Buying a flat – damp weed

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  • Buying a flat – damp weed
  • b r
    Member

    So knotweed and damp are two totally separate issues.

    And £2500 to remove the knotweed 😯 I’ll be down with me spade for half that.

    But tbh I’d walk away due to the damp issue – while it might be an easy fix that never re-occurs, on the other hand…

    Premier Icon nickdavies
    Subscriber

    Japanese knotweed is a pain in the ass, there’s all kinds of regulations on it and you can even get fined for not treating it or disposing of it correctly. Push that back onto the vendors to sort. It will be expensive and you can’t just do it yourself. (Well you can, but it’s a massive faff – you need to remove it certain ways and dispose of it correctly and even that will probably cost money. Think of it like asbestos.) You really don’t want to get involved in it, think worst case neighbours suing you over it…

    The damp issue needs to be looked at by a professional – the valuation reports are just there to cover the mortgagers backs and they’re not going to help you at all, so have your own survey done.

    Once you have an idea on cost to make good you can then look to either swallow the cost or adjust your offer accordingly. Remember issues you have could go up to the flats above potentially and give you more grief.

    Premier Icon thepurist
    Subscriber

    If you’re really keen on the place then get your own people in to check on the damp. Could be a CYA measure from the original surveyour, could be a portent of future hassle galore.

    Knotweed – eek. Before splurging your own/their money on it then you need to check whether any neighbouring sites also have knotweed on them – I’ve seen it straddling 3 gardens and a railway line in the past. If they do then any work you do on your own garden is of limited value is it can and will spread again, unless they put substantial (and I mean SUBSTANTIAL) barriers in at your boundaries.

    iolo
    Member

    Knotweed is not a problem. Put some gloves on, cut them about half way up in height. Pour in weed killer (ask in garden center wdhich is current best one). Cover any off custs with black visqueen (plastic sheet). After 3-4 years it will be gone. Without expert help.

    unfitgeezer
    Member

    big converted victorian semi in N London)

    😆

    konagirl
    Member

    And I was just thinking that the knotweed sounded like more of a problem than the damp! I say this because IMO future buyers would be put off more by knotweed than damp; most victorian properties are going to have some damp issues come up in the survey and as you said if you can’t see it it either isn’t that bad, or the seller has covered it up well. It all depends on how much you like the property and how long you are going to stay there for. I would want to look at the quote for the knotweed work. If it covers them coming back to retreat until its gone, then fine, the vendors money covers that cost. Be aware that, although the damp proofer has said they’ll replaster, there will be significant work to ‘make-good’ following that i.e. if you put in a reasonably high price because the flat is in good decorative order, that would be redundant if you went ahead with the damp proof work.

    I’ll be down with me spade for half that

    Don’t do this. You’ll make the problem a lot worse.

    iolo
    Member

    One thing I forgot to say is don’t cut the stems when there’s a possibility of spore cross contamination.
    That will just make your problem much worse.

    damitamit
    Member

    Thanks for the replies!

    The vendor has said they’ll pay for it all. Thou this does make a little nervous as they are so willing.

    konagirl, good point about the cost of decorating.

    The place and price is ok to good, but not great. It’s more the case of not much has been coming up for sale in the area so don’t what to let it go if not entirely necessary.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    The vendor has said they’ll pay for it all. Thou this does make a little nervous as they are so willing.

    How long are they guaranteeing the work for? I think I’d want a ten year “if it comes back, we’ll sort it out” in writing.

    iolo
    Member

    You could never get that kind of guarantee. What if it’s next door on both sides? It’s a case of controlling it

    damitamit
    Member

    As STW is the fountain of all knowledge, I thought I’d pose this question here.

    Put an offer on a 2 bed lower ground floor flat (big converted victorian semi in N London) a few weeks ago. Has a patio at the back at garden level and a bit of space outside the windows at the front so not a typical dingy basement flat. The flat was well decorated and seems in good condition.

    The mortgage valuation report came back saying they found Japanese Knotweed in the grounds (but no mention as to where or how much) and that a “specialist contractor should be instructed to report on internal dampness” (I’m guessing this is because its a lower ground floor). The lender has retained the mortgage until the knotweed is treated with a 5yr guarantee.

    I pushed this back onto the vendor/EA, who has got a damp specialist in which has diagnosed Rising Damp and quoted £6000 for DPC and re-plastering. They also have a quote for the knotweed treatment which comes to £2500. The vendor has agreed to put the money in escrow for both works.

    So what to do?

    – walk away on the basis of all the knotweed scare stories and that other problems could be uncovered further into the process?
    – Get my own quotes on the work as due diligence and get them done, in the knowledge that they would be “sorted” for the future?
    – Get a builder I know to take a look at the whole thing in general? Surely a “damp specialist” will always say a DPC is needed? The flat showed no signs or smell of damp.
    – Get a homebuyers report. Will this check for things like damp, central heating etc?
    – Or something else?

    Excuse my noobness, I’m a first time buyer.

    Thanks
    Amit

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    That’s my point.

    Gunz
    Member

    Go with your instincts which, reading between the lines, seem to be telling you to walk. There are plenty of other houses for sale.

    Premier Icon ampthill
    Subscriber

    I thought Japanese knot weed was really bad news. Its not just money but the outdoor space being out of action for ages. I’d walk unless your moving to a schedule

    http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/static/documents/Leisure/Knotweed_CoP.pdf

    iolo
    Member

    It’s ok as long as its controlled. I have worked on many council owned areas (playing areas and car parks) where this type of eradication has been extremely successful.

    avdave2
    Member

    Japanese knot weed will creep into a damp flat undercover of dark and strangle you to death in your own bed! FACT

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