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    photo-iconPhotograph taken in St. Margaret's Court, Angmering
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Dealing with damp and condensation


My property is damp! Or is it condensation?


This is more common in the colder months of the year. If it is all year round and damp coming in from the outside eg rain penetration (from a faulty roof) or rising damp (identified by a characteristic “tide mark” on the lower section of affected walls) then that is a different matter.


Where does all the water or steam go from everyday living?

Steam from cooking, ironing, showering, kettles, heaters

Water vapour from drying clothes, bathing and even breathing

It all evaporates into the air, if the air is contained it will condense onto cold surfaces (walls, mirrors, ceilings, windows etc)

These damp areas will form mildew and mould especially where there is less air flow eg In corners of the room, behind furniture and in cupboards and wardrobes.

An average family can produce 10 litres of water vapour per day. Where does this water go?

Condensation is extremely common and affects many homes.


To tackle the problem

1) Stop moisture building up

2) Ventilate, or air the home

3) Use a dehumidifier to extract the moisture laden air

4) Keep your home warm


1. Stop moisture building up

Wipe down surfaces where moisture settles.

Cover boiling pans when cooking.

When cooking, bathing or washing and drying clothes, close kitchen and bathroom doors to prevent steam going into colder rooms, even after you have finished.

Cover fish tanks to stop the water evaporating into the air.

A washing machine with a fast spin will remove more water. Dry clothes outside where possible.

Make sure tumble dryers are vented to the outside or use a condensing tumble drier which collects the water.

Avoid using bottled gas or paraffin heaters as these produce a lot of moisture and could also be a health and safety risk if not used or stored properly.


2. Ventilate or air the home when cooking, washing or drying clothes, open windows or use extractors.

Where drying clothes inside is necessary, do so in a small room always with the windows open.

Open windows for a while each day or use the trickle/night vent. Especially the rooms you sleep in.

Do not block air vents – this is also important where gas and heating appliances are concerned as they need a supply of oxygen to work efficiently and allow gases, such as carbon monoxide, to escape.

Allow air to circulate around furniture and in cupboards – you can do this by making sure that cupboards and wardrobes aren’t overfilled and there is space between the furniture and the wall.

In the kitchen keep lids on saucepans, open windows and if you have a ducted extractor hood use it.

In the bathroom is there an extractor fan fitted to remove steam and vapour. If not get one fitted.


3. A dehumidifier will extract the water from the air. 

It sucks in the damp air and blows it over cool fins, the air leaving the machine is drier. The water condenses on the fins and drips into a tank. The tank needs to be emptied often. Many people use these all winter. Some can be left on auto setting – just activating when the air is humid.


4. Keep your home warm Draft proofing will keep your home warmer – and help to reduce fuel bills.

When the whole house is warmer, condensation is less likely to form. Make sure external walls are insulated to stop cold patches.


What to do if your home already has mould:

The tips set out should prevent mould but if you already have a mould problem? How do you get rid of it?

Mould is a living organism and needs killing to get rid of it. To do this, wipe down affected areas with a fungicidal wash every day.

Treat any mould you may have already in your home and do what you can to reduce condensation, this will restrict new mould growth.

Mildewed clothes should be dry cleaned and any affected carpet shampooed.

Moulds flourish in damp environments, therefore one of the best ways to prevent their growth is VENTILATION.

Thorough cleaning of the kitchen, bathroom and utility room with subsequent ventilation of these areas will help prevent mould growth. Pay particular attention to walls behind kitchen units and cupboards; the lack of ventilation often means that excess mould grows in these areas.

Open windows and close internal kitchen and bathroom doors when cooking, showering or bathing to prevent steam entering other rooms. Keep bathroom surfaces dry. Do not hang wet clothes inside or over radiators.

Clean mould from window frames and dry condensation.

Do not hang clothes in damp cupboards or pack clothes too tightly in wardrobes. Leave wardrobe doors ajar to ventilate the clothes

Make sure that your tumble dryer is vented outside during use, or use a condenser-dryer. Try not to dry damp clothing indoors.

