History of Subsidence On A Property

We talk about what checks you need to make when purchasing a property with a history of subsidence.

This question was from Zoopla User neelp.

I am a first time buyer who is about to complete on a 3 bed semi-detached property.

I have major concerns as the survey identified that in 2006 a tree located on the pavement fell and caused minor damage to the front of the property.

It was confirmed that the damage was the result of subsidence, the tree and leaking drains were noted as the cause. Minor repairs were made to the building, which included crack repairs and redecoration.

The property was monitored for 4 years and it was confirmed that the property was stable. My concern now is that the council now have a permanent record of subsidence and the seller is paying £1000 a year in buildings insurance.

I am concerned that the history of subsidence will always mean high buildings insurance premiums and will also deter future buyers from looking at buying the property of me 10 years down the line. Even if the building is still confirmed to be stable.

I would appreciate any help with this issue before I think of completing.


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Video Transcription

If you feel that the property that you’re thinking of purchasing has a history of subsidence of settlement, there are lots of things that you need to take into account. This is a very important decision you’re about to make.

You need to firstly check the history the subsidence, has it been inspected by a structural engineer and rectified, and if so how long is the guarantee for, so you know it isn’t going to occur again.

You also need to make sure that you continue with the insurance policy for buildings that the current owner is using, because if you don’t and subsidence reappears, then it may be that you’re not insured. So, you need to check that as well.

Generally properties that have been effected by subsidence are somewhat cheaper than, their competing properties elsewhere, because of the potential black cloud hanging over them, and that does deter some buyers.

So, it’s fine if you’re buying cheaper. You might think that’s a good thing, but of course when you come to sell, the same thing will happen to you. You will have to price the property more competitively that your neighbours.

Take some very good advice, you need to see structural engineers and surveyors reports, and also speak to your solicitor about it before going further.

However, properties that have been affected by subsidence, and there are thousands of them across the country, are still lived in and still make nice homes. They’re not empty, so there is every good reason to purchase one, if you’ve got those checks in place.

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