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Dodgy loft conversion? Pull out of purchase?

(11 Posts)
helsbels74 Wed 16-Sep-09 10:02:45

Hi all,

We're in the process of buying a 1930s house which has had a number of extensions and a loft conversion. The house needs quite a lot of work as the owners haven't looked after it that well. We were expecting this but on the advice of the survey took a builder round to look at a number of points and get estimates. He noted what the surveyor said re. some strange lead plates on the roof (which the surveyor said should be covered with tiles) and had a look in more detail only to find that the RSJ in the loft conversion was sticking out through the roof - hence they couldn't cover with tiles!

He looked in the cupboard in the loft and saw that the RSJ was proped up on 4 bricks above the main wall and was actually several bits of RSJ all bolted together. He said it wouldn't fall down but was really quite dodgy and the surveyor should have picked up on it.

We asked the surveyor to go back and look again which he said he would do - partly we were hoping he would say, 'don't worry, it's fine, it's one way of doing it and it meets building regs'. The surveyor phoned this morning to tell me that the vendor refused to let him survey again, worried that he might now get a 'bad survey' which would affect ability to sell. They still haven't sent the documentation through to our solicitor and yet have had 6 weeks so far to do so.

I'm dubious as it sounds to me like they have something to hide but am I being unfair? Given the amount of work which is needed I'm wondering whether we should just cut our losses and walk away....

Anyone experienced anything like this before or anyone have a loft conversion which has the same thing and is basically fine>???

Sorry for the length of this - hubby is away and so need to share this!

throckenholt Wed 16-Sep-09 10:04:35

I would check with building control to see if it has been signed off as acceptable. If it hasn't I would be very wary.

TokenFemale Wed 16-Sep-09 10:14:30

This would make me very nervous

noddyholder Wed 16-Sep-09 10:17:52

There is no way that will have been signed off by building control.If the house is in good shape otherwise I would get a loft co to give you an estimate for bringing it to standard and deduct that from your offer.The sellers would be wise to take it as they will come up against this time and again if they don't.However only do this if you love the house and there is no other for you as it sounds like a fair bit of work and if they were happy with a steel sticking out of the roof then god knows what other things they have bodged

claricebeansmum Wed 16-Sep-09 10:18:06

Your solicitor should get a copy of all planning permissions and sign offs for any work undertaken on the house, as a matter of course. So go back to him/her and ask if building control issued a certificate for loft conversion.

If all in order then you need to get a written quote from your builder for putting all the remedial work and tell the vendor you will be revising your offer.

TBH if you have this problem then any other buyers will too.

TheBalladofGayTony Wed 16-Sep-09 10:26:17

i would walk away

helsbels74 Wed 16-Sep-09 13:03:42

Thanks everyone!

The solicitor still hasn't received the documents he would expect to see so will chase up, but tbh I tend to agree with noddyholder - if they are happy to live with a shoddy loft conversion, what other nasties will pop up once we move in!

Oh the joys of buying a house.

Rebeccaj Wed 16-Sep-09 13:37:22

The fact they won't let your surveyor in again rings all sorts of alarm bells with me. I would think that means they have lots of things they hoped he had missed!

ElectricElephant Wed 16-Sep-09 13:39:23

run away!

dodgy loft conversions are bad enough (we have one - argh) but this sounds scary! The fact that he is refusing another survey is very suspicious.

Smalline Wed 16-Sep-09 13:46:31

Sorry I have no advice for you, but this just makes me wonder how on earth did the surveyor miss this?

ElectricElephant Wed 16-Sep-09 16:44:15

that's a good point - if he missed something then perhaps you could get your fee back?

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