When showering or cooking, keep internal doors closed to prevent damp air spreading through the house. Use extractor fans and cooker hoods vented outside.

Use a dehumidifier, keep indoor humidity at 50% or less. Empty and clean the reservoir regularly


Important things to remember:

Do not block permanent ventilators. Vents are there for a reason.

Never block a chimney opening.

Use the window trickle vents or keep small windows ajar.

Use extractor fans and dehumidifiers.

Do not draught proof: Rooms where there is condensation or mould growth or Rooms where there is a gas cooker or fuel burning heater, for example a gas fire – or windows in the bathroom or kitchen.

Do not put furniture against cold external walls.

The landlord could be liable if there is a structural fault ie damp proof course problem or rainwater ingress via a leak in the roof. The only course of action open to you is to get your Local Authority to carry out an inspection under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. If they consider the problem to be serious they can serve an improvement notice on your landlord ordering him to carry out remedial works.

Some properties are affected more than others. Usually older draughtier properties suffer less as the draughts are also ventilation. Some people think it is damp from the outside but this is not the case. Some people think it is because it’s cold but garages or sheds don’t suffer so that is proved wrong.


Chancel Repair liabilty


Chancel repair liability is an ancient right for some parish churches to require parishioners to meet the cost for repairs to the chancel (the part of the church containing the altar and the choir) of an Anglican parish church.

Claims are rare and the church has to be built before 1536.

When buying a property most solicitors will check this for the buyer. The likelihood of this happening is extremely rare. Any risk can be removed by your solicitor taking out an insurance policy.

Reasonable insurance can be found here: http://www.searchpoint.co.uk/chancel-insurance/  in 2016 the one off Premium cost was £15.95 (inc IPT) for residential properties up to £1m indemnity


Restrictive Covenants

title plan

A restrictive covenant is a legally binding agreement attached to the title of the land and can be described as ‘private planning control’.

They are usually put their by the original land owner/builder to stop loss of value for a property or surrounding properties.

If an individual is selling land that was their garden they may wish to put covenants on the new land to restrict what can be built on the new land.

They are attached to the property and not an individual, details are placed on the title deeds and held by the Land Registry. A purchaser would receive this information with the draft contracts from their solicitor.

Many covenants are very old and the purposes for which they were originally imposed may have long since ceased to be apparent or even reasonable. Some covenants may be fresh and imposed by the immediate vendors of the plot.

Some covenants may stop building on parts of land if it is very close to an underground electrical supply or water mains.

In all cases, no matter how old they are, covenants cannot be removed or disregarded unless they are extinguished by agreement, which usually involves some form of payment or an application to the Lands Tribunal.

Covenants can be very obscure ie no brick making, brewing beer or keeping of pigs. Brewing beer at home is a prime example of a defunct covenant that the Lands Tribunal would be likely to strike down.

Some are ‘dead’ in that it – whilst still existing – does not appear to have any traceable beneficiary, then the new owner is in a much better position to be removed. Some covenants are not enforceable.

The simplest way forward  is not to seek to have the covenant removed, but instead to purchase a Single Premium Indemnity Policy. This can be arranged through a solicitor and the premium will be established by reference to the likelihood of any beneficiary coming forward. In most cases the premium is around £200.

Private estates around East Preston

Many of the roads close to the sea around East Preston are private.

Briefly, a private or unadopted road is by definition a highway not maintainable at public expense. The local highway authority is therefore under no obligation to pay for its maintenance. Responsibility for the cost of maintaining a private road rests with the frontagers (the owners of properties with frontages on such roads).

When you buy and live on a private estate you will be liable for estate, verge and road maintenance costs. The cost can be a few hundred pounds per annum per house. Some of the estates have gates and or extra security. Each estate may be organised slightly differently but the main aims are to keep high standards for the residents. These are enforced by covenants ie planning approval, commercial vehicles, caravans etc. Some have parking restrictions and deter tourists parking near the beach.

They have active boards of directors and always welcome help and input.

