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New leasehold flat could have subsidence, should I sell up or wait?

(9 Posts)
NinaSimone Sat 23-May-15 22:36:02

Just bought a leasehold flat - Victorian conversion.The survey carried out a few months ago (due to delays with conveyancing) showed evidence of historic movement but not ongoing. I took the gamble and bought it anyway. Management company said in passing that a couple of flats are having trouble with floors sloping. I'm scared it might be further movement meaning subsidence. They are asking a builder round but not a structural surveyor yet. Should I sell up while I have the chance? Or wait to find out the result? If it is subsidence will I be stuck with a flat I can only sell at a loss?

Any advice welcome - I now know I did the wrong thing ignoring survey result identifying historic movement, so would appreciate thoughts on how to move forward.

Millymollymama Sat 23-May-15 22:59:35

They need a structural engineer to see the building, not a surveyor. Sloping floors can be caused be various things, not specifically subsidence. I think it would be a good idea for you and your neighbours to get together to force the management company to get the building looked at. If a buyer finds there are problems, you won't get it sold anyway. Presumably it is the freeholder's responsibility.

NinaSimone Sat 23-May-15 23:12:20

Thanks millymollymama, really trying to figure out which option will leave me least out of pocket. We don't know if there is a problem yet, but I just don't want the hassle, and don't want to be stuck with a flat that I can't sell on without making a huge loss. Selling up now (if possible) will cost me legal fee etc, and will most likely mean I won't be able to buy again as house prices have shot up. Not sure whether to hang in there and prepare for worst case scenario or just quit whilst I'm behind!

Isthereeverarightime1 Sun 24-May-15 09:49:40

Management companies responsibility to get fixed if it's subsidence, they have whole building insurance for this situation so they will have to claim! As long as all works are completed satisfactory with a certificate of structural adequacy provided once works finished etc then you should be fine and be able to sell in future! Try not to worry until a surveyor has visited

NinaSimone Sat 30-May-15 17:54:10

Building surveyor said there's no current movement, but obv historical movement. Suggested I monitor the situation in the future. HOWEVER speaking to neighbour and surveyor it's become clear that the previous managing agent (new company took over 6 months ago), didn't share all the files about the property. Works have been done to repoint a lot of brickwork at back and side of building but none of it was recorded on file. My property manager is still waiting for the rest to arrive. Surveyor doesnt think the building has been underpinned but I'm now wondering what the files hold. In terms of resale now and in future, no knowledge is better than evidence there was subsidence. Still not sure whether to sell up now, or just leave it and see what the future (and property files) hold confused.

Walnutpie Sat 30-May-15 17:59:23

Was the movement all along the street? Most streets that have old houses in them that were bombed during the war have shifted a bit. Similarly houses near trains shift a bit.

Historical movement might mean that a bomb fell nearby, and not be an imminent danger, just fairly typical old house situation?

NinaSimone Sat 30-May-15 18:12:09

Surveyor couldn't say either way, he mentioned the cause could be normal settlement, but also mentioned various forms of subsidence (but didn't say the actual word). Might have to see what the actual report says.

StonedGalah Sat 30-May-15 18:16:02

You can google to see if your area was bombed. We don't have subsidence but when l was looking up our road l found the round behind us had lost houses.

NinaSimone Sat 30-May-15 19:17:42

Thanks stonedgalah I checked and the nearest bomb was dropped about 200m away, not sure if it would have had any impact on my building tbh. Just a very frustrating situation with no obvious answer (to me at least)

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