I am buying a Leicester house and am quite worried that there is a danger of subsidence. Can a Building Survey investigate this?
Subsidence is defined as sudden or gradual shrinkage in the soil that surrounds foundations of a building, forcing a downward settling of the building as the weight becomes too much for the subsoil to support as it once did, and it usually occurs with little or no movement along the horizontal.
The content of soil around the foundations of a house in Leicester can have unwanted consequences. Issues range from subsoil shrinkage to soil swelling, both of which can put a house's foundations under great strain. The water content of clay soils determines its volume, pushing upward, or pulling downward as the weather changes. This may result in some minor visible defects, like sticking doors or separation of the skirting board from the floor, which can be early indications of very serious structural issues.
The Institution of Structural Engineers doesn’t recommend underpinning for the large majority of subsidence issues; rather this is treated as a last resort, where piles are dug and filled with concrete to support the existing foundations. Since the biggest percentage of subsidence issues are caused by trees and other plants in the vicinity draining the soil, judicious pruning or evening removal may be enough to rectify the problem (but note that such activity may also create other issues, so an expert’s advice should be sought). And, of course, if the drains are broken, then these should be repaired as soon as possible.
A Leicester surveyor will consider any clay-soil-related concerns and advise accordingly in the report. If you are particularly concerned about a crack or other sign of movement, the surveyor can also report on whether it is recent, or an indication of much earlier subsidence.
You can get your instant, low-cost quote from Surveyor Local by filling in the form at the top of this page, or, for more advice, call our waiting team of advisers on 0800 038 6667.
There is a semi-detached house in the LE3 postcode area priced at £205,000. What things does a surveyor consider when calculating house prices in Leicester?
A qualified RICS surveyor will go to the property as well as considering the wealth of area knowledge and factors that have a bearing on the value of property. There are a huge number of issues that could affect house prices (for example, the quality of nearby schools, or whether the garden is overlooked). It can help to benchmark selling-prices recorded for similar properties in Leicester.
This means the average price of completed transactions for semi-detached houses in Leicester in December 2018 was £197,694, which is £7,306 less than the asking price for the cited property. With regards to other types of property, the averages for the same month in Leicester were:
Information © 2019 HM Land Registry. Retrieved from HM Land Registry website on 8 March 2019
An impartial way to get a formal house valuation is with a HomeBuyer Report, which includes a Property Valuation Report (PVR) as a core component. A qualified RICS surveyor will be part of the Valuer Registration Scheme, which reinforces professional standards.
If you need further guidance, why not try our online instant quote generator (scroll to the top of the page and fill in a few pieces of information)? Or you can call our team at Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667; we’re open 7 days a week.
We are intending to buy a property in Leicester, but does the property surveyor consider evidence of flood damage?
The Environment Agency estimates that approximately 5.2m houses are exposed to water damage caused by flooding, with over half of those being susceptible to flooding from surface water alone, and the value of a house in an at-risk area is often impacted by this threat.
As with many aspects of home-ownership, flood-prevention is better (and cheaper) than a cure. Flood-water can enter a house via several routes, including seepage through walls, around ill-fitting doors, and through air bricks. Details relating to signs of flooding may be reported in Section J of the HomeBuyer Report (Risks.
Because of the increasing likelihood of flooding in the UK and the problems it causes, it becomes an essential part of looking for a new home to establish its history with flooding and the risk to the local area. There are several steps that can be taken:
- use the Environment Agency’s flood information service for the current situation
- search for your location on the Environment Agency’s flood map for planning service to establish the level of risk of flooding (based on historical and geographical information)
- appoint a specialist search provider to identify the position in more detail (you can talk to your conveyancing solicitor about this option and costs)
- check with the sellers to confirm anecdotal evidence of prior flooding issues
- If practical to do so, it is also worth looking at the house in both wet and dry weather to see if there are any obvious differences.
Your Surveyor Local chartered surveyor will have years of experience in dealing with such issues, making it the right decision to choose us to look after your survey. Want a low-cost, instant quote? Fill in the simple details in the form at the top of this page. When you’re ready to appoint your surveyor, give our waiting advisers a call on 0800 038 6667.
The estate agent stated there is a possibility of asbestos boards behind radiators in the property in Leicester. What are the issues with asbestos, are there any health risks and what are the remedial options?
Asbestos is the general name given to the group of six fibrous, silicate materials that are now known to be harmful to organisms, when the dust or fibrils are released into the environment (by any number of processes including abrasion).
Asbestos has been mined for hundreds of years, but it was only in the last century that it was found to be so detrimental to health, although it still took until 1999 for there to be an outright ban in the UK, as part of an EU-wide directive, even though restrictions were placed from 1985.
The most common type found in the UK is white asbestos (chrysotile), which was often used in roofs, floors, ceilings, walls and insulation, thereby appearing in all manner of construction materials. From 1986, it was only white asbestos that remained in use in the UK for construction purposes.
