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Repair or Improvement

Repair or Improvement

Postby optimist22 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:57 pm

In a leasehold property - if walls not previously rendered is rendering them considered a repair or improvement. The difference is crucial as to source for payment. The walls are in a good state of repair with no obvious visual defect.
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Re: Repair or Improvement

Postby Hairyloon » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:52 pm

optimist22 wrote:In a leasehold property - if walls not previously rendered is rendering them considered a repair or improvement...

No.
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Re: Repair or Improvement

Postby dls » Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:57 am

A repair remedies a defect. Had a defect been identified?

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Re: Repair or Improvement

Postby theycantdothat » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:25 am

It sounds like an improvement.
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Re: Repair or Improvement

Postby Hairyloon » Sun Oct 30, 2016 10:50 am

theycantdothat wrote:It sounds like an improvement.

Is a rendered wall better than a plain wall? Perhaps, but not necessarily?
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Re: Repair or Improvement

Postby optimist22 » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:58 am

Thanks for the helpful replies. It is an old building on the Cornish coast. Claim that damp in property is penetrating damp and therefore rendering required. No defect identified in wall other than few pinholes in cement mortar pointing. Advice from most sources is that rendering has the potential to make any problem worse. No clauses in lease specifically refer to damp.
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Re: Repair or Improvement

Postby theycantdothat » Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:18 pm

Legally an improvement is essentially a permanent change which does not involve repair, replacement or restoration. Some refinement of that definition may be required. I think perhaps it has to involve some notion of enhancement, though not necessarily involving an increase in value of the property. Indeed, I think it can involve a decrease in the value of the property. An example would be ripping out an Adam fireplace. The owner of the property may consider that to be enhancement if he thought the fireplace ugly or wanted the space it took up to be available for a bookcase.
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Re: Repair or Improvement

Postby Hairyloon » Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:44 pm

optimist22 wrote:Advice from most sources is that rendering has the potential to make any problem worse...

Hard to argue that that is an improvement...
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Re: Repair or Improvement

Postby optimist22 » Sun Oct 30, 2016 1:12 pm

Thanks for that definition which is very relevant.

I don't think rendering is an improvement. Although not a builder I think it a waste of money. However, if not able to win that argument is it a legally acceptable/enforceable expense for leaseholders ? If classed as a repair it is, if not then do not have to pay..
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Re: Repair or Improvement

Postby dls » Sun Oct 30, 2016 4:00 pm

As TCDT says, what amounts to an improvement may be a matter for debate.

In essence an old cottage by the coast may always have been subject to damp penetration. In earlier times, people will have heated the property differently, and, to be frank, have expected to have to put up with damp. That is how it was designed. It is not now broken or damaged. That is how it has always been. It was not a defect when it was built. It was a limitation accepted by those who lived there. Do not underestimate either the effect of different heating habits.

In the sixties we built many many thousands of houses an apartments which proved to be damp, on occupation being taken up. From memory the architects said that people were occupying them wrongly - they were not being occupied constantly, and heated constantly, but rather people were going out to work leaving the property unheated during the day. Naughty little workers.

If the rendering is intended to cope with damp penetration, then it is attempting to improve - it is bringing something up to current standards, a standard never envisaged when it was built.
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