Lessor’s responsibilities

Lessor’s responsibilities

17:01 PM, 4th February 2021, About A year ago 12

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I was recently advised by my property managing agents, that there is a problem with damp in one of the bedrooms of the leasehold property which I let out.

A specialist examination has revealed that this is due to condensation caused by the construction style of the property ‘with solid walls and very little ventilation’. The specialist has also stated that ‘The damp course along the front and side of the property is bridged by high ground levels’ and that ‘This could be contributing to the effects of condensation.’

They recommend that the condensation is first controlled and then the inadequate bridging addressed. The specialist’s quote to rectify the above issue is for a not inconsiderable amount.

Does anybody know whether I would be within my rights to ask my lessor(s) (there are 2 of them) for financial assistance in this connection? I have examined both leases which are written in a rather old style and are as a result quite difficult to understand for a layman such as myself, but I am quite sure that there are no clearly designated responsibilities for the Lessor in either with respect to any necessary repairs to the property.

Any advice appreciated.

Mr C



Comments

Paul Shears

12:01 PM, 7th February 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Pauly at 07/02/2021 - 09:05
A DPC (Damp Prof Course) is just a layer through which moisture cannot penetrate.
It protects the entire structure
Some potential DPC problems:
1. Incorrectly installed DPC so moisture rises up. (I have never come across or heard of such a thing.)
2. The DPC is bridged within a cavity. This is often due to wall ties covered with mortar dropped down into the cavity during construction. This is usually unnoticeable and is easily fixed if it is a problem. In days gone by, incorrectly installed foam cavity wall insulation with voids becoming pipes between inner and outer walls was another possibility.
3. The DPC is bridged externally. This is the easiest one to fix as a rule and sounds like your problem.
I have not had this problem on a flat myself, but it is a construction issue that council building control should be able to force the common manager (Freeholder) or guilty party to sort. Either the structure was built this way, which should never have been allowed, or someone has altered the external ground and should be held accountable for the resulting required repair.
The problem, it seems to me, should be brought to the notice of other flat owners although I doubt if they will want to know about helping out financially. You may get some support from them if you jointly try to put pressure on whoever is responsible for the mistake.
A total bodge would be to remove the external earth, then painting the wall at low level with bitumen, and then backfilling. I can see many a builder suggesting that as it is a cheap “repair”. It’s nonsense, and even if done well, it will almost certainly come back at some point in the future.

Pauly

12:12 PM, 8th February 2021, About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Paul Shears at 07/02/2021 - 12:01
Thanks again Paul for your really informative comments.
I don't really trust my agent's contractor and will be probing the issues further and obtaining additional reports from other companies in view of what I have learned. I shall also contact council building control to put pressure on the responsible party should the general consensus of these reports be that the DPC is indeed bridged externally.

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