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Advice on Damp issue for First Time Buyer

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  • Advice on Damp issue for First Time Buyer

    Hi, first time (novice) buyer here in need of some advice.

    I'm currently mid-way through purchasing a property - its an old terraced property, inner city Belfast and probably built around 1910 - 1920. The previous owner has been in it for a few years, his main idea was to spruce up the interior and sell it on. As part of this, he turned the attic into an extra bedroom.

    I had agreed on a price and commissioned a RICS Home Buyers Report to be carried out. It came back with a small number of minor defects, nothing really all that bad, except for one thing that jumped out at me.

    Walls had been given a 2 rating with the following comment in his outline:

    "Dampness was found to some areas of the seond floor gables at high level adjacent to the ceiling. Dampness is likely to areas concealed by dry lining and further specialist investigation is required."
    I brought this to the attention of the Estate Agent who went to speak with the vendor. He came back to say that that there was a problem with the neighbouring house's chimney in that it had a crack and it was likely that that was where the problem was coming from.

    So - my worry here is that this is much worse that I am able to see because the attic has been turned into a room? i.e. the walls have been plastered, and I am unable to see the extent of this problem. Also, it sounds to me like it might turn into a more serious issue in time.

    Some questions now...

    Am I wise to just walk away here?
    Is there a way for me to establish if this is a serious problem or not?
    If it can't be seen, would it mean ripping the attic apart to find it?
    Do I have any ability to 'make' the neighbour fix his roof problem?

    I like the house but it feels like this might be a problem that is more serious than I should take on...

  • #2
    Re: Advice on Damp issue for First Time Buyer

    Isnt this the sort of thing that the surveyor should have picked up in a full structural survey which is what i think you should always get if you are buying a whole house. I would ask the surveyor to investigate these specific issues and pay the extra as its better to spend this money and put your mind at rest