Does the information from our solicitors mean there are no subsidence issues?
Lee from Hull
Surveys questions and answers
We’re looking to buy a property and have received this information from our solicitors: the letter from the subsidence company says, Cause of Movement - localised weakening of subsoil beneath the foundations due to water escaping from damaged drains; Monitoring - the property was monitored between March 10 - December 10 and no significant structural variations were recorded; future stability - are there any obvious factors which could contribute to instability in the future? No. Does this mean the house has no subsidence issues?
It is difficult to answer your question without being fully briefed on the history of the subsidence and undertaking an inspection.
It is essential that you engage a building surveyor or structural engineer to investigate and report on the condition of the property as of now before you exchange contracts. The expert will carry out desk top enquiries and refer to the insurance company report as well as undertaking a site inspection. He will advise if further investigations are needed to support a prognosis.
It would be advisable to instigate such a report alongside a comprehensive Building Survey of the property (such as the RICS Building Survey). The insurance company carried out the monitoring/risk assessment to protect their interests. It is important that you receive advice on the structure, subsidence issues and much more, including details of ANY major drawbacks with the property – which can be supplied in a pre-move property survey.
It is important when buying any property that you don’t rely exclusively on the information provided by the mortgage valuation, as this survey type will not usually give details of repair works that need to be undertaken. Make sure you employ the services of an expert, independent Chartered Surveyor to ensure you have the full information about the property you are intending to purchase.
For the best opportunity to learn a sufficient amount about the structural condition of a property, be sure to get a house survey. You can find out how to get a house survey here.
You can discover more about subsidence, signs of subsidence and what to do if you think your property may have subsidence in our article, ‘Subsidence Cracks – what to do if you think you have subsidence’.
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Hannah, 09 April 2017