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Differing structural surveys

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  • Differing structural surveys

    Hi, I'm hoping someone can help me with this one. I'm purchasing my first flat in London and the buildings survey revealed evidence of possible subsidence and recommended a structural report. I instructed a local chartered structural engineer to inspect the possible structural problems and he confirmed strong evidence of heave and recommended action to rectify it, estimating the total cost to be around £15k. However, the vendor has since commissioned a structural engineer's report which says the cracking is insignificant and only cosmetic work is required at a cost of £500. Obviously, it is too risky for me to rely on the vendor's report over mine. The two vary so wildly it is impossible to make a judgement call. I would be interested to hear if anyone has experienced similar or has any advice. Thanks for reading.

  • #2
    Re: Differing structural surveys

    If you have that sort of major financial doubt then the only thing to do is walk away and buy something else.
    RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
    As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

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    • #3
      Re: Differing structural surveys

      That's a surprise, the vendor's structural report saying it's all OK! Could it be that he paid them to say that?

      Run a mile. Your surveys were money well spent and have saved you a lot of hassle and expense.
      BRAND NEW HOMES
      Information for UK new home buyers
      New Home Blog The latest news and views

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      • #4
        Re: Differing structural surveys

        Thanks for your replies. The sellers are also saying that even if the work does need doing, the freeholders' insurance covers it. However, I can't be sure of that until a claim is made. It seems to be a no win situation unfortunately. I can't take the risk and they don't seem willing to compromise.

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        • #5
          Re: Differing structural surveys

          Even if the freeholder's insurance did cover it you would have the problem of getting the freeholder to do anything about making a claim. He would have to recover the insurance excess from all the lessees and might not want the hassle of doing that.
          RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
          As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

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          • #6
            Re: Differing structural surveys

            Very true, thanks. We are still in stalemate. The flat below recently sold and their survey was clear. I fail to understand how two surveyors and two structural engineers can come to such different conclusions! The sellers have now offered to split the cost of a third mutually arranged structural report. But even if it's clear the seed of doubt has already been sewn really.

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            • #7
              Re: Differing structural surveys

              Hi there,
              Personally, I would say walk away from this. You don't need to buy yourself un-necessary problems. Is your heart really set on this proerty? If not then there are others out there. The issue with claiming on the free holders insurance is that it is not always as quick and simple as a chap comes out from the insurance company and says yep its subsidance get three quotes and have the work done in 2 or 3 months. The insurance companies Engineer may actually think, mmm this crack or series or cracks needs monitoring, and suggests that this should be done for a period of a year then re-assessed. This leaves you in a slight predicament. Also what is the view of your mortgage company, some lenders are wary of properties with these issues unless there is a clear stratergy from the off. In addition with regards to the vendors engineer saying that its not such a problem and you go with what they are saying then you need to re-issue thier survey wtih you as the client (this will probably cost) as depending upon the paperwork structural surveys undertaken for someone else may not be transferable with regards to its liability.

              Best of Luck
              Peter Hall M.Sc. B.Sc. (Hons) MRICS
              www.agrarian-uk.com

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