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    • JayZed
    • By JayZed 11th May 18, 5:47 PM
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    JayZed
    Bizarre and infuriating situation with HSBC
    • #1
    • 11th May 18, 5:47 PM
    Bizarre and infuriating situation with HSBC 11th May 18 at 5:47 PM
    I was due to exchange on a house today, but we haven't been able to proceed because the mortgage valuation carried out for our lender refers to alterations that include the removal of internal load bearing walls (no further details of what these alterations are or what walls have been removed).

    Our solicitor has been unable to identify buildings regs consent for these alterations. HSBC is therefore insisting on a structural engineering survey to confirm that the alterations are structurally sound.

    Now, there's a good reason why we can't find any buildings regs consent, which is that no such alterations have taken place. Our surveyor, who carried out a homebuyers survey for us (which did not refer to any such alterations) says that he is 100% certain that no load-bearing internal walls have ever been removed. A partition wall was removed at some point between the kitchen and the dining room but this was not a load-bearing wall.

    I've had an infuriating conversation with HSBC customer service today, who say that they have to rely on their valuer's report, and therefore we need a structural engineer to confirm that the alterations were structurally sound. What alterations? The non-existent ones referred to in the valuation report.

    I'm really at a loss to know what to do. We have now shared our homebuyers report with HSBC in the hope that this helps. Our surveyor has said that if the bank's surveyor can clarify what alterations he is referring to, he (our surveyor) is willing to engage with the bank's surveyor to clarify and confirm that those alterations did not involve removal of a load-bearing wall. But HSBC are saying that it will take at least a week for them to clarify with their surveyor what he is referring to.

    I do have contact details for the bank's surveyor who carried out the valuation and am tempted to email him and ask him to clarify what he's referring to, but obviously I'm not his client, so I don't know if this will do any good.

    Has anyone else been in a similar situation? Any suggestions? I fear that I'm going to have to shell out a structural engineer to go to the house simply to confirm that no load-bearing walls have been removed.
Page 1
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 11th May 18, 6:06 PM
    • 5,320 Posts
    • 8,110 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #2
    • 11th May 18, 6:06 PM
    • #2
    • 11th May 18, 6:06 PM
    Have you thought that it could be your homebuyer's report that is at fault? If you removed the wall between the kitchen and the dining room in a bog standard 3 bed semi you would remove the structure that was holding the stairs up.
    • JayZed
    • By JayZed 11th May 18, 6:17 PM
    • 712 Posts
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    JayZed
    • #3
    • 11th May 18, 6:17 PM
    • #3
    • 11th May 18, 6:17 PM
    It's a fair question, but I went through this in some detail with our surveyor today and I'm pretty sure that he's right. The partition wall that's been removed is not under the stairway structure.

    Of course, I haven't had the opportunity to speak to the lender's surveyor, but our surveyor spent half a day in the property and provided us with an extremely thorough and detailed report; the valuation report by the other surveyor is a one-page form with no detail at all. I don't know for sure whether he even set foot inside the house.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 11th May 18, 7:34 PM
    • 5,320 Posts
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    Cakeguts
    • #4
    • 11th May 18, 7:34 PM
    • #4
    • 11th May 18, 7:34 PM
    The thing is that surveyors are not structural engineers. So once the wall had been removed it would be difficult to know if it was part of the structure unless you were a structural engineer.
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 11th May 18, 8:20 PM
    • 8,721 Posts
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    EachPenny
    • #5
    • 11th May 18, 8:20 PM
    • #5
    • 11th May 18, 8:20 PM
    It would help hugely if this was all on one thread rather than having a second one started.
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