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Structural movement found between terraced houses

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  • Structural movement found between terraced houses

    Hi there

    We're attempting to purchase a Victorian (built circa 1900) mid-terraced house. Our mortgage lender carried our their valuation survey which highlighted movement (no detail given) and that, if we wanted to proceed, we'd have to provide them with a more detailed structural survey at our expense. We did so and our surveyor has indeed noted movement.

    The following notes were given (I've removed some of his more general points):

    There has been some structural movement to the front left hand corner of the dwelling. There has been some similar movement to the front right corner of the adjoining terraced house to the left. The front section of the party wall separating number ?? and number ?? has dropped slightly. This has led to the brickwork, stone heads and stone sills to the front elevation of the subject property sloping downwards slightly towards the left.

    The rate of slope is around 10/1000mm and only the left hand part of the front elevation of the subject property is affected. This is consistent with differential settlement. The minor differential movement to the front left corner of this house appears longstanding. It is of a relatively minor nature. There are no obvious signs of significant recent movement and the risk of further significant movement is thought to be low. No structural repairs are considered necessary. The extent of movement which has occurred is insufficient to cause any structural concern.


    We were put at ease at this but, after speaking with him and friends etc, we've been told to proceed with caution. We have also been advised that 10/1000mm slope is significant. In a nutshell we've been warned of resale issues where other buyers might have major concerns about any evidence of movement (irrespective of an option that it is historic and long-standing), not to mention lenders and building insurers.

    Upon receipt of this report the mortgage has been approved. We’ve also been offered buildings insurance through a broker who didn’t seem the least bit concerned given that subsidence hasn’t been mentioned and movement is likely long-standing. I did, however, get the feeling I was talking to a salesman (which I was) who was quite eager to fix me up with a policy - I will have a careful read of the documents before proceeding. We will also be speaking to the neighbours to see if they can reveal anything (the movement does affect their property after all).

    I've uploaded photos of the property here: https://postimg.cc/gallery/x1w2khji/

    It sounds like a risky buy but we're reluctant to walk away due to difficulties in finding property at the right price in this area. I'd appreciate your thoughts.

    Many thanks.
    Last edited by InThrees; 22-09-2018, 04:58 PM.
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