Before its severe health risks were fully understood, it was regarded as a miracle material because of its fire-retardant and sound-proofing qualities as well as its resistance to chemical attack and its high-tensile strength. It’s hardly surprising, therefore, that it should find its way into all manner of construction items, from gutters to loft insulation, from radiator coverings to paint and sealant.
Technically, all forms of asbestos, including the three main types used in building houses (white, blue and brown) are hazardous, and might lead to lung cancer if inhaled over sustained periods. However, breathing in a single fibre is not fatal, contrary to popular belief.
If it is found, care should be taken not to disturb asbestos, and professional advice must be sought urgently. Getting rid of it will likely be expensive, but absolutely must be conducted by trained experts, so don’t be tempted to attack the job yourself. Surveyors cannot confirm the existence asbestos during a Leicester Building Survey, but they will report on suspected asbestos risks, and should inform you of the options.
Worried about the survey process? Call Surveyor Local on 0800 038 6667 to talk through your concerns with one of our advisers, and they will help you choose the most appropriate product for your prospective Leicester purchase. If you get an instant survey quote via the form at the top of this page, you’ll see just how low our prices are.
When we were shown the building we are interested in buying in Leicester, we saw that there is a very old fuse-board; does a HomeBuyer Report go into detail on the state of the wiring and electrical system?
One of the principal areas that your chartered surveyor will look into when they’re inspecting the property you are considering buying is the electrics, reporting on any findings where they suspect any part of the system to be in hazardous condition.
All new electrical work needs to be covered under the British standard regulations (BS 7671), which, for residential properties, cover all wiring, the circuit-breakers, residual current devices (RCDs), sockets, and so on, while also focusing on special areas such as bathrooms (e.g. heating or shaving sockets), swimming pools (internal or external), ponds, or portable outdoor equipment.
As part of the building regulations approval in an extension or new-build, or where the electrical circuits have been updated, an electrical certificate, signed off by a qualified electrician, needs to be supplied to comply with the requirements. This document will be sought and checked by your Surveyor Local surveyor.
In addition, the IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineers) recommends that a periodic inspection be completed every 10 years on private residential property, or every 5 years if you are renting out the property to tenants, or you own a commercial building. Again, your Surveyor Local chartered surveyor will identify the Periodic Inspection Review document’s existence and confirm its validity and status.
When preparing a Leicester Building Survey or HomeBuyer Report, an RICS surveyor will inspect all accessible parts of the electrical system, noting the location and likely age of the fuse-board, and includes a visual assessment of the superficial parts of the wiring, without taking anything apart for safety reasons. In addition to verifying areas connected to the mains (e.g. the whereabouts of the meter or consumer unit), the surveyor will also choose a selection of sockets and light-switches to ensure they are operating normally.
In the survey report, the surveyor will highlight all of the findings, including identifying those areas that they are unable to access, which might need further investigation by a qualified electrician. Where there are areas of concern, particularly where the electrical circuits and wiring don’t conform to the British standard, the surveyor will recommend that immediate action be taken. It is wise to obtain a couple of quotes for any major rewiring activities, as this can be used to enter into renegotiations over the asking price with the seller.
Local highly-rated electricians in the area include:
- 786 Electricals Ltd., 14 Walcote Road, Leicester, LE4 9FR (Tel: 07584 321989)
- Alectrical, 6 Charles Drive, Anstey, Leicester LE7 7BF (Tel: 07731 980263)
- CAL Electrical Ltd., 1 Top Close, Thorpe Astley, Leicester LE3 3RJ (Tel: 0116 431 8048)
Looking for a cost-effective solution to your survey needs? Look no further than Surveyor Local for one of the best chartered surveyors in the country at a competitive rate. Get your instant quote now (scroll to the top of this page and fill in the simple form) or, if you want to set up an appointment with a surveyor, call us now on 0800 038 6667.
How will we know what impact heavy rain may have on our new home in Leicester, and could it affect the property’s value?
Rainfall is a fact of life in the UK, particularly as a much-loved and -derided topic of conversation. However, wet conditions and the effect it can have on Leicester property are often overlooked by buyers desperate to get the move completed. For instance, rusted iron elements can often mean that the drainage is damaged. Whether you are buying in Leicester or elsewhere, difficult drainage does not necessarily mean that you need to pull out of the transaction, because such matters are often simple to repair if they are caught early enough.
The Environment Agency has estimated that around 1 in every 6 homes around the country is at risk from some sort of flooding, with more than half of those susceptible from surface water alone. The risk of floods needs to be taken seriously, since ingress of water to a property can threaten safety as well as causing major damage and disruption in the aftermath. It also has an impact on the property’s value and its insurability and the premiums that will be required to be paid. So, it makes sense to get your survey carried out by an experienced firm like Surveyor Local.
