take at least a month before you see an improvement to prove that you made the right diagnosis.

DejW.....happily dry in a very wet Normandie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Are you sure it's 3 months notice where you are renting?

If the apartment lease is with your employer, then the notice period should not be a concern for you - plus I'm sure they would have taken out some kind of insurance. €10,000 to cover costs is potentially on the high side IMO.

But who has taken out the 'habitation' insurance on your apartment? Irrespective of whose name it is in, though, the insurer should pay for temporary accommodation (hotel, furnished holiday-type rental, other).
Yes, only 1 month notice. We checked the lease yesterday.

I was also extremely surprised at the cost estimate, I guess she wanted to put a high estimate into HR so she could get something closer to what it will really cost. The habitation insurance was taken out by employer.

It is now getting very much closer to the weekend and we still have no answers from agent, employer or insurance company. Unsure whether we should just commit to checking into a hotel and claim costs later or wait a bit longer.
 

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Yes, only 1 month notice. We checked the lease yesterday.

I was also extremely surprised at the cost estimate, I guess she wanted to put a high estimate into HR so she could get something closer to what it will really cost. The habitation insurance was taken out by employer.

It is now getting very much closer to the weekend and we still have no answers from agent, employer or insurance company. Unsure whether we should just commit to checking into a hotel and claim costs later or wait a bit longer.
Call the insurer (or have HR call then) and tell them you are moving into a hotel, at the insurer's cost, this weekend as the apartment is malsain and it is affecting your health.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update: So, I was informed that the insurer will not pay for temporary accommodation as the problem is not considered "dangerous". What we got was my employer agreeing to pay for a cleaner. The cleaner turned up Saturday morning with no cleaning materials or ladder so I had to supply with what I had. Most of the mould has been removed, but we know it will come back pretty quickly.

I still have no definite answer as to what is being done, or the direction from here. It seems that the property agent/owner is not responding to any of my employer's requests. I am pretty sure that the tactic they use is if they ignore the problem for long enough it will go away. I do have agreement from my employer that we really do need to get out ASAP. I have tentative agreement for them to pay for removal costs and some of the agents fees on any apartment we find. They will also provided a relocation agent to assist with lease negotiation and utilities transfer. This seems pretty fair to me, however the frustrating thing is even after almost a week we still have no idea if we are moving in a week or two, or a month.
 

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Thanks for the update, but sad to hear that things have not progressed.

Personally, I'd lean harder on your employer....they are French?? and understand the rules...and they have an interest in keeping you happy.....but, I agree, not easy, not easy at all. Are you the only person they have moved into France? If not they must have some experience of difficult situations?

DejW
 

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Does anyone know of, or where to start looking for, a professional cleaner to remove mould from ceiling and walls from our apartment? We are in Paris, 5th arrondissement.

We have been fighting with our apartment owner, building syndicate and insurance for about 10 months to get ceiling and wall damage caused by water leaks from the apartments (yes plural and that is another long story) above us repaired. Finally the work started on Tuesday. The workers came in and removed all the paint in the affected areas, exposing a significant amount of black mould. When they tested the walls for moisture they said that they are still wet (50% humidity) and then walked out, saying they would be back in 2 to 3 months to finish the job. In the meantime we are left with large areas in our main living area and entrance hall covered with a significant amount of mould that is already affecting our health.

The property and owner are stalling in responding to our requests to assist with cleaning and dehumidification so it may end up in us having to arrange the cleaning ourselves (and deduct cost from our rent) but we are not sure where to start. What we want is for someone experienced in mould removal to come in for the initial clean. We realise that this will not eliminate it, since the walls are still wet, so would need further cleaning every week or two to at least allow us to remain in the apartment without serious health issues.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I don't know if it has been suggested to you to visit your local mairie (or if you already have) and lodge a complaint with them for 'Habitat Insalubre'.

I have been having a look on the service-public site and came across this:

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F16158

Habitat insalubre
Vérifié le 27 juillet 2016 - Direction de l'information légale et administrative (Premier ministre)

Lorsqu'un immeuble présente un danger pour la santé ou la sécurité des occupants, le préfet peut engager une procédure d'insalubrité à l'encontre du propriétaire d'un logement ou du syndic de copropriété lorsque l'immeuble est en copropriété.
L'insalubrité implique une appréciation qui associe la dégradation d'un logement à des effets sur la santé des occupants.
Tout locataire (ou autre occupant) d'un logement insalubre doit le signaler à la mairie.

En principe, c'est le service communal d'hygiène et de santé (SCHS) ou des agents d'une agence régionale de santé (ARS) qui interviennent pour visiter le logement et réaliser un rapport concluant ou non à l'insalubrité.
Relogement
Le propriétaire doit assurer le relogement des occupants. Le nouveau logement doit être décent et correspondre aux besoins des occupants.
I hope this can help. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the update, but sad to hear that things have not progressed.

Personally, I'd lean harder on your employer....they are French?? and understand the rules...and they have an interest in keeping you happy.....but, I agree, not easy, not easy at all. Are you the only person they have moved into France? If not they must have some experience of difficult situations?

DejW
I am leaning a bit on my employer, need to not press to hard as I need to keep some goodwill. They are a very, very large (French) organisation that have plenty of experience with expats so they have some idea what to do. They have confirmed that they support our relocation, we just don't know by how much financially as this time of the year is the annual budget review for HR and they are copming up with all the usual excuses. Should find out more tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just thought I would close the loop on this one.

We have now relocated out of our moldy, water damaged, apartment in the 5th and are now settled in a very nice apartment in the Marais. :)

Total cost of the move was actually in the order of €7000 :shocked:

Just over €3500 for the moving company, which included a lift at each end, the agents letting fee on the new place plus a relocation agent that assisted with some of the tricky stuff.

Fortunately my company came to the party on this one and covered the costs as it was deemed to be an emergency relocation.
 

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Thank you for the update....glad it worked out, but it was a bit expensive!

DejW

Just thought I would close the loop on this one.

We have now relocated out of our moldy, water damaged, apartment in the 5th and are now settled in a very nice apartment in the Marais. :)

Total cost of the move was actually in the order of €7000 :shocked:

Just over €3500 for the moving company, which included a lift at each end, the agents letting fee on the new place plus a relocation agent that assisted with some of the tricky stuff.

Fortunately my company came to the party on this one and covered the costs as it was deemed to be an emergency relocation.
 
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