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Q I have a damp problem on three of my outside walls. Internally, the plaster is falling off and the rooms are becoming harder to inhabit. I've read about a non-chemical treatment and wondered if this could be the answer?

Q I have a damp problem on three of my outside walls. Internally, the plaster is falling off and the rooms are becoming harder to inhabit. I've read about a non-chemical treatment and wondered if this could be the answer?

SC, Kent, by e-mail

A You may be referring to the Dutch Schrijver system (0870 161 3515), which regulates the humidity within the property, drawing out the damp through a series of hollow ceramic bricks, working like mini chimneys, cemented into the outside wall. The amount of damp that is withdrawn depends on the weather conditions and wind speeds. The system can be installed in single brick and cavity walls. You would be best to consult a damp-proofing specialist as well as a Schrijver consultant, who will advise you on the suitability of its system for your property. Also check that gutters and airbricks around the building are clear which may be contributing to the problem.

Q My husband and I married earlier this year and wish to add each other's names to the title deeds of the properties we both bought prior to marrying, which are currently in sole names. We rent the flat worth £250,000 and live in the house worth £700,000. There are mortgages on both the properties, but will we have to pay stamp duty upon transfer? If so, should we write the properties into our wills so that they will pass to our spouse on either of our deaths, or will we then have to pay inheritance tax then?

F Higgins, by e-mail

A If there is a mortgage on the properties, stamp duty will be payable on half the mortgage debt. If this is less than £60,000 no duty will be payable. There would be nothing to pay if there was no mortgage. With regards to inheritance tax, anything you give during your lifetime or leave to your husband or wife when you die is free of inheritance tax, but you both must reside in the UK. You should seek advice directly from the Inland Revenue for any individual circumstances that may apply. Log on to www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk for more information.

Q Is there anything to stop my buyer from offering less money for my property on the day of exchange? This happened to a friend and she had to drop the price of her house by £10,000 in order to keep the chain together.

A M, by e-mail

A Legally, there is nothing to stop this practice, known as gazundering, from happening, but it isn't something that happens often. If there is no reason for a lower offer (ie, a fault with the property that would make it worth less) your solicitor would hopefully advise you to hold your ground or ask for the contracts to be returned from the purchaser's solicitor. The purchaser may then reconsider their position if they realise there is no room for movement.

If you would like a query answered, e-mail: propertyq&a@independent.co.uk. Only those questions featured will be answered. Any advice given will not be legally binding

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