Please see our map with approx. boundaries of some of the private estates/roads in our area. This is for illustrative purposes only and a rough guide. Please email the office if you have any concerns or revisions for this page.



Government authorised consumer redress scheme

Redress-SchemesAll Property Agents that carry out Estate, Lettings and Property Management Work, as defined by legislation, must join a government authorised consumer redress scheme.

Estate Agents
The Property Redress Scheme is authorised by the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team (formerly the Office of Fair Trading) to offer redress to consumers of Estate Agents under the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007.
The following is the legislative definition of Estate Agency Work:
“Estate Agency Work” means things done by any person in the course of a business (including a business in which he is employed) pursuant to instructions received from another person (in this section referred to as “the client”) who wishes to dispose of or acquire an interest in land
(a) for the purpose of, or with a view to, effecting the introduction to the client of a third person who wishes to acquire or, as the case may be, dispose of such an interest; and
(b) after such an introduction has been effected in the course of that business, for the purpose of securing the disposal or, as the case may be, the acquisition of that interest;

Lettings and Property Management Agents
The Property Redress Scheme is authorised by the Department of Communities and Local Government to offer redress to consumers of Letting and Property Management Agents under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
The following are the legislative definitions of Lettings Agency and Property Management Work:
“Lettings Agency Work” means things done by any person in the course of a business in response to instructions received from:
(a) a person seeking to find another person wishing to rent a dwelling-house under a domestic tenancy and, having found such a person, to grant such a tenancy (a prospective landlord);
(b) a person seeking to find a dwelling-house in England to rent under a domestic tenancy and, having found such a dwelling-house, to obtain such a tenancy of it (a prospective tenant).
Exclusions: lettings agency work
(1) For the purposes of section 83 of the Act, “lettings agency work” does not include the things described in this article.
(2) “Lettings agency work” does not include things done by —
(a) the employer, where the prospective tenant is an employee;
(b) the person for whom the prospective tenant provides work or services, where the prospective tenant is a worker;
(c) the person for whom the prospective tenant provides work or services, where the prospective tenant is-
(i) an employee who provides work or services under the contract of employment to a person who is not the
prospective tenant’s employer; or
(ii) a worker who provides work or services under the worker’s contract to a person who is not a party to that contract;
(d) the hirer, where the prospective tenant is an agency worker;
(e) the person for whom the prospective tenant provides services under a contract for services.
(3) “Lettings agency work” does not include things done by —
(a) an institution within the meaning of paragraph 5 of Schedule 1 to the Local Government Finance Act 1992(1);
(b) an authorised person within the meaning of section 18 of the Legal Services Act 2007(2).
“Property Management Work” means things done by any person (A) in the course of a business in response to instructions received from another person (C) where:
(a) C wishes A to arrange services, repairs, maintenance, improvements or insurance or to deal with any other aspect of the management of premises on C’s behalf, and
(b) the premises consist of or include a dwelling-house let under a relevant tenancy.
However, “property management work” does not include—
(a) things done by a person who is a social landlord for the purposes of Schedule 2 to the Housing Act 1996;
(b) things of a description, or things done by a person of a description, specified for the purposes of this section in an order made by the Secretary of State.
“relevant tenancy” means—
(a) a tenancy which is an assured tenancy for the purposes of the Housing Act 1988;
(b) a tenancy which is a regulated tenancy for the purposes of the Rent Act 1977;
(c) a long lease other than one to which Part 2 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 applies;
(d) a tenancy of a description specified for the purposes of this section in an order made by the Secretary of State.
An order under subsection (8)(d) may not provide for a tenancy to which Part 2 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 applies to be a relevant tenancy.
“long lease” means a lease which is a long lease for the purposes of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 or which, in the case of a shared ownership lease (within the meaning given by section 7(7) of that Act), would be such a lease if the tenant’s total share (within the meaning given by that section) were 100 per cent.

We strive for customer service perfection and as we are passionate about what we do – if you have a complaint please contact us straight away. Our complaints procedure is here – http://cooper-adams.com/terms-conditions/



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