Our chartered surveyors at Surveyor Local know precisely what to look for to identify such problems. Want to appoint one of them to examine your planned purchase? Call us now on 0800 038 6667 and talk through your plans with one of our friendly advisers. You can get an instant survey quote in a matter of moments by completing the form at the top of this page, so you can see just how low our prices are.
For a HomeBuyer Report on a Leicester house or flat what does a ‘green-light’ rating mean for 'E4 - Main walls'?
The HomeBuyer Report is specifically designed and laid out so that clients can find what they want easily and, more importantly, understand what the report is saying. In summary, the product provides:
- a clearer layout, so that the information within it is obvious and can be found easily and swiftly
- an energy performance rating, bringing it in line with current legislation
- modern design broken down into the clear areas of the inspection (e.g. about the property, inside, outside, services, etc.)
- colour-coded condition ratings using a traffic-light system for instant visual understanding (1 (green) – no repairs required; 2 (amber) – needs repair or replacement but not immediately urgent; 3 (red) – needs urgent repair, replacement or financial investment)
- performed by a skilled chartered surveyor, such as the thorough and focused surveyors we have available at Surveyor Local
- less comprehensive and detailed (and therefore cheaper) than the Building Survey, but significantly more detailed than the Condition Report
- written in plain English with no technical or jargon terminology for easy understanding of the condition of the building
The HomeBuyer Report is divided into twelve different sections, with Section E focusing on the external aspects of the property (incorporating any permanent structures that might exist). This section is further subdivided, with the fourth area looking at the walls. Note that concealed elements will not be considered. If hidden issues with the walls or foundations are suspected, a more comprehensive structural survey may be advised.
The damp-proof course is one aspect that is covered under Section E4, as is efflorescence on external walls. A 'green' condition rating of 1 confirms that no repairs are required, but it does not mean that no future maintenance is required. Regular upkeep may still be appropriate or even necessary.
Talk to our survey advisers on 0800 038 6667 to find out more regarding the survey, or you can look at the sample reports that Surveyor Local has created on our website, including one for the HomeBuyer Report. Fill in the simple form at the top of this page and you’ll quickly see how competitively priced our surveying products are.
If I’m purchasing a defective, Regency apartment in Leicester, should I opt for the more comprehensive Building Survey?
Of course, you can choose the Building Survey for any property that they are buying, but the RICS recommends that it is most suitable for:
- Listed buildings and some properties in conservation areas
- Properties that were built more than 50 years ago
- Properties that you want to extend, change significantly, or update in an integral way
- Buildings that have been recently subjected to such change
- Properties of an unusual construction, or built with unusual materials, irrespective of their age
The Building Survey is a comprehensive inspection by a chartered surveyor, and it provides:
- An inspection of the building(s) at the property
- A full survey report of the findings, both good and bad
- A property valuation (if specifically requested and carries an additional cost)
To understand the differences between Surveyor Local’s various offerings, go to Compare the Surveys. Ready to set up an appointment with one of the best surveyors in the country? Call us now on 0800 038 6667. Or you can see how low our prices are without compromising on the quality of service by completing the form at the top of this page.
Does a Building survey in Leicester include a valuation and an estimate of rebuild costs for insurance purposes and how does the surveyor work it out?
Leicester Homebuyer Reports a professional valuation as well as a reinstatement cost estimate. When calculating the valuation your RICS valuer will call upon knowledge of Leicester and other things about the property for instance: desirability of the location. Surveyors also reflect on construction methods and draw upon key assumptions such as it is connected to mains services .
A Building survey does not include a valuation as standard. However we can add a valuation for a nominal fee. Alternatively a Property Valuation Report (PVR) can be carried out.
Further area conjectures, such as stairway access to a flat or service connections, are made as well as any significant environmental issues like flightpaths, which will also be factored in.
A next-door neighbour warned us about pests affecting properties nearby. What should we do?
Homes in Leicester are generally free of infestations, but it is inadvisable to risk buying without more information if you have suspicions. This matter should be taken seriously. It is vital that buyers consider this oft-overlooked aspect when making an offer.
Signs may not be evident for weeks or months. For example, silverfish are common in damp kitchens and bathrooms, but only appear at night, and can therefore be difficult to spot. Remedies can be disruptive to residents, and may require you to move out during the work in extreme cases. The property surveyor may include notes on any signs of vermin or other pests in their report. It is, however, advisable that specific worries you may have be raised ASAP.
We are intending to buy a property in Leicester, does the property surveyor consider indications of flood damage?
The Law Society estimate that 2.2m houses are exposed to water damage caused by flooding, and the value of a house in an at-risk area is often impacted by this threat.
As with many aspects of home ownership, flood prevention is better (and cheaper) than a cure.
Flood water can enter a house through several routes, including seepage through walls. Details relating to signs of flooding may be reported in Section J of the HomeBuyer Report. Also included on Environment Agency's flood warning are details of local rivers and other bodies of water prone to flooding.