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House smells of damp WWYD?

(16 Posts)
SparklingZebra Sun 29-Jan-17 12:29:03

My SIL (DHs sister) lives really close by and her and BIL have decided on the spur of the moment that they want to move and are putting their house on the market within the next month.

The area they live in is very desirable and houses go like hot cakes however,  they have a huge issue with mould, damp and condensation that they have never addressed. The house is about 20 years old and they have moved in from brand new. 

Me and SIL were chatting and she said she wanted full value for house, I briefly touched on the damp issue and she said they will pack the dehumidifiers away (they have them permanently on in each room) before house viewings and the viewers will never know. 

As they live in the house I don't think they realise how much it smells of musty damp, it's really bad and hits you when you go in. 

It's so bad that SIL came to visit me last week in the morning. My H came home later in the evening and as soon as he walked in asked if his sister was here, as he could smell "the smell" 

The problem is SIL and BIL know about this issue of the damp (not the smell) as they have had it for years but it's getting worse and worse and they have never got it looked into. It's got to a point where they think it's normal. It's not as their wardrobes are on the outside walls of their house and the clothes in them are damp and growing mould.

The problem is BIL & SIL are going to be putting a non refundable large deposit with a private builder this week. There house move is dependant on a quick sale at top end price as they are upsizing to a much more expensive property. 

Am I right in thinking this is going to massively put off buyers and or  undervalue their home?

I hope I don't come across as really judgmental as I'm certainly not I'm just concerned my SIL and BIL could potentially have their dreams dashed or lose a lot of money.

WWYD say something or stay quiet?

I don't know how you would say something but it will put people off 😬

Sorry not helpful

blueskyinmarch Sun 29-Jan-17 12:32:52

It will definitely be an issue when they come to sell it. I wouldn't even consider a house that smelled of damp, especially a relatively new house. They probably don't even smell it now. They should probably get an estate agent round to give them a value on their house and they will probably raise the issue with them. They won't get a top price with a damp house. I think you should be blunt with them and get them to have the issue investigated before they sell.

cuntspud Sun 29-Jan-17 12:32:58

I'd probably stay out of it tbh. If it is as bad as you say, then people viewing the house will be able to smell and presumably they will have a proper survey done which would show any proper damp problems?

chemenger Sun 29-Jan-17 12:38:23

Have they ever tried to find the cause of the damp? It sounds horrendous if they are running multiple dehumidifiers. It will show up on surveys, there is no chance that it will be missed because it is such an easy thing to spot. I sold a house with a failed damp proof course years ago but I had to pay for it to be fixed before we completed the sale.

SparklingZebra Sun 29-Jan-17 12:51:25

No they have never had anyone out to look at it. It's all around the outer walls and on every window.

It is so very bad that SIL and BIL smell, well their clothes do its not actually them. Everything that comes out of their home smells too. If we get any clothes at Xmas they need to be washed.

I know everyone's home as their own smells and we are immune to them.

I think we have two choices be upfront or deny all knowledge when it becomes apparent and like you all say it will.

FinallyHere Sun 29-Jan-17 12:56:26

I'f encourage you to hand back, and even if asked what might be putting off potential buyers, err on the side of caution. There is such potential for you, the messenger to be shot. Are they using estate agents? Perhaps the EA will mention it, eventually, as part of price discussions.

FinallyHere Sun 29-Jan-17 12:57:27

Well, to hand back by all means, but also to stand back.

PigletJohn Sun 29-Jan-17 13:07:36

if it's on the windows and outside walls, it's condensation. The water will be coming from somewhere; possibly a plumbing leak but usually wet washing draped indoors. Is that what they do?

A sensible buyer will consider the possibility that there is a leak in the floor or a structural defect, and knock enough money off the price to fix it.

Maybe they will sell it in summer when, with a bit of luck, the windows will be open sometimes.

SparklingZebra Sun 29-Jan-17 13:17:03

They don't air washing inside no. Tumble dryer and hang online.

There was a plumbing leak years ago I do know that but it was a very obvious leak through the ceiling from the bathroom and it was sorted by the insurers and made good.

She hasn't got a valuation yet as wants the house "picture ready" before the agents come out so they are sorting out a few snags and painting ect. SIL has valued the house herself and IMHO it's overvalued she's basically gone on rightmove and priced it the same as a six bed house in the same area. Theirs is a five bed so straight away their is a difference. I have pointed this out but I am wrong apparently.

wowfudge Sun 29-Jan-17 13:30:23

Leave them to it. The EA should mention, but probably won't as they prefer not to tell potential customers the brutal truth. Maybe some honest feedback from viewers will make them think.

RandomMess Sun 29-Jan-17 14:10:33

Leave them to it!

They will find out when they can't sell it or get very low offers.

SillySongsWithLarry Sun 29-Jan-17 15:33:40

As above I have viewed houses with damp and walked straight back out again. Damp can be costly and time consuming to fix. It is an awful smell too - almost stuffy and makes breathing difficult.

savagehk Sun 29-Jan-17 15:42:25

Try to bring it up... politely? Suggest that most purchasers nowadays will want to see if there are any damp issues and the survey may pick it up? Or that the house may feel damp if the dehumidifiers aren't on when viewings are done?

Fluffyears Sun 29-Jan-17 16:33:27

I loved a home but it smelled damp so I let it go because I can't stand that smell.

PigletJohn Sun 29-Jan-17 18:15:38

If it's not wet washing, I will speculate that it might be a leaking pipe under the floor. This will evaporate out and permeate the house.

Easy to detect if there is a water meter, because the bubble will never stop turning. Also if there is any vinyl flooring, because it will be wet underneath.

But this is no help in changing the minds of the homeowners if they refuse to acknowledge there is a problem.

I expect the surveyors will be blunt.

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