Is it subsidence?

19 Nov 2023
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United Kingdom
Hi folks

I'm in the process of purchasing a mid-terrace Edwardian house built on London clay. It has render on the rear which has a thin vertical crack from above a single storey extension more or less the whole way up (and a dodgy attempt to paint over it). There are a few other smaller cracks near windows. Cracking inside is limited, and the place hasn't been redecorated in a while.

The level 3 building survey has said 'cracking indicates movement in the form of subsidence has occurred' - but I really think it is just cracked render. Based upon the info I have, I'd need to declare it to insurance companies, meaning no insurance, therefore no mortgage.

I'm going to get a structural engineer in to provide an opinion - but I'm not sure they will give me a definitive view without monitoring the building for movement for several months. One guy who I spoke to has already said he won't be able to tell me anymore, so not much point him coming out to see it - though he would if I wanted.

Any opinions on if it is subsidence, or suggestions on what to do next?



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The level 3 building survey has said 'cracking indicates movement in the form of subsidence has occurred
That’s sounds like a typical surveyors cover my azz statement.
They must have a bunch of these on their computer ready to cut n paste.

Surveyors use the word subsidence at any opportunity, it can be used as a frightener to leverage a price drop against the vendor. And it protects the surveyor.

It doesn’t look like subsidence to me, it could be thermal movement and or old settlement

As Noseall says cracks from corners of window / door openings are pretty standard really, it’s a stress point.
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It's hard to see any cracks, let alone any that look like foundation movement.

Get a structural engineer to report.

Get a refund from your err "surveyor".

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