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Underpinning/subsidence

(9 Posts)
racmac Mon 24-Aug-09 17:04:19

Apparently the house we wanted to buy had movement and was underpinned 20 yrs ago. We are getting a structural engineers report - anyone offer any advice?

racmac Mon 24-Aug-09 19:47:46

anyone?

Pannacotta Mon 24-Aug-09 20:10:55

What sort of advice were you after?
If its underpinned it is very unlikely to have any more problems so not sure what you wanted to know...

beanstalk Mon 24-Aug-09 20:20:09

You may find it difficult to get buildings insurance, most insurers are put off by a history of subsidence even though it is fixed and most likely not an issue. You should find out who the current buildings insurance is with and go with the same company if you do come across problems.
Any guarantee on the underpinning will have long run out by now I expect. Sounds like you are doing the right thing getting a structural engineers report.
I have just bought a house with past subsidence, it was fine but do be aware that it can put some buyers off so it may be a little harder to sell on in future. Make sure you get it at a good price to take this into account.

DrEvil Tue 25-Aug-09 13:41:28

When we bought our house 2 yrs ago we were told it was underpinned some time in the mid 80's due to movement because of a problem with the mains drain.

The seller comissioned a surveyors report to confirm that the underpinning was still secure and confirmed there had been no further movement. We spoke to the surveyor who did the report and confirmed this with him, we also gave our buildings surveyor the heads up that it had been underpinned and he found no issues either.

No one would take the building insurance on as a new customer but the insurers of the previous owners let us take on the policy (halifax) and it costs us around £65 per month.

Innat Tue 25-Aug-09 14:26:21

I've been doing a bit of research into this as in similar situation. It's crazy as your underpinned property is likely to be the most stable property on the street but yes insurers can be reluctant to insure. there are a few insurers out there who specialise in this type of thing. also on our house (which wasn't underpinned but had structural repairs) the insurers who instrcuted the work to be done are "obliged" (butnot legally) to continue to insure hte property otherwise thye would be admitting that the worj they instructed was not good enough iykwim...

Innat Tue 25-Aug-09 14:30:00

ps the structural engineer is unlikely to be able to say this property is never going to move in the future. but he may be able to give a certificate of structural adequacy or something similar. i would agree on gettign good price as it may put people of buying in future.

racmac Tue 25-Aug-09 15:27:32

Well i have just spoken to structural engineer and apparently the house was underpinned following movement because of an overflowing water tank - it is only the reat elevation that was underpinned.

There is a lean to on the back of the house which apparently is moving because of a broken drain leaking and causing the movement - so potentially once this drain is fixed the lean to would be removed in time to come so possibly not an issue - Im waiting for some info on insurance Co's to see how much it will effect our premiums

toja555 Tue 25-Aug-09 15:54:26

Had a similar issue – just bought a house with past movement. The survey said “past movement but not progressive”. It did not even mention word “subsidence”. However, my lender’s insurance company refused to give insurance. One of insurance brokers that are specialised in insurance for this type of properties offered 45/month without seeing survey and 32/month if structural survey provided to them. The previous owner’s insurer (Nationwide) offered a competitive price of 33/month which I decided to take (actually 35/month including Legal cover). Bear in mind, mine is only basic buildings insurance for 2 bed mid-terrace in SE London. So the insurance problem is resolved and does not bother me anymore.
The funny thing is, that after I visited house recently, I was seeing that everything (floor, stairs) is out of level and not sure whether it is real or my imagination is working too hard!

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