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Buying a house with a history of subsidence x 2

I am considering buying a lovely flat in North London. However it transpires that it has had a history of subsidence twice in the past (1996 and again in 2004). There is no paper trail for the first case. I have an engineers report for the second case. The report cites two sycamore trees but, only one has been removed (by the council at the front). The remaining tree is in a neighbours garden and is huge. I expect the roots affect surrounding soil. I do not know why this tree has not been removed. Other than this engineers report, there is no paper trail. I have been told there is no movement since 2004. Of course, there could be movement which has been plastered over as the vendor seems to want to move extremely quickly. However, she has a certificate of structural adequacy. I like the flat but, dont want to be lumbered with a third case of subdience or any underpinning. Should I have more of a paper trail? Any advice please....many thanks indeed.

Asked on Jan 2 2011, General in London | Report content

Answers (2)

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  • I doubt it's what you want to hear, but walk away. It might seem like the flat of your dreams, but it could easily cause you no-end of heartache and cost you a fortune. I'd also imagine you'd find it difficult to get building insurance, which will make getting a mortgage quite problematic. When you come to sell the place, you'll have buyer after buyer walk away when they learn of the history. No wonder the vendor wants to sell quickly. There are no shortage of flats around - I'd keep looking for one that is problem free, and let someone else deal with this one.

    Answered on Jan 3 2011, Report content
  • Thanks so much for getting back to me. I know you are right but, it's a pull on the heartstrings as I have been looking for a year. Also the flat is amazing. Interestingly, building insurance won't be a problem as the existing insurers will continue to cover the new occupant. But, I think you are right about the history affecting resale. Its a reminder to think with your head and not your heart when making such a massive investment. Thanks for your answer- I really appreciate it. It helps to hear your opinion as I just withdrew my offer today. Thanks, L.

    Answered on Jan 4 2011, Report content

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