Specialist damp/timber report as condition of mortgage offer?(19 Posts)
Hi just a bit of advice please!
We've just received our mortgage offer, and as in the title they want us to get a specialist report and any necessary work carried out.
I suspect condensation rather than rising damp (having lived in a basement flat with a a major issue!) - there's peeling wallpaper and mould in the corners on the first floor, and last time we viewed the vendor mentioned having to have the bathroom window open.
What we're thinking is that we should ask the vendor to pay for any work - as if it's not done we can't get the mortgage anyway (or the offer will be reduced by the cost of any work needed, and making up the shortfall is out of the question). We made it clear when viewing the property that we would be having a survey and our offer was a condition of everything being in order.
We've held off on the full building survey for now until we get the damp report.
Is this the right way of going about it? Has anyone had experience of this before? And how do we make sure we get a contractor who doesn't pretend we have a major rising damp issue just for profit (I'm still convinced it's condensation!)?
This website is full of useful info and they're independent too. They carry out damp and timber reports. if you look at website carefully they're used to doing them for mortgages, its a very common thing now.
We used ukdamp too, they don't do the remedial work so the report is very objective. The surveyor we had was very sympathetic to old buildings and all his advice concurred with what I already knew about old houses and damp.
Once you have the report, the mortgage provider will determine whether there will be a retention or not. If there is, the work will need doing immediately obviously. As to whether the vendor should pay, it will probably depend on whether it needs doing immediately and whether the vendor thinks the asking price reflects the issue (if he's admitting that the bathroom window needs to be open, he's aware of the issue) and what kind of reduction he's already agreed to. The upside as you say is that if it is work that a mortgage company says warrants a retention, most other purchasers will be in the same position so it'll need doing before anyone can proceed. If its something that you want to do but isn't obligatory, then he's in a strong position as he knows you're already financially committed to the purchase and are unlikely to walk away for say £1k or £2k of remedial works. Good luck!
Thanks for advice and recommendations!
Mandy, that's pretty much what we thought. We got the house at 7k below the asking price, although he was about to knock 5k off anyway as it had been on the market for a while.
It's very common now. I had to get one for a house I bought recently. But it's an old 17th century neglected house that needs bringing back to life ... The bank told me the underwriters were far more cautious now. I responded that I wasn't the one who had gambled with the nation's money.
Thanks again - we've now arranged our survey through Academy Remedial Surveyors Limited - they're another independent surveyor a bit like UK Damp but slightly cheaper!
Fingers crossed all it needs is a couple of air bricks and an extractor fan!
It's the OP here under a new name!
The survey has now been done, and I spoke briefly to the surveyor yesterday (I was at work so didn't have much time!).
We DON'T have rising damp as the valuation survey said!
The main problem is condensation as suspected - and the surveyor sounded a bit shocked at the lack of extractor fan in the bathroom! He said most of the problems were caused by poor maintenance, and as soon as the house is being lived in properly it should sort itself out. It just needs a bit of love!
There's also some damp coming in around the chimney stack (something to do with the rendering I think, although at this point I had to run back into the office)
We're just waiting on the full report now, hopefully the chimney problem isn't too serious - then we'll see what the mortgage lenders say!
Me and my husband had the same issue. We didn't know if we needed a full building survey or just a damp proof survey. We have read up a lot about this issue and found that all you need is either a damp report or a full damp and timber report carried out!
We then phoned around a couple of companies for information and prices and went with a company called damp serve. Think this is the website - www.dampserve.com/ - they were very helpful.
The mortgage lender was very happy with the report provided and we can now look forward to having a lovely family home.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
Choose a company t that is PCA regulated!
My wife and i used Timberwise along with our friends.
Professional and established company!
My boyfriend and myself were buying our first house (a 1930 semi) and after the homebuyers report and a free damp survey arranged by the estate agents, the mortgage company put a £5k retention on it because of the amount of damp work needed! We googled damp companies and found one called Dampaid who seems to cover a number of areas. They charged for the survey, which is what we would expect (nothing in life is free!) and was thrilled when the report was emailed to us saying that the physical damp proof course was there and normal damp readings were found inside. There was just one area of abnormal damp found on each side of the patio doors because the decking was too high and had caused penetrating damp low down. The bank accepted the Dampaid report and lifted the retention. We paid a local builder £490 to lower the decking and replace the damp plaster. That survey fee was the best money we spent on the house and what we saved went towards my new kitchen. I have recommended them to a number of friends now who have also been really pleased. You can contact them by their website www.dampaid.com
Sorry but I thought it was worth updating this thread as I would hate anyone else to be taken in like we were by UK Damp. Their methods sound wonderfully plausible but it simply doesn't work. We are back to square one 2 years after paying Paul and co over £2K to fix the damp in our basement flat and would really rather have avoided this!
Please don't just take my word for it, we got a call from BBC Watchdog's 'Rogue Traders' who have devoted an episode to his utter crapness
Thanks so much for taking the trouble to write so eloquently. We're at our wits end. My hubby has cancer and I'm very ill, we had to move nearer to treatment and have to sell our home. To add insult to injury every Buyer we've had, after a survey have been told of random damp readings in the ground floor and their mortgage provider won't progress until "the problem is fixed". It's ridiculous. It's a perfectly sound home. How on Earth can we sell our 170+ year old property????? Our last years on Earth are being made harder than they should and I feel very sad and bitter. HELP PLEASE ANYONE???
It'll be worth getting an independent damp timber surveryor. I've accompanied a friend of mine who's a first time buyer. I've no idea where you're located but my friend's cost £300 for both damp timber and cavity wall tie inspection. They did a thorough inspection including the roof and cellar. If it's just damp timber it'll be just £180 only. You can be present too and ask questions. They'll also inform you what works needs to be done and what doesn't in case the specialist company that'll be carrying out the work will try to sell you more than required when quoting for the job. You'll get a thorough report including an estimate of the works to remedy the problem.
I forgot to add that it turns out not too bad just needs putting an air brick and no damp proofing course required.
Our home's in SY11 OSWESTRY area. THANKS so much for writing. We're really finding it difficult to get someone to even ring or write us from a decent firm. We're going to lose this Buyer at this rate. I'm still getting over a general anaesthetic from yesterday. Oh my! Times are complicated.
Try the nearest companies from the link above. I'm not affiliated but the one I recommended to my friend was JH Rees based in Doncaster. The number is listed in that site. They've also got great reviews from the research I did.
If they don't cover SY11 area, you could try asking them for a recommendation? If they don't answer the call, you could try again in case they are on the job or email.
Hope this helps.
Really, you need a CSRT qualified surveyor who is being regulated by the PCA. A lot of companies are not regulated and will carry out free reports and end up costing thousands in unnecessary work.
My friends used an independent surveyor, www.dampandtimbersurveyors.com
These guys are based in Manchester though, but you do get a very reasonable price.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.