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Issues on survey. WHY?

(11 Posts)
ojbsmum Wed 29-Apr-15 07:27:31

We have just heard back from the surveyor and there are a few issues on the house we are in the process of buying.
1. Some if not all walls, appear to be of asbestos cement sheets rather than plasterboard. Advised to get an asbestos survey done.
2. None of the upstairs windows open enough to be used as a fire escape. Coupled with no door to kitchen and no smoke alarms (which we would fit asap) the stairwell would fill with smoke quickly and potentially we would be stuck...

We are inexperienced house buyers. The seller's very reluctantly accepted our low offer but that is really stretching us.
How should we deal with this new information?
Are these the kind of things people ask the seller to sort out before exchange, renegotiate the price, just deal with once you're in? We have no clue what to do!

ojbsmum Wed 29-Apr-15 07:52:45

Obviously I didn't proof the title! Meant to say 'WWYD'...

Spickle Wed 29-Apr-15 07:52:48

Not an expert but I would get an asbestos survey done in your position. Having asbestos sheets instead of plasterboard is a concern but undisturbed and in a good stable condition, it usually poses no risk to health. Asbestos only becomes a problem when it is damaged or disturbed and is able to release asbestos fibres which can be breathed in. It not a good idea to cut, drill or otherwise disturb materials that you suspect may contain asbestos. If you need to carry out work then consider having a sample of the material analysed by a specialist contractor before any work is started.

Do the current owners have pictures, shelves etc drilled into these walls? If so, did they seek advice from a specialist?

Your second point doesn't appear to be too much of a problem because you could change some of the windows in the future, put up smoke alarms and consider installing a kitchen door.

agnesnott Wed 29-Apr-15 08:21:43

I second asbestos survey. There are ways of dealing with it e.g. encapsulation but it can make building work expensive
However it's sometimes falsely identified so worth a check.
I would ask seller re another offer. It's going to be an issue to any buyer and they might decide to meet you half way.

pinkje Wed 29-Apr-15 11:54:46

What's the age of the property?

Is it really likely to have asbestos walls? as PP says, this is often mis-identified and the advice to get a survey done is just to cover themselves.

I wouldn't think they'll budge on price if you've already negotiated a reduced price but I guess it depends on the market where you are.

ojbsmum Wed 29-Apr-15 12:43:31

Thanks for your replies.
The surveyor said it's a 1950's house and it was very common. We asked him to look at a bit pf plasterboard that was coming loose, possibly because of damp from a flat roof we thought. No damp, but it's not plasterboard...
Not sure I fancy being too worried to put up pictures and shelves.
Will maybe see if they will pay for or at least go halves on an asbestos survey.
The windows/lack of fire escape from all upstairs rooms would worry me and as we're overstretching ourselves to get the house we wouldn't be able to replace them for quite a while. But maybe that's just something we'll have to deal with.
They had a sale fall through last year after the survey. Was told it was nothing to do with survey but because they just found another house they liked better - but now I'm not so sure...

pinkje Wed 29-Apr-15 14:42:45

That's a very good idea to ask them to instruct an asbestos survey (or go halves; any idea what they cost?) and I agree, it sounds suspiciously like the reason the previous buyers pulled out!

Lucy61 Thu 30-Apr-15 15:04:49

I'd get the asbestos checked too but the rest of the stuff you mentioned are not things you could reasonably ask the vendors for a discount for.

sacbina Thu 30-Apr-15 16:09:00

we had asbestos sheets on all internal walls and ceilings, surveyor didn't pick it up! anyway we eventually had it removed, but next door still have it and are not overly bothered. its contained, not drilled into willy nilly, and if drilling is required they take precautions.

ojbsmum Thu 30-Apr-15 21:46:49

Thanks again for responses.
sacbina, out of interest, how much roughlydid it cost to remove and how limiting are the precautions? I don't want to be to scared to put up shelves & pictures!

sacbina Fri 01-May-15 16:34:13

think the whole house, walls and ceilings, under 5k? can't quite remember. the ndn damp.the area they want to drill and hold a Hoover to it!

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