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Loft Conversions Question
Leaking and damp patches
I live in Lancashire and in July 2010 we had our loft converted and 2 dormers added. We also had the remaining roof retiled. Twelve months later we noticed that there was a damp patch down the side of my daughters bedroom wall (where the dormer edge meets the wall.) At the same time we noticed a damp patch on the landing ceiling, near to the other dormer wall.
Before the rebuild we had no problems with damp/leaks.
I reported this to builder who came and had a look and 'did something'.
Neither problem has been sorted. The landing drips every time it rains - down through the smoke alarm. My daughters bedroom has a damp/mouldy patch about a meter and half wide.
Now the guy who did the job lives on the same road. Every time I mention it, he says he'll sort it - this has dragged on over 12 months.
I don't really want to threaten legal action etc but I'm really beginning to lose patience with the guy?
Can anyone suggest the best way forward?
Hi, you mention that you don't want to resort to legal action but it may unfortunately mean going down that route especially as it has been going on for 12 months. You should first write a letter or e-mail outlining the series of events and also ask that he come and finally resolve the problem and he should reply in writing within x number of days. If he refuses or does not reply then you will need to get a survey or quote to repair and put right the problem - sending him a copy of this informing that you will be seeking reimbursement for the attached costs. If still no luck after all this then it may mean you either try mediation, arbitration or small claims court. Another thing to watch out for is if you have to take legal action you may be asked to prove that the damage has been caused by poor workmanship. It can all take time but at least you will finally be able to resolve the issue.
Also, try the citizens advice bureau for more advice.
Hope this helps
UK Property Services.
Answered 15th Jan 2013
Hi there, you say your builder "did something" do you have his original invoice to know what he did to rectify your damp? Unfortunately the longer you leave this the harder it will be to get retribution as you will have to prove that the damp hasn't come back over time and that whatever your builder charged you for initially didn't do the job. It's a tricky one but legal costs can be expensive (small claims court fees are £50 to file) and you need to have followed up before you go down that route really. Uk property services mentioned about a letter and I think that this is a good place to start. Make sure it is sent recorded delivery and give him reasonable time to respond ( reasonable time under the law is 14 days from receipt), I would also suggest a friendlier letter to begin with conveying disappointment rather than anger as often you will find a builder reluctant to work in anyone's house he is not comfortable with. This must all be very stressful for you so try and set up a meeting in the letter if you can... Much easier to talk face to face. I hope that you manage to sort it out, even if you bite the bullet and go through your home insurance? You can then always issue a claim for the recovery of your excess? Kind Regards CJ's Building
Answered 15th Jan 2013