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    • SERCO seem to be a default company that Government use to perform contact centre type tasks. So any department faced with a problem, say a sudden increase in incoming phone calls, which they cannot handle, because they are dealing with more immediate issues such as making payments to the public, may in the short term involve SERCO.   SERCO seem to employ a lot of security cleared, DBS checked, financial checked etc employees, so they seem to equipped and ready to manage tasks on behalf of Government departments.   No idea just how much work SERCO does on behalf of Government, but I should imagine it makes up a sizeable chunk of their business.   Public Health departments may want to perform the work themselves, but given the number of employess required, the recruitment process involved, the hours of work 24/7 and just how quick they need to be set up to perform the work, I question whether they are better placed to do so.   I wouid always prefer public sector employees over outsourced contracts, but I can understand why Government uses companies such as SERCO. 
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    • There's a campaign against Serco and in favour of local public health people. Apologies for one bit of language but it's a memorable slogan.   https://twitter.com/i/status/1309910583790252037  
    • Hi.   What type of lease have you had up to now please?   HB
    • my options are if they can be shown they have some responsibility as they did earn commssion and the resturant has its payment. so both parties and paid and i lose out. if we can show they have some moral if not legal obligation then maybe they can give me some refund if not all.   imagine how many others being screwed over too?   beacuse it is online are we to be cheate for now untill goverment decides to govern this area of ecomerese or something?   i dont have a clue.
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We have a damp problem in a party wall in a Victorian terrace. 

 

Both I and my neighbour have single storey extensions at the back (actually the front, but the back as originally built...) with roof terrace / patio area above, and a brick wall dividing the two terraces. This is standard in the road.

(They also have a small conservatory joined to the first floor over part of their roof terrace)

 

Some years ago we noticed that the internal party wall below the terrace was showing some signs of damp.

We asked the neighbours if they had noticed a similar issue but they refused to engage with us.

We hoped it was a condensation issue, and it was only occasional. 

 

Over the years the dampness has got more frequent, and a couple of years ago we had our terrace completely redone, with the old flooring removed, new felting put down, new lead flashing, and decking on top. I stripped the wall below back to plaster and re-papered and painted.

 

Last year the damp returned, but much more noticeably.

We use a dehumidifier and can "extract" a couple of pints of water from the downstairs hallway sometimes - regardless of weather.

There is black mould at the top of the wall, and it's clear the damp is coming top-down.

I've lifted all our decking, put sealant along all felt joints, and silicone sealer between the lead flashing and brickwork that forms the dividing wall between terraces. 

 

Since then there've been occasions when there has been surface water running down the wall, even when it's not rained. 

We're pretty certain it's when the neighbour waters plants on the terrace. 

 

The neighbours still won't engage, but we have persistent black mould, the paper is peeling off and the wall is wet from the top. 

To check it's not our roof, at times when the wall has been dry I've thrown buckets of water at our side of the dividing wall on the terrace (and this obviously drains down onto the felting below the decking). The downstairs interior wall is unaffected by this - confirming the problem is coming from the neighbour's side.

 

So what to do?

Is this something we should be referring to our insurers?

If the neighbours fail to fix the root cause (which is presumably perished roofing under their conservatory, or blocked drainage etc),

is there anything we can do to stop it affecting us? 

 

The internal wall is structural so I'm not really sure how a builder would approach the problem without access from the neighbour's side too.

 

We're planning on selling within the next 2 - 3 years but in its present state it's hard to see how someone would take it on, at least without a big price drop. 

 

Any suggestions very welcome! 

 

wall.jpg

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Why would you not inform the insurer?  is there any downside? 

In fact they might even say that by not informing them immediately you have allowed the situation to deteriorate and to become more expensive.

I think that you should inform them.

 

Have you had any expert opinions as to the source of the problem?  Is it sure that it comes from next door?

It probably does but if you can provide expert evidence that it does then you could also consider a claim in nuisance as I would say that they have a duty to address the problem in order to prevent it affecting you

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can you get some phots of the roof and eaves ect without trespassing on his property?

insurers will have to amke good if it is your neighbours property that is causing the problem but i would ask a surveyor to have a look first so you know what to say from the outset to get the best outcome. Your local council also has powers to order them to take action but as they wont engage it may well take the 3 years you ahve given yourslef for the house move

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Thanks for the feedback.  We have a professional surveyor friend who is willing to give an opinion, and once done as you say, there's no reason not to inform insurers. And as Eric's brother says, that will also give us, hopefully, a more specific discussion with neighbours. No, we can't view the neighbour's roofing from where we are, and neither can they as it's under their conservatory (we always thought it was a bad move on their part to cover felting with a conservatory!) Interesting that council have enforcement powers, hadn't realised that.  I've also had a builder advise, without visiting the site, that the dividing wall (which may be double-skinned) should have waterproof capping, which it doesn't; so maybe a simple solution is to install that across top of both sides. 

Anyway, some next steps for us to take so thanks again.

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