Mould due to broken pipe in Apartment

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Hi,

 

on the morning of 19th May, I noticed that the wall between children’s room and living room is wet and has very visible trail of water from the ceiling all the way up to the floor. The wetness was visible both from children’s room and living room. I photographed the dampness and sent it to Hausverwaltung. The Housemaster came few hours later to assess the damage. After that no activity for a week. Then I got the appointment from a Lecktrocknung Firma for inspection on 31st May.

The engineer came and did his measurements and said he will bring two devices to dry the wall from both sides and then most of our apartment would get new wall paper. We live in a relatively newly built building, ca. 2014. He also found that mould has started to form behind the picture frames in the childrens room. He asked me to get rid of the frames.

 

The same week my two daughters started to have severe cough and when we visited the doctor he said that it is extremely likely that children are sick because of the mould and that mould is especially dangerous for my older daughter (6 year) as she has allergies and has a history and hospitalization due to lung infections. He said the children must not sleep in their own room as it is dangerous for them. He said it’s our right to have an apartment that is not a safety hazard for the occupants and we can directly move into a hotel till this gets sorted out. We moved the children to our room and took to sleeping on the floor ourselves. Their coughing has subsided since then. 

 

I wrote emails and conveyed the doctors meeting to the Hausverwaltung on 2nd of June. The lady responsible for our building did not reply. When I was finally able to reach her on Friday the 3rd, she dodged me with the answer that she has just replied. Nonetheless I explained to her the situation and told her doctor said you have provide us an alternative. Her reply was their insurance doesn’t cover that and they don’t have any other apartment. After the call I checked again that there was no mail from her. I called her again and she won’t pickup. On my incessant calling the phone was picked up by some Sekretärin who told me that the lady is not available any more and that mould is not that old and doesn’t pose any danger. I told her that my daughter has had lungs problems in the past and that’s what Doctor said. She couldn’t find anything to reply other than they will speed it up with the Trocknung Firma. 
 

The whole week went by with no news from them or from Firma. I called them again on 10. Of June and learned from the secretary that the lady responsible for our building is now on vacations and will see to it once she is back. On asking for who is her replacement I got the reply she doesn’t know and we should wait for her. 
 

Last year I had some oil drips from my car in communal garage and the same lady came with 2 weeks deadline to clean the spot or she will hire a Firma to get it cleaned and will put the cost and additional charges on us. I cleaned it the next day. 
 

Can we do the same? Hire a company to do it as quickly as possible and send them the charge as they are clearly dragging their feet. 
 

Can we not pay the rent for not being able to utilize the children room and reduced usage of the living room?

 

I have already looked up Mietverein for Sindelfingen. There reviews on google are really bad with their lawyers having damn care attitude about the problems of tenants. 

 

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You're in a right mess and I feel for the stress you have and worry over the health of your family.  This is the type of matter that really needs a lawyer.  This is the game of blame and not blame and only a lawyer can sort it.

Your physician says that it's likely the flat is a health hazard, and he is most like correct, but he is not an expert on the condition of mould in the flat.  He can only surmise the cause of the coughing.  A Baubiologe can.  He or she can test the air, walls, furnishings, etc to ascertain the hazard level of the mould spores in the air, the health damage to people and means to repair this.  A Baubiologe is the only expert in this area.  As the water has been repaired, new wallpaper, picture frames removed, is helpful, there is a good chance there is still mould in your flat.  Anything porous is going to have mould.  The drapes, furniture, carpet, clothing, wood, etc. Were the walls where the wallpaper was replaced made from stone or sheet-rock / dry wall?  Replacing the wallpaper helps, but the walls can often absorb the mould.

There is more to this than simply move out or have a firm 'clean' the flat and send the HV a bill, which they will ignore and claim that you are responsible for a bill they did not authorise. The items you take with you might have mould in them that you are only carrying from one flat to another. The Mietverein can help to a degree.  I agree that you do need to leave the flat.  It's a health hazard.  If I was in your situation, I would get legal advise.   

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