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    • greenhouse28
    • By greenhouse28 7th Feb 18, 10:27 AM
    • 17Posts
    • 5Thanks
    greenhouse28
    Should I buy this Maisonette?
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:27 AM
    Should I buy this Maisonette? 7th Feb 18 at 10:27 AM
    Hi all,

    I am having a bit of difficulty trying to decide whether to proceed with the purchase of this Maisonette. I have had a survey done which says there are signs of possible movement, the signs being a crack above the downstairs window, and the tree in the front garden. The Maisonette I'm buying is the upstairs one. Does anyone on here know the risks if I remove the tree and get the brickwork fixed, is this just going to "cover" the problem etc? The tree is a large willow tree about 5/6 meters away from the property. There is only one crack in the brickwork. Any advice would be very much appreciated! Thank you!
Page 1
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 7th Feb 18, 10:37 AM
    • 25,001 Posts
    • 68,480 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:37 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:37 AM
    Removing a tree can cause its own issues. You need advice from a structural engineer about any method you take to try and alleviate something.

    Have they offered to lend or have they asked for further information?
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • greenhouse28
    • By greenhouse28 7th Feb 18, 10:39 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    greenhouse28
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:39 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:39 AM
    Santander have offered me a Mortgage, the survey which raised these problems was a private survey. I'm unsure whether to take the risk as I'm a first time buyer, but the property is perfect for me and in my price range.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 7th Feb 18, 10:41 AM
    • 7,641 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:41 AM
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:41 AM
    Will "your" property include the tree and the brickwork?
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Feb 18, 10:47 AM
    • 62,449 Posts
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    PasturesNew
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:47 AM
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:47 AM
    It might not be your choice. Getting lending might be a problem.

    The tree might not be yours. It might be protected.
    Who owns the building, who pays for work, how does that get chosen/decided/priced/paid for?
    The cost to fix might be prohibitive.
    It might cause future problems with you reselling even if you do "fix" it because it'll then have a history of problems.

    Lots of research for you to do there..... but, on balance, is it worth all this hassle and future potential hassle, for "a maisonette".... no.
    • greenhouse28
    • By greenhouse28 7th Feb 18, 10:51 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    greenhouse28
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:51 AM
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:51 AM
    The issue I have is it is the only one in the area I can afford, and I've already paid a lot in solicitor fee's, surveys and the mortgage application. Santander done their own valuation and have agreed to lend.
    The Tree is not protected.
    Technically the tree and the cracked brickwork belong to the downstairs owner, but I feel they are waiting for me to fund the fixes as I'll be a new owner and maybe more desperate to get it fixed than themselves.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 7th Feb 18, 10:56 AM
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    Doozergirl
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:56 AM
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:56 AM
    It may not need fixing.

    Really, I think a conversation with your private surveyor about it and then maybe a structural engineer about the risk would be a good idea for your own peace of mind. All houses move, the valuer hasn!!!8217;t thought it a major issue but a conversation about current and future risk would be sensible.

    It isn!!!8217;t a major issue now and if this is what you can afford then perhaps removing the tree is the cheapest answer to get you what you want and eliminate the risk then explore it.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • greenhouse28
    • By greenhouse28 7th Feb 18, 12:02 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    greenhouse28
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 18, 12:02 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 18, 12:02 PM
    I'm really hoping it doesn't need fixing.
    I've spoke to a structural engineer and he has advised that removing the tree could cause "heave" so punning the tree every 24 months may be the best option. He has also advised getting a CCTV drainage survey done.
    • pinklady21
    • By pinklady21 7th Feb 18, 2:38 PM
    • 561 Posts
    • 383 Thanks
    pinklady21
    • #9
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:38 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:38 PM
    If the tree does not belong to you, then the owner can refuse to let you prune or remove it. A drains survey will advise whether the roots are interfering with the drain. If the drain is damaged, then it will all have to be excavated, and repaired or replaced. Is it a communal drain? If it is, you will have to negotiate the repairs with the other owners. Might be tricky, might not.
    If this were a detached property, where the cause of the damage to the building is clear cut, and it is within your rights to fix it by whatever means, that would be bad enough. But here, you are dependent on the goodwill of a downstairs neighbour as well. Do they own the property? If not, have you spoken to the owner?
    A problem like this has not happened overnight - what has the current owner of the house you want to buy done about this already?

    Personally, I would walk away from this, the costs and hassle of putting right the damage to the property could be enormous. It may also have an adverse impact on you being able to sell the property in the future. Sorry.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 7th Feb 18, 4:03 PM
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    Doozergirl
    If the tree does not belong to you, then the owner can refuse to let you prune or remove it. A drains survey will advise whether the roots are interfering with the drain. If the drain is damaged, then it will all have to be excavated, and repaired or replaced. Is it a communal drain? If it is, you will have to negotiate the repairs with the other owners. Might be tricky, might not.
    If this were a detached property, where the cause of the damage to the building is clear cut, and it is within your rights to fix it by whatever means, that would be bad enough. But here, you are dependent on the goodwill of a downstairs neighbour as well. Do they own the property? If not, have you spoken to the owner?
    A problem like this has not happened overnight - what has the current owner of the house you want to buy done about this already?

    Personally, I would walk away from this, the costs and hassle of putting right the damage to the property could be enormous. It may also have an adverse impact on you being able to sell the property in the future. Sorry.
    Originally posted by pinklady21
    If it is a shared drain then it is the responsibility of the water company. No negotiation needed with neighbours at all.

