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Any advice? I think structural survey was wrong

(8 Posts)
heron98 Fri 04-Mar-16 16:17:24

In a nutshell, we have bought a house that we knew had had some movement in the 1980s that had been repaired.

Before buying, we had a structural survey which said that it wasn't moving any more, that any remaining cracks were historic. We were satisfied with this.

However, when we moved in we became concerned by the number of cracks inside the property (which was also inspected) but which were not mentioned in the report.

I got the surveyor back out. He came yesterday and said that he would now like to monitor the cracks for further movement.

WTF? If there was any chance of this we would not have bought the house at all. Maybe we were naive, but we decided it was fine based on his survey and now it seems he's bothered to actually look (after the horse has bolted), it doesn't seem that these chances of movement are "remote" any more.

What do I do? Is there any way I can get them to pay for any work that might be needed (if indeed it is?) I feel very disappointed that I trusted their judgement on such a big thing. This is my first house.

JT05 Fri 04-Mar-16 16:21:44

How disappointing and upsetting for you. I would study the exact wording of the report. Surveyors will cover themselves from future issues by wording the report in a certain way. Even little words can affect the meaning.
It seems as if they are trying to be helpful.

heron98 Fri 04-Mar-16 16:23:07

I agree they are trying to be helpful.

I haven't said anything to them about their report being inaccurate yet, I want to see what sort of help they are offering etc and want to keep my powder dry for the time being.

But I am starting to wish we hadn't bought a house now and were still renting and this is making me really upset.

Waitingfordolly Fri 04-Mar-16 16:23:11

I had this issue. There were obvious cracks that indicated subsidence that had been patched over (but we're still visible if you looked closely) that I only noticed when I moved in. It's an old building so you expect some cracks but I didn't the specialist knowledge then to know that they indicated subsidence. Mine was caused by tree outside. I didn't pursue it in the end with the surveyors because they have so many opt outs in their report and I couldn't afford legal advice. However there is still life after subsidence horrible as it is when it happens.

heron98 Fri 04-Mar-16 16:26:40

Thanks Waiting.

I like that - "life after subsidence"!

I have been doing some ferocious Googling (always a bad idea) and am scared we'll never afford insurance/never resell. But we are where we are, I guess.

JT05 Fri 04-Mar-16 16:33:57

Loads of houses have had subsidence, if it is, then specialist repair will satisfy the insurers who presumably insure you already. If repaired properly and certificated to that effect it shouldn't be a problem on resale.

All houses move to some extent. Look at those 17 century houses, all over the place!

Waitingfordolly Fri 04-Mar-16 16:41:08

You really start to notice other houses with subsidence! There's lots near us. It can affect price in a slow market but not when houses are selling quickly so it will depend on other factors. Your insurance will continue to cover you, mine hasn't gone up much, but I do feel differently about the house.

southwest1 Fri 04-Mar-16 18:31:39

My survey mentioned historic movement, and we knew the house had been underpinned 25 years before. It did move again and had to be underpinned last year, it was unusual subsidence as it wasn't like anything the insurance company had seen before. I had to move out for 12 weeks while the work was done, would have been less but they weren't expecting as big a problem as they found so we wasted a month with them drawing up plans and getting building control approval. Insurance paid for it all, and a hotel for the 12 weeks.

I'm selling now and it's not put the buyers off, the work is insured for about 25 years, so it's in a better position than it was before.

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