Damp Proof Course Guarantee

20 Nov 2004
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United Kingdom

We moved into a house where the survey said the damp proof course had failed in 2 of the rooms however the previous owners supplied us with a guarantee and told us the company would come and re-do it. The company had already inspected the damp and it said in the report that they would only re-do the damp proof course in the kitchen as it was likely that the problems in the dining room were due to salt(?) and as the wall coverings weren't stained and no further action was needed. As I was mega pregnant and living in a building site I went along with this and re-decorated the dining room. Since then the lining paper that we put up is very damp along the exterior and party wall. The company when queried about this have said that it is not their problem as the walls were apparently rendered with the wrong plaster (how do they know this - it looks identical to what was in the kitchen) and even so, this company replastered the walls after doing the damp proof course. Basically I want to know if we have any come back and if there is anything I can say to make them reinspect their work or even better do it again!

Sorry this is so long!

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1. Original Inspection Report was issued - Original work was carried out - Guarantee was transferred to new owners - 1st re-inspection took place and re-inspection report was issued - 2nd re-inspection and 2nd re-inspection report was issued - am i right so far? Do you have copies of all the above documents?
2. Do you have it in the original Inspection Report or Original Guarantee that the Dpc Company carried out the plastering or guaranteed it?
3. Its a simple matter to identify the plaster or render.
4. If indeed salts were found in the wall then, given the assumed time factor, one would imagine that they were in the old plaster which had not been removed.
5. Do you have solid floors or tumble a drier in the area(s)?
6. Do you have an extractor fan in the kitchen?
7. Do the walls have a cavity?
They can use any number of different excuses to get out of it.
You should check the small print on the paperwork you've got, but if they've actually done something to try and rectify the problem, thats more than a lot of them would.
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lucretia said:
They can use any number of different excuses to get out of it.
Very true, my solictor said these dpc warranty are worthless because most damp-proof treatments do not works.
Thanks for your replies, to clarify a few things...

Previous owners had dpc fitted and received a guarantee, survey revealed problem with dpc, previous owners arranged inspection, we bought the house and inherited the guarantee and inspection, we found out that they had only agreed to work in the kitchen.

No tumble dryer, no solid floors etc in dining room and no kitchen extractor (however there is a large suspect damp area above the tumble drier in the kitchen...) not sure about the cavity, how would i know?

Is it possible to identify plaster with wallpaper on (this was the case I presume when the inspection was done)?

Am quite tempted to just leave it and pull the same devious trick on the next owners, arrange an inspection and pass on the guarantee, we were so naive!

1. To be clear: no re-inspection has taken place or new documents issued since you took possession of the property?
2. Where is the documentation that says the previous owner(s) had agreed to work in the kitchen only?
3. No matter the previous owners agreement, you now have the Guarantee, you may now interpret its conditions. Unless the conditions of the guarantee have been altered.
4. Has your communication with the damp Co. been in writing - to and from - or by telephone?
5. Yes, one can determine a sample of plaster from behind the wall-paper.
6. The cavity: how old is the property? Is the wall 9" thick or 11" thick? 9" solid walls are typical a in pre-1920 property.
7. Finally: is the Guarantee with the Damp Proof Co. or with the Co. that supplied the chemicals?
Thanks for the message Tim

The inspection report that was carried while the previous owners had the house is the only inspection that has been done. In this report it states that the damp proof course to the (various walls) of the kitchen is to be replaced however no further action is required in the back living room (our dining room) at this time. We however didn't see this report until we had completed on the house. The previous owners hadn't acted on the report at all, they simply passed it on to us. We received a letter stating what work had been carried out under the terms of the guarantee but I have not had anything back in writing from them since. Guarantee is on the work not the chemicals.

The walls are solid I think, no air bricks and built in 1900?

However one step forward is that he rang today and made an appointment to reinspect the dining room next week. Unfortunately though I sensed that this may be just to fob us off!

Mortgage Retention conditions would have been placed on your surveyor's report. Any outstanding conditions ie. work to be done, would have been brought to your attention.
Your solicitor must have had copies of the DPC Report and Guarantee before contracts were exchanged. And he didn't tell you how things were? Query this with your solicitor.
As a matter of interest: how do you know that this is the only area of damp conditions in the property - do you have the DPC Inspection Diagram? Given that your surveyor noted damp conditions he would typically have called for a Damp and Timber report for the whole ground floor. Did he?

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