    A small crack that does not affect oneís ability to borrow does not automatically lead one to the decision that the neighbour is a problem. It might just mean that there isnít a major problem! The tree could have already been pruned.

    Arming oneself with facts rather than assumptions makes it a great deal easier to make an informed decision rather than a relfexive one.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • pinklady21
    • By pinklady21 7th Feb 18, 4:53 PM
    • 561 Posts
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    pinklady21
    Shared drain might not be the water company - depends where it is. I have lived in properties where the drains are shared up to the boundary, and then the water co is responsible for them.
    I agree, it is facts that are needed to be able to come to a sensible conclusion about the right thing to do.
    The issues may of course all be minor and the property is a good buy for the O/P. Alternatively, the only property in their price range could turn into a money pit costing far more in the long run in angst and repair bills.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 7th Feb 18, 4:58 PM
    • 4,363 Posts
    • 6,239 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    The issue I have is it is the only one in the area I can afford, and I've already paid a lot in solicitor fee's, surveys and the mortgage application. Santander done their own valuation and have agreed to lend.
    The Tree is not protected.
    Technically the tree and the cracked brickwork belong to the downstairs owner, but I feel they are waiting for me to fund the fixes as I'll be a new owner and maybe more desperate to get it fixed than themselves.
    Originally posted by greenhouse28
    It is the only one in the area that you can afford because it has got something wrong with it and no one else wants to buy it. That is what makes it cheap.

    Do you want to buy a property that is cheap because no one else wants it because there is something wrong with it?

    The money that you have spend has done its job in showing up the problems with the property.

    The area that you are looking in is too expensive. Find a cheaper one if you want to buy a property.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 7th Feb 18, 6:10 PM
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    Doozergirl
    Shared drain might not be the water company - depends where it is. I have lived in properties where the drains are shared up to the boundary, and then the water co is responsible for them.
    I agree, it is facts that are needed to be able to come to a sensible conclusion about the right thing to do.
    The issues may of course all be minor and the property is a good buy for the O/P. Alternatively, the only property in their price range could turn into a money pit costing far more in the long run in angst and repair bills.
    Originally posted by pinklady21
    Since 1st October 2011, any drain that is shared is the responsibility of the water company. It does not matter where you are. If it is your own drain to the boundary then it is your own business to deal with. Beyond that, or at any point on your own land that your personal drain is joined by another, it is that of the water company.

    The problem is presently small and the professional advice received so far perfectly sensible. There is no need for it to ever turn into a money pit if things are maintained. All houses move, all houses carry risk, many of us live near trees, not all houses near trees are at potential major risk.

    Facts. And professional advice, not inaccuracies and scaremongering.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 07-02-2018 at 6:16 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 7th Feb 18, 6:22 PM
    • 25,001 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    It is the only one in the area that you can afford because it has got something wrong with it and no one else wants to buy it. That is what makes it cheap.

    Do you want to buy a property that is cheap because no one else wants it because there is something wrong with it?

    The money that you have spend has done its job in showing up the problems with the property.

    The area that you are looking in is too expensive. Find a cheaper one if you want to buy a property.
    Originally posted by Cakeguts
    Firstly, there!!!8217;s no evidence that no one wants it. It passes security for a mortgage and the surveyor hasn!!!8217;t told the OP to run.

    There!!!8217;s also the old adage of buying the worst house in the best area that rings true for many people.

    All houses present problems. If people think they!!!8217;re ever buying something perfect or that an independently commissioned survey isn!!!8217;t going to flag something up then they are deluded. If a survey doesn!!!8217;t flag something then I!!!8217;d say that a surveyor wasn!!!8217;t doing their job at all. It is perfectly okay to have something flag on a survey and then investigate and arm oneself with knowledge instead of lurching from one house to another.

    No one has seen this crack except the OP and yet people act as if the house is falling down. All houses move, none are plumb after time. My house has cracks within the roof from movement, I have no worries about it at all. It is within the realms of normal.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • greenhouse28
    • By greenhouse28 8th Feb 18, 2:14 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    greenhouse28
    Does anyone know how much a willow tree 6 meters away from a house will effect drainage?
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 8th Feb 18, 6:11 PM
    • 4,363 Posts
    • 6,239 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    Does anyone know how much a willow tree 6 meters away from a house will effect drainage?
    Originally posted by greenhouse28
    Willows tend to suck. They can be a problem if there are dry periods.
    • greenhouse28
    • By greenhouse28 9th Feb 18, 11:17 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    greenhouse28
    I've now been told that the crack in the building is due to a concrete window lintel, when it should have been an RSJ. And I'm having a CCTV Drainage check done on monday to see if the tree roots have intruded on the drains. Apparently there are no other real signs of movement or subsidence so hopefully all will go well on monday. Thanks for the replies everyone!
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 9th Feb 18, 12:03 PM
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    Doozergirl
    I was going to suggest that it could simply be down to the lintel itself but presumed it had been established that it was the tree.

    One less thing to worry about anyway and the CCTV idea is always a good one.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • greenhouse28
    • By greenhouse28 12th Feb 18, 2:58 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    greenhouse28
    Hello again all, drainage check has been done, they've said its still the original pipes and there is not a single tree root in them, not even a hairline crack. This gives me more confidence now moving forward, surely if the house is subsiding then the drains would be effected?
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 12th Feb 18, 3:18 PM
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    Doozergirl
    Great news
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
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