I’m sorry there’s been such a delay in my posting this update – I’ve been away since and not up to doing it all from my phone. Anyway, I'm back now….
Mr W from Environmental health turned up a little earlier than his appointed time, and was pleasant and professional throughout his visit. He said he was here to ascertain the cause of a damp wall in the rear room of the next door property, and once ascertained, to further say what would be needed to remedy it.
We gave him access to all rooms on our side and allowed him access to the attic and provided him with a ladder to do so.
The areas he inspected were dry, but with evidence of historical damp – the rear room in my parents particularly had discoloured wallpaper and crumbly plaster, but this was all cured when the property was re roofed about a decade ago, and was dry and dusty to the touch. It’s dry enough for them to use it to store my Dad’s originals (he is a watercolourist), which they would hardly do if there were the slightest damp problem.
The attic was dry too, and the new roof was evident.
When asked Mr W opined preliminary indications were there was flashing of some sort present under the render, but this needed replacing, and that the gable end would need to be rendered as part of this job. He conceded that as far as we were concerned there was no problem with the gable end from our side. He seemed to think my parents would be liable to pay for the render, but admitted he knew little of party wall law, or what if any provision there might be in the deeds to cover such a contingency. He also asked to return with a damp meter as within the week so readings could be included on his report. We agreed to this, and I’ll try and be present on that occasion too.
Of course doing this work to a decent standard would mean scaffolding, the expense of which would form a major part of the cost of works. My parents concede that as they do benefit they might, if it came to it, possibly be willing to pay for re-rendering, but not for installing flashing, scaffolding or hacking off - a fallback position showing some concession to neighbourliness.
I guess the ball is in buy to let woman’s court now (unless we got some sort of order requiring us to do the work ourselves from the environmental health).
So now waiting for the next move.
Although in the interim it’s quite tempting to fire off a letter asking her to reinstate the paint and render her builder removed without permission – anyone have a view as to whether this would be reasonable or antagonistic and maybe counterproductive?