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Cracks in Limestone Wall - Surveyor Report Didn't Mention

Discussion in 'Building' started by SaladAndSandwiches, 4 Nov 2019.

  1. SaladAndSandwiches

    SaladAndSandwiches

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    We completed on a house purchase. Got a full building survey and a week after completion we have a leaking roof which wasn't picked up in the survey.

    Most worryingly, I have noticed some cracks to the front elevation all on the right hand side of the house and none on the left. The survey pointed out the bowed lintel above ground floor window but just said to keep monitoring and eventually replace. No structural movement was mentioned. Bearing in mind that the survey was completed 3 months ago and we have had the house for less than 30 days should the cracks have been picked up? Could they happen so quickly. 20191102_153811.jpg 20191102_153816.jpg 20191103_082158.jpg

    Do we have movement and if so is it serious? What do I do next? Thank you so much.
    20191102_153837.jpg
     
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  3. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    It depends whether the crack and leak were there at the time of survey.
     
  4. SaladAndSandwiches

    SaladAndSandwiches

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    Thanks Woody. We tried to be very careful by going for a full building survey. I looked at the surveyors report and in one photo you can see that the crack is visible in the surveyor's photo too once I zoom in to the photo of the report. So I know that he did see it but didn't mention the cracks just the bowed lintel.

    Does it seem like movement? I am hoping that it isn't movement or I never would have bought the house. :eek:
     
  5. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    It looks like common cracking, related to that old timber lintel. Not a major structural issue, and not related to foundations - but it would need a survey to confirm. :rolleyes:

    It may be age, a once only movement event, or progressive decay.

    I would expect (a client could expect) particular attention to be paid to walls of old properties with timber lintels. If that crack did exist at the time of survey, it should have been commented on. Any cracking even if not an issue should be mentioned and commented on.

    Ok, its potentially easily rectified and not something to worry about now or put you off purchasing at the time, but the issue is that if the surveyor had told you in his report as he should potentially have, then you could have negotiated a reduction in the sale price to reflect the cost of the remedial work - and that would be the basis of your claim for losses if you pursue it.
     
  6. SaladAndSandwiches

    SaladAndSandwiches

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    Thank you so much for the advice. It's good to know that it's probably nothing to worry about. I will contact the surveyor. Do you think my next step is to contact the surveyor or get another survey done with someone else before approaching the original surveyor?

    Thank you again.
     
  7. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    No, contact him and get him back at his expense back to write an addendum to his report regarding the cracking. Take it from there.
    See what he recommends by way of repair or future action, and only then can you decide (or imply) that any costs have been incurred because this wasn't mentioned at the time you purchased, and see if he is prepared to refund or contribute to your costs.

    If you get a woolly response with no definite advice or reasoning (ie he does not state what exactly is wrong, what needs doing, and how soon), or just don't like his response, then that potentially means that the issue could drag on and cause you stress and costs at a future time. If so then consider a more formal complaint to the firm, his insurers and his association (RICS?) or whatever. Only involve another surveyor if you get nowhere with the original one or just want to move on and forget the original surveyor. Many surveyors don't like reporting on other surveyors or surveying firms, so if you are going to use a second surveyor's report against your first surveyor, then be sure to instruct a well qualified surveyor and tell him that is what you plan to do, as the report will need to be written slightly differently.
     
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  8. SaladAndSandwiches

    SaladAndSandwiches

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    Thank you Woody. I will try to do that and see what he says. I really appreciate the advice and help.
     
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