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Advice wanted about buying a flat with subsidence.

I am tempted again to buy a flat in North London, which is the best I've seen after looking for over a year. It transpires that it has a history of subsidence, which has occured twice in the past. There is no paper trail assoc. with the first claim (1990's) so, I have no idea what happened. I have a insurance surveyors report re: the 2nd claim but no other information. The second claim involved the removal of a council tree at the front of the house. A neighbours tree at the back hasn't been removed. I can get insurance that it not expensive as exisitng insurers will continue. However, vendor wasnt 100% upfront about it. Do you think it's at risk of happening for a 3rd time although there is a cert of structural adequacy? Would you walk away? Would it be hard to resell particularly if there is a 3rd case? Could I be buying myself into a headache? Or should I be more relaxed considering its such a common problem? Advice please as I am trying to decide whether to have a survey. Thanks

Asked on Jan 16 2011, General in London | Report content

Answers (1)

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  • The vendor does not have a legal obligation to declare structural matters to the buyer although it is good that you have been dilligent as we would advise all buyers to be in any situation. It would be natural to suggest that the problem may re-occur, however this is mere speculation. It would be best to engage a chartered surveyor for either a structural survey or to obtain an SER - Structural Engineers report. Due dilligence now will re-affirm your decision to buy or save you from an expensive mistake. As for re-saleability: it may limit your options in some respects, however, you would be seeking a buyer who shares your vision and will fall in love with the property like you have.

    Answered on Jan 16 2011, Report content

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