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Evidence of structural movement in survey- what to do? I'm the seller.

(23 Posts)
NoPlanYet Fri 01-Apr-16 08:49:04

I've just had my second lot of buyers pull out due to the survey saying there is evidence of structural movement. A third lot (in between the other two) pulled out due to redundancy and they had nothing flagged in their survey. When I bought the place 6 years ago the survey was fine too.

It's a ground floor purpose built 1900s half a house flat. It has had reparatory work done previously for movement, I have no idea when but there is a big metal plate on the outside holding the wall in.

Clearly I need to do something to be able to sell. What should I do?! I guess get an expert structural report and then do any work they recommend- hopefully insurance will cover this?

I'm in SE London.

I'm willing to take a hit on the sale price if that were a possible solution. I sold for 450 but could go as low as 420 if someone would just take the bloody flat off my hands! Would the we buy any house websites etc be worth contacting? Or putting the place up for auction?

I can rent it out and still proceed with my onward purchase so maybe I should do this instead and aim to sell in the next year. I don't want to be a landlord longterm.

Anyone else been in this situation? I'm lost and flailing.

NoPlanYet Fri 01-Apr-16 12:34:10


QuiteLikely5 Fri 01-Apr-16 12:42:35

I would get a detailed structural survey carried out ASAP.

This is something you can rely on to show potential buyers.

Only if this report states you have movement should you then contact your insurers. Apparently it is not a good idea to put the flag on your home insurance for movement as it can be very tricky to get insured by other companies once that market is agai st your property.

QuiteLikely5 Fri 01-Apr-16 12:42:47

* marker

heron98 Fri 01-Apr-16 12:46:03

We just bought a house that had evidence of movement.

We had a full structural survey that recommended some remedial work costing about 1 grand. We asked for this to be knocked off the price and are having the work done next week.

We also have to have special house insurance but it's not cost us any more than normal insurance.

I do think it could put a lot of people off, but we were still keen.

msrisotto Fri 01-Apr-16 12:48:06

If you purchase a second home now you'll be landed wth an extra 3% tax on top of stamp duty so there's no point in doing that when you're intending to sell it anyway.

NoPlanYet Fri 01-Apr-16 13:00:36

Risotto you're right but we're ready to exchange on our onward purchase and don't want to lose the new house. Plus we plan to sell in the next year and therfore will get the extra stamp duty refunded.

msrisotto Fri 01-Apr-16 13:04:17

Ooh I didn't know about that caveat.

NoPlanYet Fri 01-Apr-16 13:05:17

Heron thanks for your story. If only you were my buyer!

NoPlanYet Fri 01-Apr-16 13:06:51

And QL5 thanks too. I guess we'll have to do this. It's all so much hassle. Would much rather knock cash off and have someone else do all the work confused

kirinm Fri 01-Apr-16 13:07:34

Where do you live? I'm looking and we are pretty bloody desperate.

SoupDragon Fri 01-Apr-16 13:08:52

there is evidence of structural movement.

I assume this evidence isn't simply the large metal plate on the wall from the previous remedial work...?

I would get my own survey done so that I knew exactly what the problem is.

kirinm Fri 01-Apr-16 13:10:12

Sorry, that was me being facetious. I've seen a few places come back on due to evidence of movement. I think we'd probably find out how much it costs to fix and either ask you to reduce the price or walk away.

Do these surveys ever set out how much the work might cost? If it's something like tree root subsidence, that'll be an insurance issue and can take a long time to resolve as insurers will monitor the movement.

Ifailed Fri 01-Apr-16 13:14:04

To be honest, I'd be surprised if a 116 year old property didn't have any movement, all buildings settle to a certain extent. Do you know the nature of it? Do you own the share of the freehold? What does your EA say?

SilverBirchWithout Fri 01-Apr-16 13:15:41

Do you know whether the buyers survey which mentioned structural movement was just referring to the evidence of repairs in the past or something new?

kirinm Fri 01-Apr-16 13:27:49

It might feel quite troublesome to fix if it's going to have to involve other home owners - I'm guessing that will be the case it's leasehold or a state of the freehold.

Is there a management company that will have to be involved? I could see that being a drawn out process that a buyer might be put off by to be honest.

NoPlanYet Fri 01-Apr-16 15:42:43

No management company, freeholder is a stranger who does nothing and collects no money! Not sure who is responsible for repairs to a moving building actually, good point. Upstairs might have to pay too. It's their weight pushing us down...can I use that argument?! grin

I do need to wait for the EA to get and send on the relevant bits of the report. I am just so bloody impatient.

Kirin if you're at all serious please PM me! It's a great flat, really spacious for a 2 bed and with a lovely garden.

I think the surveys only flags up possible risks, and they're hugely are covering. To get details about whether something actually is a problem or not we need a proper structural report. Might have to make that the next step I suppose...
I wonder if future buyers would accept that though since we paid for it so it is 'ours' and theoretically bias?

kirinm Fri 01-Apr-16 16:06:34

I can't PM as I'm on my phone and have a crap laptop at the moment.

Whereabouts in SE London are you? Roughly?

If your place is leasehold, you don't have authority to make the repairs so you'll need the freeholders permission. Does sound like a bit of a pain for you. I'd say that the other flat will have to contribute too but if I was buying, id want evidence of an agreement in place for splitting the costs before I agreed to purchase - although that depends on what actually needs doing!

I think your best bet is to try and find out what the report says and go from there.

Moving15 Fri 01-Apr-16 16:25:25

Find out what the report actually says. It might say, there is evidence of historic structural movement (reference to plates) and the buyer should satisfy themselves that the work undertaken is OK blah blah. Your nervy buyers might have panicked and run off. In which case wait for another buyer.
Or it might say there is evidence of recent structural movement here and here. In which case it's time to call in the buildings insurance people.

CakeThat Fri 01-Apr-16 16:41:09

The survey will only flag up visible signs of movement, cracking etc. This doesn't necessarily mean that the building is now subsiding, it may be historic or insignificant. A structural engineer should be able to assess the problem and, if necessary, what needs doing to fix it. If he thinks it is historic or insignificant he can then provide a guarantee certificate which can be given as proof to purchasers, and the property's value will therefore not be affected.

NoPlanYet Fri 01-Apr-16 16:54:13

Kirin I'm SE23 if that is enough info

NoPlanYet Fri 01-Apr-16 16:55:59

Thanks others for your ideas. I hadn't thought about getting upstairs to pay too, and i hadn't thought about getting freeholder permission. Both really good points.
Ok feeling a bit more positive now, but will await report before charging off to insurance company! Or expert surveyor...

dontcallmelen Fri 01-Apr-16 23:58:16

Hi OP SE23 is fairly prone to movement, as are lots of areas in London, due to the clay, sounds as though your flat has has previous remedial works, the metal plate is usually an indication of 'tie bars' meaning the walls have been strengthened with bar/bars due to movement at some point.
I would advise getting a structural report, which should put your/buyers mind at rest, as any historical movement has been remedied by the tie bars, unless of course you are incredibly unlucky & the property is moving again, highly unlikely though.

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