Tenant leaving

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We have a flat we have owned without issues for 13 years. Last year, it was looking a bit tired so when the tenant left, we redecorated, put a new kitchen in, new carpets throughout etc. A new tenant moved in last May. Today, completely out of the blue we have received an email from the tenant giving one month's notice, which is as per the annual tenancy agreement, but citing a severe damp problem as his reason for going. He says the property has become uninhabitable and he has had to throw out his mattress, sofa, laptop etc as they have been spoiled by the damp. He says the new kitchen is all mouldy, the whole flat smells musty, he is suffering health problems etc. This email from his is the first time he has raised this issue despite being in regular email contact with us over the last year. His monthly rent was due today and has not been paid. We suspect he will not pay it as he suggested he will seek compensation for his damaged goods. His deposit is with the DPS.
Please could you advise how we should tread here. We are upset that if there is a mould problem, damage may have resulted to the fabric of the property due to it not being treated. We feel it is unfair of him to expect us to compensate him when he did not notify us of the issue. If he doesn't pay the rent, how best for us to attempt to recover it? Any advice very welcome.
Thank you
07/04/2011 00:00

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