Damp in Pre-Edwardian Rochester Properties

As property in London continues to exponentially increase in price, many a potential investor looks to Medway and specifically Rochester to expand their portfolio.

With an abundance of desirable and comparatively affordable properties, the relative close proximity to London, the historical heritage and accessibility to an indefinite choice of amenities; the decision to buy in ME1 will always remain a sound investment.

However, with many properties dating back one, two or even three hundred years, what about the high occurrence of damp?

Why invest in house with a sub-standard DPC, or entirely devoid of DPC? Surely a safer option would be modern, post 60’s or new-build?

If you’re inclined towards the option of an older property, concerns over damp should never sway your decision on making a purchase. If identified during a viewing or survey, the single factor to keep in mind is, damp can always be rectified. Obviously identification as a result of inspection will have some bearing on price; however, this is a problem that can be accommodated within the property-buying process. This advice may seem counter intuitive, but it’s human nature to fear what we don’t understand. Even with a rudimentary knowledge of damp, why not buy a similar place without a damp problem?

To answer this involves another seemingly illogical trait, to see the potential a property has; whether this due to location, the size of the place etc; regardless of the fact there’s currently a damp issue. To reiterate, damp is not a problem if you account for it. Damp should only ever affect the price at which the property is valued to a manageable degree. As a long term investment, you can never lose.

The single most important factor is obtaining advice from a knowledgeable source and proceeding with works that will provide a long term or indefinite solution. This may seem obvious, but remember, most damp-proofing firms are just after your money and couldn’t care less about a long term solution. It sounds harsh and unrealistic, but it’s a cold, hard fact. An unreleased report in 2013, concluded 7 out of 10 damp-proofing companies failed to correctly identify the cause of ingress in a Chatham terraced property. The seven companies subsequently quoted for incorrect or unnecessary works. In the four years hence, only three of the ten businesses are still trading. It should be noted, only a couple of the companies were Medway based; the others were based in areas ranging from Essex, Bexley, Catford and Woolwich. The report remained unreleased due to protracted legal action but details remained obtainable until recently via the publisher who provided funding.

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